SINGAPORE - After sparking much buzz over the past two weeks, fast food chain McDonald's abruptly ended sales of its popular nasi lemak burger on Tuesday (July 25).
Two other items, the Chendol McFlurry and Bandung McFizz, have also been taken off the chain's locally inspired menu, created for National Day.
The menu was launched to much fanfare on July 13.
In a statement, the fast food chain said the three items are sold out island-wide due to "overwhelming demand".
Ms Agatha Yap, McDonald's Singapore's senior director of marketing, menu and digital innovation says: "In view of the quantity of food that we serve, the re-stocking process requires a considerable turnaround time. The extraordinary pace at which our food items were moving made it less than feasible for us to re-stock."
She adds that the chain will consider bringing the nasi lemak burger back in the future.
Inspired by the Malay dish of coconut rice, the nasi lemak burger features a cornflakes-coated fried chicken thigh patty that is infused with a spiced coconut marinade, together with a fried egg, caramelised onions and cucumber slices, sandwiched between lightly toasted semolina buns.
She adds that the burger is one of the chain's most successful promotions in recent years. Close to 750,000 nasi lemak burgers have been sold. Demand for it was double that of what the chain had expected, based on sales of the salted egg yolk chicken burger launched for last year's National Day.
McDonald's has come up with new Singapore-themed items to mark National Day in the past three years.
The remaining seven items on the locally inspired menu, including the kueh salat cake and chendol melaka ice cream cone, are available on a "while stocks last basis".
Ms Yap adds that the coconut pie is "running out soon".
To replace the nasi lemak burger, the chain rolled out a new burger on July 26. The Eggcellent McSpicy burger ($5.75) features a spicy chicken thigh patty and fried egg. Another new Singapore-themed dessert, Dinosaur McFlurry (from $3), is on the menu. Both items are available for a limited time.
Diners that The Straits Times spoke to were surprised and disappointed that the nasi lemak burger was pulled so quickly.
Strategic partnership manager Andrew Kho, 34, says: "I am quite surprised that the nasi lemak burger was on for such a short time considering that it is still popular. Perhaps the chain did not anticipate the huge response and ran out of supplies."
Accounts executive Pricillia Ng, 29, says: "I do not usually eat fast food, but the nasi lemak burger has a strong coconut taste and aroma, so it feels like I am eating the real dish. The burger should have been made available throughout the month of August as a good way to celebrate National Day or become a permanent item on the menu as it is so unique."