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I tried McDonald's new $8 burger made from the world's finest beef

INSIDER logoINSIDER 5/14/2018 (Marina Nazario)

a sandwich sitting on top of a hot dog on a bun: McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 2 © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 2

  • I tried McDonald's new $8 Wagyu beef burger in Melbourne, Australia.
  • The chain is currently testing the burger out, and it's only available in Australia.
  • The burger is made from 100% Wagyu, a kind of gourmet beef that's supposed to taste extra tender, juicy, and flavorful.
  • I was disappointed by the burger. It tasted bland and overcooked, and it's not worth the price.

If you haven't heard the news, McDonald's recently began testing a limited-edition Wagyu beef burger in Australia. And no, it's not called the McWagyu. The hyped up burger was released on Wednesday, March 21, in 970 McDonald's Australia locations. So what makes it so special?

It's McDonald's first burger made from 100% Wagyu beef. Traditionally, Wagyu comes from a Japanese breed of cattle. As McDonald's aims to show the world that it sources from local suppliers, it uses Australian-bred Wagyu for this particular burger.

The Wagyu beef burger is one of McDonald's most expensive menu items worldwide. It comes out to a whopping $10.50 AUD ($8.10 USD). Typically, Wagyu is on the pricey side as it undergoes an intense marbling process, which makes the meat extra tender, juicy, and flavorful.

As a lover of all things fast food, I was curious about this new high-quality beef burger. So I marched over to my closest McDonald's in Melbourne, Australia, to try it for myself.

When I first saw the Wagyu burger box, I thought I was in for a real treat.

McDonald's Australia © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's Australia

I walked into the restaurant and considered ordering from the kiosks, but the perky Australian employee greeted me with an enthusiastic, "Hi, how ya going!," which made me excited to place my order with her. After picking my jaw off the ground thanks to the shockingly expensive price of the Wagyu beef burger, I grabbed my number and sat down at a table by the window. Most McDonald's locations in Australia do table service, which is always a nice bonus.

The burger was placed in front of me in a sleek black box with gold writing. It looked as if it held something super rare and extraordinary inside. I looked at it and thought to myself, "this is gonna be good."

McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 1 © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 1

But I'm also quick to judge.

I opened the box and my shoulders deflated. It looked like any other McDonald's burger.

The burger was overcooked, it lacked flavor, and it wasn't worth the high price tag.

Something I notice right off the bat is that it didn't smell like anything. To me, the sign of a good burger is that mouth-watering whiff of beef that you can smell a mile away. So that was one red flag.

I checked out the burger from all angles. It didn't look like anything out of the ordinary and I could hold it easily in one hand.

a hand holding a sandwich: McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia

The bun seemed similar to any other burger (although it's supposed to be a gourmet bun), and it came with a few squirts of secret sauce, lettuce, two tomatoes, two measly strips of bacon, one slice of unmelted cheddar cheese, and a few caramelized onions chucked in underneath the Wagyu beef patty.

I took a large bite out of the odorless burger and I was immediately unimpressed. I had high hopes for the 100% Wagyu beef to be something special, but it tasted bland and overcooked.

I really wanted to tell the difference in the beef and be able to justify me purchasing the more expensive burger from McDonald's, but I couldn't. It's simply an overpriced, dry burger whose toppings can't save it. I struggled to enjoy it.

McDonald's should stick to what they know — fast food.

a close up of a sandwich: McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 3 © Provided by Business Insider Inc McDonald's Wagyu Burger Australia 3

As Australia is a test hub for new McDonald's products (it's the pioneer behind McCafe, McAngus burger and the design your own burger concept), I think America can pass on the Wagyu beef burger. McDonald's serves much better menu items than this, and I would rather go to a pub and order a proper, tender and juicy Wagyu burger that justifies the price.

As disappointed as I am, I understand that the recipe is still undergoing testing and can use a few tweaks. If anything, I'd suggest not to keep the patties on the burner for so long. It's the least McDonald's can do when cooking something as high quality as Wagyu.

Related Gallery: 6 reasons why McDonald's in Australia is way better than McDonald's in the US



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