Speaking of a while, when was the last time you walked by your local McDonald’s branch? You probably haven’t in a while thanks to the existence of better, more refined alternatives, but if you did give in to nostalgia and go to get yourself your usual burger, you were probably just as puzzled by the ongoing (or completed) renovations and the terrible shortage of seating, as I was. However, loyalty to my beloved McSpicy kept me from abandoning my quest even in the state of bewilderment I was in. I waited for the place to clear before I went in, only to be surprised by a large neon sign in elegant font that read:
So where was I?
Right. The neon sign.
I walked past mentioned sign and looked to where the good old McDonalds billing counters usually were. They were still there, just considerably less crowded. The throng that once kept me from enjoying the basis of the term “fast food” now collected around these swanky new counters littered with expensive looking utensils and machinery, pristine glass cases showing off fancy confections backed by large boards describing the most tempting beverages.
After fulfilling my duties towards the good old burger,
I gave into temptation.
What was it like?
Ambience: I prefer the new cushioned seating to the old wood and metal chairs. The renovations for the transition from McDonalds to McCafe also brought with it a touch of colour and something else I can’t quite put a finger on. All in all, the place seems cooler, the people inside seem quieter and the place generally feels less rushed.
Food: Okay, so if you go to McCafe and expect to find a burger, be prepared for disappointment. McCafe serves a wide range of beverages ranging from hot espressos to multi flavored iced teas and a wider range of sweet stuff including chocolate/blueberry muffins, assorted pastries and cheesecake. I’m sure they all taste great. Among other things, I tried their peach iced tea (which *for once* actually tasted more like tea and less like artificial flavoring) and a chocolate chip muffin (large, dense, moist – Brilliant)
Service: When you walk up to a counter at McDonalds you’re usually greeted hurriedly by: “HellonamastewelcometoMcDonaldsWhatyouwant?” (all in one breath, pretty impressive huh?). The employees at the McCafe counter are relatively less rushed in every aspect. I was greeted with some polite small talk, several suggestions and finally a slow repetition of my order. Twice (probably making sure that I really was going to eat as much food as I’d ordered). :p
I only had to wait about 7 minutes for my order to materialize on ceramic plates with cutlery that wasn’t made of plastic. Charming isn’t it?
It was, but I have to admit that I miss the sound of unceremonious dumping of pre packaged food on a plastic tray. The familiarity is strangely comforting.
Budget: I think the people who created McCafe intended to provide the starbucks experience to the masses with lighter, thinner wallets. McCafe isn’t cheap though. You’d probably spend Rs250 on a drink and some dessert. While I find that a little unreasonable, many would disagree.
So, is it a date place? Definitely.
The perfect blend of familiarity, reasonable pricing, variety and quality, seasoned with hints of sophistication served with a side order of McDonald’s characteristic consistency.