It was a typical work day at Stealth Optional. Members of our team were making small talk in the work chat when my news editor decided to ask me something odd: “Nico, is it true that there’s McDonald’s Spaghetti in the Philippines?”
“Yes, McDo Spaghetti has been around for decades in the Philippines,” I responded. Apparently, this was something of a culture shock to my team as most countries don’t have spaghetti in their McDonald’s.
They then asked me if the spaghetti was good and that’s when I realized that I hadn’t ordered this in a long time. My mind figured that it was just pretty basic as far as kiddie spaghetti in the Philippines goes but I couldn’t give a definitive answer since I hadn't eaten it in years.
Soon after, it was decided that I would order McDonald’s Spaghetti and review it for Stealth Optional. Honestly, it was hard for me to say no, as it allowed me to eat one of my childhood favorites after years of not trying it. “Favorites” might be a strong word, admittedly, as I always felt it was on the weaker end of kiddy spaghetti in Philippine fast food restaurants.
Now, for those who aren’t familiar with Philippine culture, kiddie spaghetti has been a favorite in the country for decades. Made with banana ketchup, hotdogs, cheese, and bits of beef, the sweet spaghetti is a favorite for both kids and kids at heart in this country. To this day, it’s still a meal parents make for their kids and the recipe can be easily purchased in packets.
In fact, kiddie spaghetti proved to be so popular that even international restaurant branches would serve them. Obviously, I’m talking about the McDonald’s (often shortened to McDo over here) version of Philippine kiddie spaghetti, but the signature dish is also available in fast food chains like Burger King, KFC, Popeye’s.
As I mentioned earlier, I always felt that McDo kiddie spaghetti was fine but far from the best these fast food restaurants had to order. From memory, it lacked the sweetness this spaghetti is known for. Competitors like Jollibee offered a far sweeter spaghetti that also seems to double down on the cheese.
However, I did base all of that from memory. As I mentioned earlier, it had been years since I actually ate McDo kiddie spaghetti. Whenever I order from the popular fast food establishment, it’s usually a double cheeseburger with no pickles or onions. Their french fries are pretty good too, as they add the perfect amount of salt that tastes right.
Deciding to partake in this quest for the website, I let my girlfriend know that we would be having McDo spaghetti for lunch on the weekend. This came as something of a surprise to her as she reiterated my previous thoughts, claiming that the McDo version was kind of mid when compared to other establishments.
Still, I was determined to give this fan-favorite recipe another chance. After all, if the flavor wasn’t good, it wouldn’t still be available in McDonald’s chains for all these decades. The pasta has to be good, right?
Things didn’t start out too well, admittedly. We decided to order the McDo spaghetti platter to share between the two of us but they were out of platter bowls. Instead, they divided it into four regular spaghetti plates, which is fine since we got a big table and there weren’t a lot of people at the time.
Next up, there was no ice for the Coca-Cola. Although it was pretty annoying, we understood as it’s summer here in the Philippines and ice melts pretty quickly as a result. Thankfully, we were assured that the sodas would be cold and they were proven correct, so bravo to the staff.
It was then time for the moment of truth: is the McDonald’s kiddie spaghetti mid? Or is it so good that our clothes would explode like in Food Wars? (That’s an anime reference.) There was only one way to decide.
After two plates of spaghetti, a double cheeseburger, some large fries, and a BTS BT21 toy for my girlfriend (she got Chimmy), I can conclude that the McDonald’s spaghetti is better than I remember. Still pretty weak in the chain of command when compared to the other spaghetti in this country but it was a nice surprise.
Taste-wise, it hit the spot really well. Maybe it’s because we did our mandatory weekend workout before eating at McDonald’s, but I enjoyed how it tasted, for the most part. The sauce was sweet enough, while the cheese and hotdogs fitting in just right.
My girlfriend also thought the spaghetti was fine, though she was less enthusiastic than me. While I thought the spaghetti was better than expected, her expectations were met and it was still just okay for her. She did get a cute BTS toy out of it though, so there weren’t any major complaints.
Like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t as sweet as other kiddie spaghettis but that sort of works in its favor now that I’m in my 30s and can’t have too much sweet stuff. The cheese was fine, the hotdogs were fine, the noodles were fine, this version of kiddie spaghetti from McDonald’s is totally fine.
In terms of presentation, the spaghetti didn’t look great but that’s par for the course when it comes to fast food. Upon first glance, the spaghetti looks rather small and unimpressive, which might throw off anyone looking to give this a shot. That being said, things get a lot better once you mix up the ingredients, so don’t lose faith just because it doesn’t “look” tasty.
Disappointing presentation aside, this was a decent little meal and I don’t regret having it. While it was a nice surprise after not having it for a few years, I’m not exactly yearning to eat more of the meal. I’m sure some Filipinos will say it’s their favorite version of kiddie spaghetti but I’ve had way better (from Jollibee).
Personally, if you haven’t had McDonald’s kiddie spaghetti yet, I recommend that you have it with something else. This pasta is better as a companion piece to your main meal, rather than being the main meal itself.
For your main meal, you can’t go wrong with the McDonald’s fried chicken. I’m not sure how it is in other countries but the skin is crunchy, the meat is juicy, and it goes great with gravy. The double cheeseburger is also a personal favorite of mine, as the cheese and beef complement each other really well.
So yeah, McDonald’s spaghetti is fine. I liked it enough but I thought to myself “What the hell am I going to write about? Will I have to look for a new job after this? God, I hope not. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is coming out soon.”
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