Not Spicy Enough. At All.

Back in the office, I unwrap the burger. I am sweaty and ready to devour four layers of assorted ground cow parts.

The patties are bent and drooping like Squidward’s nose. There’s a lily-white mystery sauce oozing out from the layer right below the top bun, and I can faintly make out the bits of green cucumber protruding from under the bent patties. It does not look particularly appetising.

Still, the first few bites are quite pleasant! There is only a faint taste of spicy chilli oil, and the lily-white mystery sauce along with the cucumber is refreshing. It isn’t particularly flavourful, but I am hungry as hell and have a job to do.

That all changes once I get closer to the centre of the burger. After the third bite, I run into the actual “mala” part of the mala burger—a thick layer of dry seasoning over every patty that is supposed to imitate the flavour of mala xiang guo.

Quite frankly, it fails to do so.

Not only is it strange ingesting mala in dry, powdery form, but the flavours are just wrong. The most egregious sin of the Mala Stacker is that the mala powder includes copious amounts of fairly large sugar crystals that I crunch under my teeth.

Even without typical mala oil, the burger leaks onto the floor and leaves the bottom bun soaked—which is poignantly flavourless. Maybe a truly flavourful mala oil is just hard to replicate and mass produce in the same way that powder is.

To Burger King’s credit, though, the mala powder does have a noticeable numbing effect, which I have found some mala hot pot stalls lack. However, the burger itself isn’t very spicy—something like a 微辣 (wei la) on the mala xiang guo spectrum.

As a 小辣 (xiao la) guy myself, I definitely don’t find the spiciness level sufficient. Sad!

All in all though, it is a sugary, strange textured, vaguely mala flavoured, stack of meat stuck between two soggy buns. That’s as best I can do to describe the experience of actually eating it. 3/10. Would not recommend.

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