James McGowan has visited McDonald’s restaurants in 53 countries and has written more than 340 reviews about the food he’s tried on each trip.
As we reported previously, he’s tried items like tuna pies in Thailand, “Sir Sombreros” — or fried cheese shaped like sombreros — in Serbia, chicken-sausage burgers in Malaysia, a crab-croquette burger in Okinawa, Japan, and sweet-potato fries in Singapore.
Of all the McDonald’s locations he’s tried, McGowan says Sri Lanka does it best.
McDonald’s in Sri Lanka has a tiny, but very interesting menu with just a couple sandwiches, McGowan told Business Insider.
He said his favourite item on the menu is the seeni sambol sandwich, which features a folded egg and melted cheese on a hamburger bun topped with seeni sambol — a relish made with spicy onion and cured tuna. It costs about $2.15.
Here’s the sandwich:
The first bite of the sandwich is spicy, McGowan writes in a review of the seeni sambol sandwich on his blog, McDonald’s Around the World..
“Immediately after the spice, you were hit with strong but very pleasant dried fish taste,” McGowan writes. “The seeni sambol burger was also heavy on the red onions, which are traditionally cooked in coconut oil with garlic, sugar and tamarind. The onions were fried just enough where they were still crunchy, but not raw. The sugar gave the sauce a required stickiness, but not enough to make it sweet at all.”
McGowan said he’s also a fan of McDonald’s Sri Lanka’s omelette burger, which features a vegetable-stuffed omelette inside a kids’ meal hamburger bun.
“Probably the best part about this burger in my opinion, was the complete lack of sauces,” McGowan writes. “The simple blend of raw vegetables and egg was probably one of the freshest items I’ve ever had from any McDonald’s, and it goes to show, that you don’t have to have 16 toppings for a burger to be great.”
McGowan has also tried a combo meal at the Sri Lanka location featuring a fish-and-rice dish with gravy and a veggie burger. He said the rice dish was delicious, but the veggie burger was bland.
McGowan said the customers in McDonald’s Sri Lanka appear to be mostly middle-to-upper-income families.
Here’s a look at the inside of the restaurant and its limited menu.
Here’s another view of the inside of the restaurant.