- I ate at the world's fanciest McDonald's in Hong Kong and was impressed by the food and atmosphere.
- The restaurant had a build-your-own-salad bar and offered sleek, chic-looking menus to customers.
- The service reminded me of that of a quality restaurant and the elegant interior felt very fancy.
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Hong Kong's versions of popular American fast-food chains are sometimes better than the original ones in the US.
For example, the city is famously home to the McDonald's Next concept, a version of the fast-food franchise that strives to be "modern and progressive."
I visited the location in Admiralty, which has been called the "fanciest McDonald's in the world." Here are seven things that surprised me when I visited.
The build-your-own-salad bar was one of the first things I noticed
The build-your-own-salad bar has 19 ingredients, including different types of greens, quinoa, and sauces.
Customers can take a few minutes to build their own salads while waiting for their made-to-order burgers to be served from the kitchen to the table.
Each meal was customisable and there were a variety of options
I excitedly ordered my own burger at one of the many "Create Your Taste" kiosks. I could choose my preferences for bread, meat, and vegetables for my burger as I sifted through the screen's many options.
The burger selection offered choices of bun or bun-less and meat or Portobello mushroom, and the addition of top-notch ingredients such as Parmesan cheese, guacamole, caramelised onions, and even truffle sauce.
Even more surprising to me was that my custom burger cost less than R150.
The advertising and menu were sleek and elegant
The cold-brew coffee looked like something straight out of a TV ad, and pictures of special menu items like pizza and tiramisu were plastered on posters and looked delectably delicious.
Even the different coffee beans were nicely advertised as if they were a choice between sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.
The service reminded me of a restaurant-quality experience
Once I placed my order at the kiosk, I was dispensed a number to place on my table. A staff member brought my order, so I never even had to get up.
Getting to dine in added a touch of the slow-food movement to the Happy-Meal experience. The different seating arrangements catered to a variety of diners and groups, reminiscent of a restaurant-quality experience.
There were some themed food items on the menu
For roughly R15, I ordered Sanrio My Melody-themed curly fries and a peach soda. The soda was fizzy with bits of peach jelly at the bottom of the drink and the fries were Cajun-style and slightly soggy from being cooked in oil.
Neither of these food items has remotely anything to do with My Melody, but the packaging was endearing and aesthetically pleasing.
The restaurant was equipped with wireless charging stations
This McDonald's seemed to be designed to make patrons want to stay for the whole day.
Equipped with wireless charging technology, the comfort and convenience of the restaurant's amenities gave a nod to Hong Kong's fast-paced urban culture.
I was impressed with the chic interior design
The space was decorated with untreated oak, polished concrete flooring, and understated line drawings of McDonald's classic menu items.
Open ceilings with visible ductwork and walls with exposed studs and joint work created a warehouse-style aesthetic that took the emphasis away from the setting and shifted my focus to the food.
This McDonald's Next concept stole the show with a minimalist metallic design.