I've been having McDonald's every week for as long as I can remember.
I'm not sure how this tradition started exactly, but if I wrack my brain, I can vaguely remember having a meal at the fast food chain with my parents before heading for my weekly evening art lessons for as long as I was in primary school.
And yes, I was one of those kids who celebrated their birthdays at McDonald's.
I recall it being held at the Ginza Plaza outlet (which is now known as West Coast Plaza), and being thrilled that the momentous occasion of having survived another revolution around the sun would be held at one of my favourite places to eat.
I stuffed my face full of fries and Coke and cheeseburgers and nibbled on the white fondant-slathered birthday cake (the one with a picture of Ronald McDonald on top, you know), which I didn't end up liking that much because it was cloyingly sweet.
Since then, my love for McDonald's hasn't diminished. Instead, the fast food has grown to become a constant in my life.
Weekly Double Cheeseburger
Here's a tidbit about myself which has baffled most everyone I've told: I have a quota of one McDonald's meal a week. No more, no less.
This meal, more often than not, is a Double Cheeseburger meal with fries and Coke, upsized if I'm feeling more peckish than normal.
Hear me out.
The sweet spot I've discovered allows me to enjoy each meal to the fullest. Having more than one meal a week feels too unhealthy, and despite how much of a fan I am, I concede that too much grease and cholesterol intake won't bode well for the human body.
But going without it for more than a week? I get withdrawal in the form of intense cravings.
You might think me mad for getting cravings for the Double Cheeseburger, of all the burgers that McDonald's has to offer, but I truly believe no other can hold a candle to it.
Filet-O-Fish? Nah, I'm more of a beef person. But I find the Quarter Pounder much too dry, and unfortunately, I can't take spicy food so the McSpicy is out of the question.
The Original Angus Cheeseburger and Buttermilk Crispy Chicken burger are not too bad, but like a moth drawn to a flame, I find my fingers consistently gravitating to the small square with the image of a Double Cheeseburger on the self-order kiosk.
Recently, I went without my Double Cheeseburger meal for two weeks, and that first bite of the burger again was pure joy.
I can only describe the feeling as similar to that scene in Pixar's "Ratatouille", when Remy the rat takes a mouthful of both cheese and strawberry simultaneously, and as he closes his eyes in bliss, colours swirl and fireworks pop behind his eyelids.
That was what I felt. In my tastebuds and stomach perhaps.
It was almost visceral.
My main gripe with most other burgers is the dryness and crumbly texture of the beef. In contrast, the Double Cheeseburger, with its double patties and twin slices of cheese, is perfectly moist and flavourful.
Even if it isn't eaten immediately (because I have a habit of eating all my fries first before starting on the burger), the patties soak up the ketchup and the cheese becomes gloriously melted upon unwrapping the burger.
It's almost like unwrapping a gift, and I take special care not to tear the cheese off the burger during this process.
If you're still not convinced by my waxing lyrical about the Double Cheeseburger, here are some of my previous, totally not sponsored, proclamations of love for it on Telegram.
1.5x the goodness of a Double?
McDonald's has a pretty stellar track record of pushing out innovative new burgers pretty frequently, often to much fanfare from consumers.
To be honest, I've rarely tried the new burgers — why risk a potentially disappointing meal when the Double Cheeseburger ticks all the boxes for me?
The recent announcement of the limited edition Triple Cheeseburger however, was a game changer for me.
Here's how it went down in our team's group chat when the press release for it came in.
Clearly, my excitement was palpable.
At the nearest available opportunity, I headed to McDonald's to try the Triple Cheeseburger meal (upsized), which cost a pretty penny at S$9.60.
I had high hopes for this. The Double already tastes great, surely the Triple would taste 1.5 times better.
My only fear was that with the three patties and extra cheese, it might be slightly surfeiting.
Upon collection of my order, I have to admit that the Triple can almost be mistaken for the Double, if not for the text on the burger's wrapping.
They appear to be of similar size and thickness at first glance, which might make the Triple look slightly underwhelming.
Here's an unvarnished image of what the burger actually looks like unwrapped.
I didn't hesitate to dig in, and right off the bat, my tastebuds were engulfed in extra meaty goodness.
The extra patty immediately made the burger much heartier, and cheese lovers are sure to get a kick out of this.
Personally, I feel the Triple presents a more robust option than say, the Quarter Pounder, and the extra cheese and moist patties specific to this burger elevates it above other burgers.
I believe the Triple is a great intermediate between a Double and a Double Quarter Pounder.
Some might raise the question: Why not just buy a Double and a single Cheeseburger and combine the two to create your own Triple?
Well, that's not very cost-efficient as combining the two burgers a la carte would cost S$7.65, while a Triple costs S$6.80 ala carte, but if you wanted to, you definitely could.
Who knows, they might taste the same.
My thus-far-unwavering loyalty to the Double has certainly had its foundations shaken.
Call me a Triple Cheeseburger fan now.
For the limited amount of time that it is around, I will very likely order it again instead of the Double and probably rue the impending day it silently disappears from the menu.
When it does disappear though, I will of course, revert to my staple of the Double Cheeseburger.
But I'm sure once in a while, while I'm chomping my way through the Double, I'll think of what it could be and my mouth will feel inexplicably cavernous.
I'm sure the Triple will insidiously make its way into my dreams every now and then, so McDonald's PR, if you're reading this, perhaps consider making it a permanent menu item.
For me, from me, one of your biggest fans.
Top photo by Ashley Tan
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