Thursday, July 23, 2009

McDonald's

The first McDonald's restaurant opened in Chennai, in Anna Nagar. Though there has always been an outlet in the Ascendas Complex, this was the first stand-alone restaurant.

And a HUGE deal was made of the opening. I mean, newspapers, TV ads, flyers... everywhere you would possibly look! And it was in Anna Nagar, which is fast becoming a little city of its own.

Now I know the West (esp the United States) is making a huge fuss over the fat content and general unhealthiness of a McDonald's diet. The fact that absolutely nothing there is actually healthy - no, not even the salads. But give India a chance. This is the first time we have a McDonald's and people see it as a integral part of the Western world! So the place is ALWAYS packed with people. Here's a view of the line that actually went out the door!!


The menu is very very different from the typical one in the US. It has Indian-ized versions of their products, such as a spicy paneer salsa wrap, and several (actually, almost half) the menu choices are vegetarian. I was on a recent holiday in the US and we went to McDonald's a few times when we were on long drives and nothing on the menu was vegetarian except the french fries (and I'm not sure what oil they use for frying the potatoes either).

Here, everything is 100% guaranteed to be made in vegetable oil. And they do not use beef products at all. So there's fish and chicken... and vegetarian options like the McVeggie Burger or the McAloo Tikki! And the Big Mac? Its the Chicken Maharaja Mac! :)

We brought home the food and I would give it 2 stars (out of a possible 5). There was no flavour, and everything looked old and sad. But I'm also not a huge fast food fan, so maybe I'm prejudiced.

On another note, a friend who is pregnant went to a KFC outlet in Chennai and ordered fried chicken. They said their policy states they cannot serve their chicken to pregnant women because it is not safe!!! It leads you to ask, so why are you letting children eat it? Or anyone else for that matter? Is it a big leap to maybe start distrusting any food from KFC? Or from any fast food place in Chennai? Hmm. It really does make you wonder.

41 comments:

arundati said...

am not a fan of fast food either, and the lines outside mc D's and KFC in hyd and bangalore really surprise me. they look just like the pictures you posted. its hip to eat their food. nice to see a post after a long time babe..

Raaga said...

McD's in Delhi has some very nice Veg burgers. I have to admit, I quite like them.

I remember the queue outside the first McD's outlet in Bombay... and in the 90s, guys would take girls out to McD's if they wanted to "impress" them. If only they knew...........

KFC is another story... never!

Cilantro said...

Good to know McD`s in Chennai. It is Ok to have once in a while. It helps when we travel here.

Ranjani said...

I heart Indian Mickie D's!! There's tons of veggie options even if it isn't the healthiest of stuff:))

A_and_N said...

I know right! A was horrified when my sis wanted to eat at McD's when he came down :D Thankfully, I've never been a huge fan of fast food and watching movies like Food Inc and Fast Food nation - makes me wise :)

Anonymous said...

I am sure practices have changed since Fast Food Nation.

Also, I feel that for someone living in Chennai who has never before seen a McD but known about it all their lives, having one in their midst surely IS a big deal!

The choice is there now. Leave it to the people to decide what they want to do!

Rachel said...

I was there the 2nd day it opened only to avoid the long drive to Ascendas.I am a fast food fan and I enjoy it once a fortnight despite knowing the cons. :)

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venkateshb26 said...

I am not a great fan of Fast food either , but nice to see such shops here in Chennai .. which may open doors for lat many shops to come here ..

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Haddock said...

They said their policy states they cannot serve their chicken to pregnant women because it is not safe!!! . . . . . . .
This is news to me and worth pondering.

Aaarti said...

Am yet to explore chennai McDonalds, just seeing the crowd and no parking facility makes me just drive past..

have had their stuff in bby and quite liked the quality and taste..

Interesting policy KFC seems to have, wondering abt what u've written!!been there once, to their blore outlet..was ok... am not a big fast food fan either!!

workhard said...

I definitely prefer KFC to McDonalds.. yeah the menu is totally different and the burgers are completely tasteless.. i have tried almost all the burgers.. and they make them like some ground chicken kebabs.. that are not cooked.. and i didnt even bother with the veg menu.. ps.. im talking about Hyd McDonalds.. but im sure its the same all over...


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Cilantro said...

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Wish you & your family a veryy happy New Year!

Shobana said...

i really like this blog.. looks like you are speaking from your heart - which is nice..enjoyed your other blog on food also.. keep up this great work.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to blog space...missed your posts on Chennai for a while.Trust all is well.
Look forward to your posts

solai said...

It's surprising that KFC themselves advocate that their chicken is unsafe for pregnant women. What about the folks who buy take away's ?

Anyway, I am a big biriyani fan and there is a new joint called Yo Biryani which has opened up in ECR and they are quite good !
Try them out, http://yobiryani.blogspot.com/

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Loved reading the posts, keep posting often.

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Niranjan said...

Love your blogs. They are very straight and honest. I also think people say they like Mc.D and KFC just because they think its cool to ape westerners though the cost is their health.

Keep posting

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