Cool shade, stunner: A Review of the BTS Meal

by Matthew Escosia
SEA Wave - McDonalds BTS Meal Review
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By: Patricia Yap


The much-awaited BTS and McDonald’s collaboration finally hit the Philippines, and just like their latest hit single “Butter”, the BTS Meal came and broke into our hearts like that (ooh). But was it worth the hype?

For those who don’t know it yet, the BTS Meal is a collaboration between the famous South Korean Kpop group and the fast food giant, McDonald’s. The meal includes 10 pcs. of Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, medium coke, and two very special sauces (Sweet Chili and Cajun), handpicked by the BTS members themselves.

So as an ARMY (a member of the BTS fandom), I had to get the BTS Meal. It would be an injustice if I didn’t! Read on to hear my thoughts on the meal!

SEA Wave - McDonalds BTS Meal Review

Image from McDonald’s

The Taste

To be honest, the BTS Meal is just like any other McDonald’s meal. The only difference was the sauces that it came with. Instead of pairing the nuggets with the usual BBQ dipping sauce, the BTS Meal is complemented by two spicy dipping sauces from McDonald’s South Korea.

The first one is the Sweet Chili. On the official McDonald’s website, it’s described as a “sweet and chili pepper heat with slight vinegar-y flavor”, and I for one can confirm that this description is spot-on. It has a very sharp and tangy taste with just the right hint of sweetness.

If I were to compare it to something local, it reminds me of the Jufran chili sauce that’s known here in the Philippines, but with a lot more kick that you feel at the back of your throat! Of course, you’ll have to try the sweet chili sauce yourself to know just what exactly the sauce brings to the table.

SEA Wave - McDonalds BTS Meal Review sauce

Image from McDonald’s

The other sauce is Cajun and I can definitely say that it was the star between the two! Safe to say that it’s my bias. The first bite of chicken nugget dipped in Cajun sauce made me want to go “smooth like butter”  because it was so creamy and rich.

According to the McDonald’s website again, the Cajun sauce is “a hot mustard flavor with sweet and slight sour taste, with a background of Cajun spices”. Ding ding ding! The description did not lie once again. It’s almost like a fancier tasting mustard with a very addicting taste!

Texture-wise, the sweet chili sauce was more water-y and thin while the Cajun sauce was a lot thicker. In terms of heat, the sweet chili was way spicier than the Cajun one, so don’t be misled by the fire graphic on the Cajun sauce’s packaging! If you’re in it for the heat, go for team Sweet Chili! But if you’re going for something mild, go for team Cajun.

That’s pretty much it in terms of taste. There really wasn’t anything new to the BTS Meal in terms of food items. Overall, the sauces were a 10 out of 10 for me. Especially since the boys of BTS picked them out themselves.

The packaging

SEA Wave - BTS McDonalds Meal Review

Image from McDonald’s

Of course, the BTS Meal wouldn’t be “the BTS Meal” if not for its packaging.

The BTS Meal is placed inside a McDonald’s brown paper bag. One side of the bag is designed with two iconic logos placed side-by-side: the McDonald’s Arch and the BTS Logo. Underneath these two logos, the packaging is printed with the words “THE BTS MEAL”. The other side is then covered and filled with both logos.

For the food packaging itself, the nuggets come in a special purple and white box and the drink is poured into a matching cup. Obviously all covered with BTS logos.

The overall packaging with its bright BTS purple complemented by McDonald’s signature yellow blended well together. For most ARMYs like myself, I admit that we cleaned up the packaging and kept it as memorabilia. Some fans even requested the McDonald’s crew and delivery riders to keep the meal separate from the packaging (at least the BTS paper bag only) to prevent it from being crumpled and wet with grease.

If you go online right now, you’ll see what fans have actually done to the packaging. There’s so many creative ways the BTS Meal was repurposed such as through earrings, phone cases, mini pouches, and so on, showcasing the creativity of devoted BTS fans around the world.

SEA Wave - McDonalds BTS Meal Review

BTS Meal Phone Case, Photo from Cutemich17

The verdict

Despite being a hardcore ARMY and a personal fan of the meal, I wouldn’t say that it’s “all that” and worth hyping over. The taste of the two sauces were a perfect 10 out of 10, but that’s also the drawback – the only things that were new or different were the two sauces. There could have been something entirely new added to the McDonald’s menu that represented BTS and the group’s South Korean culture and flavors better, but of course that’s just me.

As for the packaging, I don’t have any complaints because it was honestly very visually appealing. The colors matched really well and made McDonald’s look super fun!

On the other hand, I definitely wished there was an inclusion. Something like a “Happy Meal” of some sort with BTS merchandise. However, I know this would have made the meal pricier and not every fan could have afforded it if it were the case.

Overall, if you’re not an ARMY or a fan of BTS, I’d say that the meal is just like any other McDonald’s meal out there. You can get away with just buying regular McNuggets and be satisfied and full. But it’s worth trying the sauces at least once. It won’t hurt you and you might surprisingly like it.

However, for ARMYs like myself, the BTS Meal is definitely worth it and worth hyping over! We’re well aware that there’s nothing insanely special about the meal, but we bought it (and will probably continue to buy it) because of the sentimentality that we associate with the meal. Some of us even kept the packaging because it meant that much to us after all.

To sum it up: ARMYs, go and get it now! Non-fans, try it at least once if you’re curious!  Head on over to your nearest McDonald’s while the meal is still available, or order it via take-out or delivery.

Let us know what you think about the BTS Meal in the comments section below!

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