McDonalds and Not Quite Nigella is not what you'll usually find in a sentence together. I admit that whilst I do like a cheeseburger every now and then (extra pickles please), I'm not what you would call a weekly addict. So when I was contacted to attend a Murder Mystery event at their Strand Arcade store I wasn't sure. Is McDonalds what my readers would like to read about? What intrigued me was the Murder Mystery evening. And if there's anything that is quintessentially me, it's a Murder Mystery night.
The setting-the Strand Arcade store converted into a library (note modern railing)
Some authentic touches
I was joined by Chocolatesuze and together we would be playing the part of the Mansion's "Wait Staff". At 6.10pm this Monday night, we're a little early when we drive past the Strand Arcade McDonalds and we see that it is indeed closed, with all of the lights out and a sign outside. After loitering around Haighs and window shopping at the Strand Arcade I meet Suze at 6.30pm and we walk to the front door where there's already a bit of a commotion.
The Hunchback Bellhop
This is due to the the costumed hunchback bellhop in character who is swaying and heavy breathing. Any reservations I had about the night are replaced by a tinge of excitement-you see I love costumes...
After checking in my jacket, I'm given my "assignment" and I take a good look around the restaurant. They've done a phenomenal job transforming it into "Arch Mansion" with a sit down dinner. There is a Library setting with a backdrop and some velvet lounges, chairs and a bookcase (faux). A mantlepiece (also faux but very realistic) sits to one side and there are cobwebs a plenty. Music is provided by a string quartet who are playing all of the haunted mansion tunes. All I can think about is how I want my next Hallowe'en party to be like this-well if only I had McDonald's budget of course ;)
Chicken mini snack wraps
We're introduced to Hercule Poirot who is conducting the Murder Mystery and the mystery is centered around "the missing Colonel" (joke intended) as this of course is the launch of the chicken burger. All of the characters are themed around McDonalds products e.g. Salado Tatsoi, Egbert, Ba-Con etc and whilst we're left to ponder the suspects, motives and methods, we're served the food which consists of the Mini snack wraps, 3 types of seared chicken burger (Classic, Deluxe and Bacon Deluxe) and 2 kinds of salads (Caesar and Classic Balsamic). And of course the chips which everyone loves.
Classic Chicken burger
Deluxe Chicken burger
Bacon deluxe burger
The chicken is tender - and from reading the Menu it's 100% deluxe chicken breast although it is round patty shaped (not quite sure how this is achieved) and out of the 3, I prefer the Deluxe. The "water split roll" is actually the split down the top of the bun where they use water instead of a slash with the knife whereas we thought it was some kind of fancy way of cutting the bun in half horizontally!
The salads are nice but I find the Caesar dressing a bit too tangy for me. I try and convince the lovely Amy from McDonalds to do a premium Wagyu burger based on Plan B's-at least the taste testing will be fun but we all realise that it won't fit into the McValue meal concept. But it could catch the foodies amongst us!
The fries-can never beat the fries here
Back to the other mystery at hand and the suspect and motive was the classic "jealous wife". I guessed that right although my method was wrong. We leave with a magnifying glass (in McDonalds yellow of course) and a Moleskine detective notebook. And of course a very full tummy.
McDonalds Strand Arcade
375-377 George Street Sydney 2000