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We tried Ben Yeo's crispy 'Hainanese chicken' burger collab with McDonald's and we like it more than actual chicken rice

We tried Ben Yeo's crispy 'Hainanese chicken' burger collab with McDonald's and we like it more than actual chicken rice
PHOTO: AsiaOne

Move over BTS, there's a new McDonald's celebrity collab in town.

Don't get us wrong — nothing compares to the hype and excitement around the BTS meal. But if you're more partial to hawker food, McDonald's new Crispy "Hainanese Chicken" Burger (from $6.60 a la carte and $8.30 for a meal), created with actor and F&B entrepreneur Ben Yeo, might be the one for you.

Launching just in time for National Day, the limited-edition burger will be available at all McDonald's restaurants in Singapore and on McDelivery, GrabFood, and foodpanda from Aug 5.

Why 'Hainanese Chicken'?

If you're wondering why "Hainanese Chicken" is flanked by quotation marks, that's likely because the burger is made up of a fried chicken patty, not the typical poached chicken you'd expect on a plate of Hainanese chicken rice.

Using semolina buns, the burger also comes with three sauces — 20g of garlic chilli sauce, 10g of mayonnaise and 10g of ginger sauce, according to Ben, who demonstrated how to assemble a fresh burger during a virtual media preview today (Aug 2).

It also comes with a sachet of dark sweet sauce that should be drizzled on the patty, as per Ben's recommendation.

Explaining that he grew up loving hawker food, the 42-year-old shares that the inspiration behind the burger was his own love for the classic dish.

"I can eat Hainanese chicken rice every day," he reveals in all seriousness.

"But I like to have a twist."

After about nine months of research and development, and experimenting with different burger flavours such as laksa and curry fish head, he finally decided on the final product, says Ben.


The magic is in the sauce

In our opinion, the dark sweet sauce — reminiscent of the soy sauce that is usually drizzled over Hainanese chicken rice — and the ginger sauce are the MVPs of the dish.

Thanks to the sauces, the run-of-the-mill fried chicken burger gets a kick of local flavour.

We scarfed our burger down in minutes. And dare we say we actually prefer this fusion of the traditional-tasting sauces and the juicy fried chicken over the classic Hainanese poached chicken and rice combo.

Out of the many locally-inspired fusion dishes on offer this National Day — think beef rendang pizza and kopi-infused cheesecake — this is one of the more palatable ones we've tried.

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