We used (and abused) McDonald's new Create Your Taste burger machines

By Betty Richardson, July 3, 2015

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We all love the Big Mac.

But what to do when a humble Big Mac no longer suffices? What if you need ~more~ from your McDonald's experience, like your very own custom-built burger?

Enter McDonald's Create Your Taste machines, basically cyborg burger creators. Here's what they look like:

McDonald's Create Your Taste Burger Shanghai

(Ignore the McDonald's employee waiting for a text from bae.) 

They're pretty easy to use – simply wander up and go through the step by step process. 

1. Choose a bun. Apparently lettuce counts as a bun these days.

McDonaldsCreateYourTasteChina

2. Add beef. Now here's where it gets interesting – McDonald's doesn't mind if you add up to six patties.The first burger we made (for ease of reference let's refer to him as Modest Burger) had just two, for the second burger (let's call him Braggadocious Burger) we added five... 

McDonalds Create Your Taste Shanghai

3. Add frills. To Braggadocious Burger we added jalapeños, and 2x lettuce (something we would later come to regret). 

McDonaldsCreateYourTasteChina

4. Next, add cheese. As much cheese as you want! (Or can afford, since it counts as an extra.) For Braggadocious Burger we chose 1x mozzarella, 3x McD classic cheese and 1x classic cheddar cheese. In hindsight this was a very good decision since this cheese acted as a gluing agent holding Braggadocious together. 

McDonalds Create Your Taste China

5. Sauce time. In homage to our beloved Big Mac, we chose the classic, secret recipe Big Mac Sauce for Braggadocious Burger. We also added hot & spicy sauce, which we would also sincerely regret in conjunction with the double lettuce leaves. 

The Create Your Taste machine also lets you add – drumroll – guacamole. Unfortunately, it's RMB8 extra. On a more upbeat note, all other sauces are totally free, and you're at liberty to add as many as you damn like (up to five for each type).

McDonalds Create Your Taste China

6. Last but not least, the Create Your Taste machine implores you to 'MAKE IT TASTY' as a final effort to elevate what you will receive to gourmet level. Modest Burger received thick cut bacon and tortilla chips; Braggadocious Burger received 'America crispy bacon,' bacon, thick cut bacon, tortilla chips and steamed egg. 

McDonalds Create Your Taste China

After paying by card at the machine (pay with cash at the counter), we sat down at a table and waited for McDonalds to bring our custom build burgers over. That's right, no waiting in line at the counter like a schmuck – they personally serve it to you on an artisanal-looking wooden board, with French Fries in one of those fancy metal baskets, and a wet wipe as well as a napkin! We would soon discover why...

Behold – Modest Burger:

McDonald's Create Your Taste Shanghai

Note his near perfect symmetry, the care which has gone into the thoughtful placement of tortilla chips, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and sauce. He looks – dare we say it – like the McDonald's hamburger does on the menu. 

McDonald's Create Your Taste Burger Shanghai

His cost? A not-so-modest RMB85 His taste? Sublime. 

After some wait, and a McDonald's employee coming over to confirm that our order was correct, Braggadocious Burger made his entrance.

McDonald's Create Your Taste Burger Shanghai

A valiant effort on behalf of the McDonalds Create Your Taste burger constructions, but they were clearly battling against gravity trying to make all those ingredients fit into a sandwich that could reasonably fit inside a human mouth. 

Furthermore, his cost came in at a gargantuan RMB150. Although, considering he contains at least three days worth of calories, perhaps this could be construed as good value. 

McDonald's Create Your Taste Burger Shanghai

As you can doubtlessly imagine, eating Braggadocious Burger proved as challenging as it was perversely gratifying. While his cheese-bound patties tasted undeniably great, we ran into problems with the top layer of hot and spicy sauce-soaked lettuce. 

Said spicy sauce packs considerable punch, and was exceedingly painful as it brushed by our eyes and nose. 

So, is the Create Your Taste experience superior to a regular old burger off the menu? Yes, but provided you're willing to pay a few kuai more. 

For a McDonald's burger, many people won't, but considering that burger constructors seem to put that much more effort into making the custom burgers look like they're supposed to, Create Your Taste offers a better overall experience. The most basic Create Your Taste burger is a reasonable RMB42.

Braggadocious Burger proved far more than we could handle, but for the record, the maximum cost that Create Your Taste burgers can accrue is a whopping RMB500 and looks like this:

McDonald's Create Your Taste Burger Shanghai

You're definitely going to need more than one Tempo, lady.

// Find the Create Your Taste machines at McDonald's People's Square: 525 Xizang Zhong Lu, by Fengyang Lu 西藏中路525号近凤阳路. Nearest metro: People's Square, 5 mins. 

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