McDonald’s Festive Feast

Review of McDonald’s Festive Feast


What they say:

A 100% British and Irish beef burger with sweetcure bacon rashers, black pepper cheese slices, red onion rings, Batavia lettuce and a creamy black pepper mayo in a toasted bun.

Price: £4.29 for the burger only.

Calories: 791 kcal.

Forget the John Lewis Christmas advert, the real main event at this time of the year is the McDonald’s Festive Menu – we broke the news of the line-up in another BURGER LAD® exclusive last week.

In the (ghost of Christmas) past we’ve seen entries such as the Winter Warmer (which had a re-boot last year) and the Festive Deluxe, but for 2015 the latest burger coming at you in the season to be jolly is the Festive Feast with Sweetcure Bacon & Cheese.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
A BIG promotional box…

Arriving just slightly later than usual, I placed my order and was instantly handed a promotional box. I wasn’t too concerned about how long this had been held in the warming bay as it was only just after that breakfast cut-off point.

The box was big, so logic told me that the burger inside would also be big… and weighing in at 791 calories this was confirmed when I took my first glimpse at the new seasonal burger at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
First look at the Festive Feast…

My goodness this had been messily put together with bacon, lettuce and red onion protruding all out of the toasted bun. The bacon was practically sticking its tongue out at me!!

Presentation aside it is the bun we’ll talk about first.

I like this bun, I like it a lot.

It’s like a lattice semi-brioche hybrid which is very soft and looks incredibly inviting. It’s not got a buttery taste like a traditional brioche but that glazed top and criss-cross on the top do look quite striking. Very impressive.

I mentioned above that this burger is big and it is because the patty used on the Festive Feast is the one used on the Big Tasty, which coincidentally has just come to an end (for the time being). Keep an eye on Twitter (from today!) for people asking when it will return…

It’s never going to win the “Patty of the Year Award” but the one I had today was fairly decent and not too dry which can sometimes be its downfall.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
McDonald’s Festive Feast…

For this review, you will almost have to look past the photos as they don’t really do the Festive Feast much justice.

You get a satisfying crunch from the lettuce and red onion and there was certainly plenty of everything on here. The red onion works very nicely with the black pepper mayo which I’ll discuss in more detail soon.

Due to that breakfast/lunch cross-over time period I always keep a sharp eye on the bacon used. And I am once again pleased to report I had the correct bacon. And this was absolutely loaded with it! I don’t believe I have ever had a promotional High Street burger with as much as this contained today.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
Slightly untidy presentation…

Taste-wise, you’ll have to have an impressive palate to pick it up combined with the other ingredients but it certainly contributes to the overall flavour.

I broke a bit off and it had a very slight sweet and smoky flavour to it, but definitely bordering more on the sweet side. My only slight grumble was that it was a bit fatty but like I stated above – a very commendable amount on this build.

I’ve had some negative comments about the black pepper mayo being included on the Festive Feast and like any review it is all down to personal preference.

For me, it is a thumbs up as it’s nowhere near as offensively creamy as others I’ve had recently and that black pepper really is the defining flavour. I guess the black pepper cheese slices also contribute to this but I really couldn’t tell they were on there.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
Lifting the festive lid…

You are going to get a lot of people asking what is festive or Christmassy about the Festive Feast and I can’t blame them. But in McDonald’s defence they are in the business of selling burgers and have to appeal to the widest possible demographic – and what is their most popular promotional burger? Probably the Big Tasty… and this is what I would call a Big Tasty v2.0 (swapping the sauces and salad items around a bit).

If you’re looking for something a bit more leftfield and with a true Christmas-twist, go and check out any number of a plethora of independent burger joints now offering their Xmas special.

McDonald’s Festive Feast
A very commendable bun…

At £4.29 (where I visited) for the burger only this is quite an expensive indulgence for a McDonald’s burger.

It is, in essence a bacon cheeseburger with an enjoyable black pepper mayo which, along with the red onion is the defining flavour. And again top marks for the bun, this is certainly one I’d like to see again in future McDonald’s promotions.

Aesthetics aside this is a pretty enjoyable burger but if you’re looking for a taste of Christmas (whatever that is) then you could be setting yourself up for a fall.

Pros: Lattice bun, black pepper mayo, promotional box, lots of bacon, texture ticks all the boxes.

Cons: Presentation, price, cheese missing in action, not Christmassy.

2015 has been an exceptionally good year for McDonald’s fans.

We started with the return of the McRib which was followed by a new burger – The Grand.

We then saw Great Tastes of America return with the introduction of Shaker Fries. This was followed up by another new burger – The BBQ Smokehouse and then Great Tastes of the World.

Throw into the mix the fact they’ve been trialling table service and the introduction of the Signature Collection shows us that the Golden Arches will continue to mean business in 2016.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Touchscreen kiosks and table service must mean that Create Your Taste is on the horizon (I believe the patties used in the Signature Collection could be the ones they will use).

You can guarantee that whatever initiatives McDonald’s bring to consumers in 2016 we’ll be on the front-line reporting and reviewing!

Burger Lad®