We tried McDonald's new vegan McPlant burger and this is what we thought
It's been a long time coming but vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians can now enjoy McDonald's first plant-based burger, with the McPlant launched in restaurants this week.
There are 250 restaurants serving the burger, which was trialled in 10 Coventry locations last month. It is set to roll out nationwide in 2022.
We got our hands on the new plant-based patty - buying two large meals, costing £5.19 per meal and waiting just five minutes from placing our order.
To make it fair, we opted for two vegetarian and two meat eaters to give the burger a try - and share their verdict.
Here's what our team of made of the McPlant:
Kaia Nicholl (vegetarian)
A far cry from the underwhelming and unappetising Vegetable Deluxe, the only vegetarian-friendly option available at McDonald's until now, the new McPlant is the meat substitute we’ve all been waiting for that looks and tastes just like a Big Mac.
The burger itself, created in collaboration with plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, has a flavour reminiscent of its meaty counterpart and, for the first time ever in my experience, the vegan cheese actually tasted like the real deal.
Presentation-wise the burger didn't disappoint, with plenty of onions, lettuce and gherkins helping to disguise the fact that there is nothing remotely meaty about the classically meaty dish.
Served inside a soft sesame bun and with generous helpings of mustard, ketchup and a delicious vegan burger sauce that rivals the classic Big Mac, this substitute is definitely a win, and one of the best fast-food options for vegetarians I have come across.
Overall rating - 4.5/5
Ben Robinson (meat eater)
As a meat eater, I feel like I should do my bit to eat less meat.
I try, and often fail, but there was something about this burger that I enjoyed. It was not as substantial or solid as a burger - it was quite mushy - but the defined flavours worked together in unison to create an enjoyable meal.
It wouldn’t be my first choice, but for vegans and vegetarians alike, the option of having a suitable alternative must be a delight.
For fast food, it was a good lunchtime meal.
Overall rating - 4/5
Rebekah Chilvers (vegetarian)
The very second I took a bite into the McPlant burger, I knew the many years of waiting for McDonald's to bring out a decent meat-free burger had been just about worth it.
I used to love McDonald's... that was until I became vegetarian, at which point I avoided it and its dry, dull vegetable burger at all costs (apart from an occasional portion of chips or a McFlurry, I will admit), preferring KFC's vegan burger made with a Quorn fillet when choosing a fast food outlet and menu item.
But as of today things may have changed, all thanks to the delicious McPlant burger.
Having tasted Beyond Meat's patties before, I had an inkling of what to expect - a pretty decent beef burger alternative - but this has definitely got the Maccies treatment.
It's a slimmed down version, echoing the meat equivalents, but with plenty of flavour and accompanied by the traditional shredded lettuce, onions, gherkins, sauce, and one of the best vegan cheese slices I've ever tried. It was a far cry from the disappointments of years before.
The McPlant melts in the mouth and goes down more than a treat - I certainly won't have to avoid McDonald's any longer.
Overall rating - 4.5/5
Dan Barker (meat eater)
McDonald’s is the mega-corp you would have thought to have been at the front of the vegan trend. But, despite their big bucks market research department I have always got the sense they have fallen behind.
The McPlant is one of their answers to win back the vegan consumer, who, let's be honest, probably wouldn’t dream of stepping foot into McDonald’s anywhere.
The burger itself is just that, a burger. You don’t miss the meat from it, the curse which many vegetarian and vegan burgers suffer from, which is a big bonus for the McPlant.
The patty is maybe a bit too thin by a couple of millimetres, but I would challenge anybody to notice too much of a difference between the McPlant and its meat-based alternative.
Yes, if you ate a jar of the sauce you might notice it's a bit different and yes if you shovelled 20 of the patties in your mouth at once you’re definitely going to realise it’s not beef.
But you’re not doing that. And, as a burger, it's okay.
Yet that’s just it. Okay. Eating it I get the same sense of enjoyment as eating a Rustlers burger in a way you don’t with its iconic Big Mac.
There is just something about it that screams, maybe unfairly, microwave.
Despite my dive into the world of vegan burgers I’m not going to glue myself to roads anytime soon, but, if I am stuck at a service station on the A1, it might be something I’d consider for 10 seconds.
Then, I’d drive to the next service station and stop off at Burger King and get their excellent Vegan Whopper.
Overall rating - 3.5/5