At the sign of the Yellow Arches

The Lee Garden guest house doesn’t have breakfast facilities but that’s no problem as there are plenty of eating places round here. The last couple of mornings we’ve breakfasted in the local McDonald’s, just 5 minutes walk along Cameron Road. I’m not a huge fan of McDonalds but it’s a reliable stand by, and I am partial to sausage and egg McMuffins.

Having dined at Ronald’s favourite restaurant in several countries I am curious about the regional variations in the global brand. Mary Ann tried a breakfast concoction which may have been called McPasta. Egg and sausage on macaroni pasta. I wasn’t convinced by the photo on the board, and when it arrived it was all immersed in soup. (A Chinese friend of mine has since told me that this is based on a traditional Cantonese breakfast.) On the other hand, here there are no double sausage McMuffins, which is perhaps just as well seeing these are basically heart failure between two pieces of bread.

The service here is prompt and efficient, with everything placed on the tray together, just as I was taught when employed as a McDonald’s crew member many years ago. Contrast this to the Philippines, where I don’t remember a single meal arriving in one go, but having burger, fries and other items delivered in dribs and drabs.

On the other hand, thumbs up to the Philippines for an adventurous menu, including McDo (fried chicken and rice) and the self-explanatory McSpaghetti. No rice in HK but they do serve McWings (plain or Chinese BBQ flavour) and instead of apple pies, red bean pies.

We’re convinced the quarterpounder is bigger in the Philippines than in the UK and the HK sausage patty is smaller. And already I’m missing the iced tea. Pricewise, Pinoy McD is far cheaper  than the UK (I’d guess half the price), but surprisingly so too is HK. In fact, on the Economist magazine’s Big Mac Index, McDonald’s in HK is in the top 5 least expensive.

By the way, relating the cost of buying a Big Mac to the average hourly wage, did you know that on average a Japanese worker has to work for 10 minutes to earn the price of a Big Mac, but an average Pinoy worker has to work for 88 minutes? Eating at McDonald’s in the Philippines is a middle class pursuit.

As for me, once I get back to the UK I shall be abstaining from the pleasure of eating under the sign of the yellow arches. At least until I pick up a copy of the Metro newspaper with the special offer vouchers.

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About Holloway Rev

Paul Weary is a Methodist minister living and working in Holloway, North London.
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