A Spicy (Sichuan Mala) Whopper from BK
I didn't really notice Burger King's ad at the train station today until one word in the corner of my eye caught my attention: "mala," as in spicy Sichuan food. After a double-take to make sure I wasn't imagining it, I realized that they really were selling a spicy version of the Whopper, presumably as a temporary promotion in the runup to the Chinese New Year. Whoa. Could this thing be any good?? I could only imagine that it would be in a thick sweet sauce, somewhat akin to what Bread Talk did a while back, and especially given Burger King Singapore's success with its Rendang Burger. That wasn't too encouraging to me, but we still went in to see what it was like.
To my surprise, I liked it. I didn't think that I would, but I did. It wasn't the sweet thick sauce that I was expecting at all. Instead, this thing packed a good amount of heat, and didn't really clash that much with the rest of the basic Whopper ingredients. There wasn't really any of that Sichuan numbingness, but in some ways, that was a good thing. In fact, it was so straightforward that it could have easily been transported to New Orleans and passed off as a cajun burger instead. Well, technically they never did call it a Sichuan burger or anything; it was just a simple "Spicy Whopper." But the promotional material did say "Enjoy the Mala Experience" on a red Chinese motif, so it didn't take much to figure out the inference.
Wow - I'm impressed. I guess I could go for that again. I've just gotta remember to be sure to catch it again before their promotion goes away. How's that for more localized fast food?