If you are regularly active on social media, you would have come across news about people willing to queue for hours no matter rain or shine. All for the sake of getting their hands on trying Taco Bell‘s Mexican-inspired food for the first time in Cyberjaya. And… I went and did that too.
Brief History Of Taco Bell
So, before we get to the Taco Bell Cyberjaya part, what’s the big fuss about this place anyway? I remember the first time I heard about the name after I watched “Demolition Man” back in 1993. The one that starred Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and pre-“Speed” fame Sandra Bullock.
Originated from the US — Downey, California, to be exact, Taco Bell has already been around since 1962. Named after its founder, Glen Bell, he first got the idea of opening up his own taco place back in the early ’50s after he frequently dined at a Mexican restaurant called Mitla Cafe, which was famous for its hard-shelled tacos. After learning from the owners how the tacos were made, he finally opened a stand called Taco-Tia. It would take him several years before he decided to turn his business into a franchise. And from there, Bell opened his first Taco Bell in Downey, California in 1962.
Taco Bell Made Its Debut In Malaysia
According to Statista, Taco Bell has a whopping 7,427 restaurants in various countries worldwide in 2020. It sure took Malaysia long enough to finally open its first Taco Bell outlet in Cyberjaya. Debuting on April 2, 2021, and located at Persiaran APAC on Cottage Walk, the first week of Taco Bell’s opening was met with overwhelming response. From day one itself, people showed up in droves and even braved the scorching hot sun to endure a long queue. Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise since (most) Malaysians generally love to try new things, especially if they are buzz-worthy. Or for the sake of bragging rights and of course, for Instagram purposes. And yes, even in times like these during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Personal Experience On Visiting Taco Bell For The First Time
Knowing that heading to Taco Bell Cyberjaya during the first week of its opening wouldn’t be a good idea, I decided to try my luck on the second week (Saturday, April 10) instead. Actually, it was more of a spontaneous trip to Cyberjaya at the time. Coming from the PJ area after visiting a mall, the journey to Cyberjaya was admittedly far. It took me around 45 minutes and by the time I reached Cottage Walk, it was about 4:40 pm.
Even with the sunny weather, the queue was long. Standing under the hot sun was no joke but at least the good thing is that those who queued for Taco Bell were given an umbrella and a bottle of mineral water. For the latter, you can simply grab it from the bucket. But of course, you can’t take the umbrella home since you have to return it later.
I liked that the queue was well-organised, where dine-in and takeaway patrons’ queues were. Taco Bell even hired an event management company (DCS Entertainment) to facilitate the queuing system, ensuring everyone followed the SOPs, namely practising safe physical distancing.
Back to the queue, I constantly checked my phone for how long I have to wait to get into Taco Bell. Well, it took me a little over an hour. It was much more tolerable than the last time I endured a long, yet poor queuing system (3 hours!) for then-trendy burger bakar (grilled burger) in Wangsa Maju a few years ago.
Upon entering the premises, each patron will be given a large purple pass. Besides, they only allow 50 guests at a time, which also explains the long queue in the first place. Approaching the counter where I was greeted with a smile by the server, I realised the menu was limited with 6 main items (see the menu below).
I ended up ordering their signature Taco Supreme, which comes in 2 soft tortilla or crunchy tacos. I opted for a mix of both and upgraded the order to a combo meal. The soft drink was thankfully refillable, with the exception of ice lemon tea. To minimise the crowd queuing near the counter, each patron will be given a buzzer to take their order later. I didn’t have to wait long for the order.
Honest Review About Their Tacos
So, the moment of truth has arrived after all the buzz and whatnot. I tried both versions of tacos and I personally preferred the soft tortilla one over the crunchy type. The latter didn’t seem to complement well with the grilled chicken and other ingredients like diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese and fresh lettuce.
The soft one, which has ground chicken (minced chicken) in it, was decent but hardly the mindblowing kind if you know what I mean. For their sides, the Mexican fries were passable but the nachos were so-so to munch them on their own. Maybe their Loaded Nachos would taste better (I originally wanted to order it but wasn’t up to it at the time).
At the end of the day, don’t expect Taco Bell to taste like some kind of gourmet Mexican food. They remain a fast-food variety as they originally intended to be. Would I queue up again for their food? Personally, I rather wait for their second outlet to be opened in Tropicana Gardens Mall in PJ. As mentioned earlier, it was a long journey travelling to Cyberjaya.