Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Deluxe. (Plus: Taste Test!)
McDonald's Filet-O-Fish has essentially remained unchanged for half a century. While the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder have undergone myriad limited-edition reinventions, their fishy counterpart looks and tastes the same. (Lifehacker tip: if you're craving some 1980s nostalgia, just order one of these bad boys and it will take you back.)
Last week, the Golden Arches finally upgraded its seafood staple with the introduction of the Filet-O-Fish Deluxe. Now before you all get too excited, this isn't a premium fish species of anything: it's basically the same burger with tomato and lettuce added. Ho-hum.
The Filet-O-Fish Deluxe carries a price tag of $5.75; a markup of almost a dollar. We think this is more than a bit cheeky of McDonald's, considering you can add salad to any other burger free of charge. Indeed, canny customers should be able to snag this burger for $4.95 — simply order a Filet-O-Fish and request tomato and lettuce as extras.
A standalone Filet-O-Fish Deluxe contains 1300 kilojoules of energy which is roughly the same as the regular version. Adding a medium fries and Coke to your order will bring the total to 3450kJ.
To assess the accuracy of McDonald's advertising, we purchased a Filet-O-Fish Deluxe from the company's flagship Circular Quay store. We then compared it to the poster that greeted us in the shop. Here's how they look side-by-side:
This isn't the worst effort we've seen from McDonald's — the portion sizes are roughly the same, the tomato is similarly vibrant and all the ingredients are present and accounted for. On the downside, our bun looked pretty festy and the fish fillet lacks the smooth golden hue seen on the poster. As always, our lettuce was a bit rubbish, with the frilly gourmet stuff replaced with colourless iceberg. Tch.
When it comes to taste, we don't really rate the Filet-O-Fish Deluxe at all. There's a reason that sliced tomatoes and fish are rarely combined in dishes — the textures and flavours aren't the best match. If you're keen to add some fibre and protein to your greasy lunch, the Filet-O-Fish Deluxe might be worth a shot. Otherwise, reel in the original.
Truth rating: 7/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.