Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images to what you actually get served. Today: Hungry Jack's Tendercrisp Crispy Cheese burger.
Hungry Jack's is a big believer in the concept of "creative homage" - which is a polite way of saying it shamelessly steals from the competition.
First there was the Angus range, which were clearly "inspired" by an identical concept from McDonald's. Then came Grill Masters which shares the same premium styling as Macca's Create Your Taste burgers. Now, a few months after KFC launched the Zinger Mozzarella, Saucy Jack has come up with an identikit approximation of its own.
Going by the rather clunky moniker of 'Tendercrisp Crispy Cheese', it comprises a mozzarella cheese patty, Tendercrisp chicken, a slice of tomato, tangy tomato sauce, mayonnaise and lettuce. It's essentially a regular Tendercrisp burger with a cheese patty thrown in. There's also a Whopper Crispy Cheese option that substitutes the chicken patty for beef.
Curiously, the bacon found on KFC's Zinger Mozzarella burger has been omitted from this version, despite being present in the normal Tendercrisp burger. Perhaps this was Hungry Jack's attempt to provide a point of differentiation from its competitor. (Personally, we wish they'd gone all in with their rip-off and gave us some tasty pork.)
A Tendercrisp Crispy Cheese will set you back $7.95 at most Hungry Jack's outlets, while a regular meal (with chips and drink) goes for around $12. The standalone burger packs in 3350Kj of energy, 31.5g of protein, 46.8g of fat, 63g of carbs, 7.2g of sugars and 1860mg of sodium. This is slightly naughtier than the similar KFC's Zinger Mozzarella burger which contained 3053 kilojoules.
Without further ado, let's see how the real burger compares to its marketing likeness. (The burger on the left was purchased from an outlet in Penrith NSW, while the burger on the right is from the official Facebook advert.)
Yeah, nah. Our burger is looking a lot drier - and barer - than the advertised image. There was noticeably less toppings on the real version (although at least the lettuce wasn't strewn all over the place like usual.) On the plus side, the thickness of the chicken and cheese patties are pretty faithful and share the same golden hue as the advert. All in all, this isn't the best burger we've seen but it's not the worst either.
Now, onto the all-important taste test. To be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed with this burger. Despite the promise of being "crispy outside and oozy on the inside", the mozzarella patty added little additional texture to the burger.
The stringy, gooey cheese that will surely feature in the advert just isn't there. Meanwhile, the Tendercrisp patty isn't a patch on a Zinger fillet - it's nowhere near as plump or juicy. It filled a hole just fine, but I probably wouldn't order it again.