Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Hungry Jack's TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon burger.
Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we've decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
For whatever reason, chicken burgers seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to Takeaway Truth. Whether it's McDonald's, Oporto's, Nando's or KFC, the results are invariably a colossal disappointment with an average 'Truth Rating' of just 5/10. (For an especially ghastly example, check out KFC's Parmy Stacker Burger which topped last year's readers' poll as the worst burger in Australia.)
Until now, we've yet to put a chicken burger from Hungry Jack's under the Takeaway Truth spotlight — possibly due to subconscious reluctance born out of fear.
When you consider how depressingly slipshod their beef burgers are, the odds definitely aren't in its favour.
But because we love you, we've decided to finally bite the bullet and test Hungry Jack's flagship chicken offering: the TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon burger. At least is sounds tasty.
Enthusiastically billed as an "unbeatable taste combination", the TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon burger comprises a battered chicken breast patty, a bacon rasher, two slices of cheese, hand-cut tomato, lettuce and mayo on a corn-dusted bun.
The TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon burger packs in 2386kJ of energy along with 30.6g of fat, 5.5g of sugar and 1373mg of sodium. This is slightly less indulgent than the other chicken burgers we've recently looked at: KFC's The Mighty Burger comes with 2989kJ of energy, 33.6g of fat and 2401mg of sodium, while McDonald's M Selections' Chicken Schnitzel & BBQ Roll boasts a whopping 3040 kilojoules. It would seem Hungry Jack's extra-fatty reputation isn't deserved; at least where chicken is concerned.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon Burger as it appears on Hungry Jack's website and in real life:
While we wouldn't go so far as to call the TenderCrisp Cheesy Bacon Burger impressive, it certainly looks a damn sight better than we were expecting. The bun and chicken are pretty bang-on both in terms of size and general appearance. For once, the bread is in proportion with the rest of the ingredients and looks nearly as appetising as in the advert: you can actually see the corn dusting, for example. Likewise, the chicken is equally plump and herb-speckled in both images. Bravo.
On the downside, the arrangement of ingredients is a little on the sloppy side; something that nearly every burger we've tested has suffered from. The marketing image also has significantly more lettuce. Worst of all, the cheese isn't sandwiching the chicken patty like in the poster — instead, they're both lumped together in a molten mess. Tch.
If a little bit of finesse had been applied during the building stage, this could have scored a lot higher. An above average effort.
Truth rating: 6/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.