I could have called this article: Circle K vs 7-Eleven: Which take-away food will not make you sick?

At the bottom of my residence, I have a Circle K on my left, and a 7-Eleven on my right. Both about 100 meters away from each other and they didn't exist just 1 year ago. As they are open 24/7 and serve some take-away food, it can be quite convenient for everyone from the busy executive to the reveling expat. For that reason I decided to make a food trial to compare which one you should prefer for take-away food.

The first item I tried was their Spaghetti Bolognese.
Eating the Spaghettti Bolognese of Circle K (21,500rp) is probably the closest you'll ever come from eating actual plastic. The sauce was ok, even though it is hard to see any meat from the Bolognese (at most you'll notice some bakso crumbs). The ingredients mention "daging" on the box, which means "Meat". We don't know if it is beef (as it should in a Bolognaise sauce) or chicken or pork or most likely something else that must not be very expensive to produce (and may live in a  sewer). The spaghetti in itself had no taste and they had a very strange, chewy texture.
Spaghetti Bolognese from Circle K
The Spaghettti Bolognaise of 7/11 (19,500rp) are actually fresh and they must be eaten within a few days. They do not mention any ingredients though which I always find a bit scary. It didn't taste like homemade pasta of course, but it was very decent and eatable. Even better, I didn't feel sick after eating it.
Spaghetti Bolognese from 7/11
The second item I ate was one of their Sandwiches:
I took the Tuna Spread Egg Sandwich from Seven Eleven (18,000rp). The bread looks like it is whole meat, I wouldn't know for sure as there is nothing on the label. It is not bad: The vegetables feel fresh and it is not too heavy on the sauce. There was just a one of the ingredients which had a strange taste, as if it had already expired. Overall, not too bad and it seemed healthy.
Tuna Spread Egg Sandwich from 7 11
I compared it with the Beef Salad Sandwich from Circle K (9,500rp). This sandwich was a total disaster. It doesn't look nice, it is just two poor pieces of bread with a brown paste in the middle. The bread and the filling had no taste, except for onions. It may have had some irritating chemicals inside as my mouth was feeling itchy afterwards.
Beef Salad Sandwich from Circle K

The third item was their Hot Dog:
The Hot Dog from 7-Eleven had a disgusting appearance as you can see on the picture. It looks like the last thing someone would ever want to put in their mouth. I overcame my fears though and after I added a lot of ketchup, I had a big bite. The Hot Dog has a sort of plastic shell, but once you reach the inside, the taste is not too bad. The bread as well is decent. Overall, the whole thing almost tasted like a normal Hot Dog.

At first glance, the Hot Dog from Circle K (17,500rp) seemed like a superior product. It has a nice round sausage and the bun is well-shaped. However, there is no taste, or at least not the taste of a hot dog.They added some mustard that looks just as if a dog had peed on the bun.
Beef Hot Dog from Circle K

The last item on trial was the Beef Lasagna:
In 7/11, the Beef Lasagna (16,000rp) comes in small portion and the presentation is relatively good. It has very little pasta, tomato and beef, but way too much cheese and fat. The first bite feels ok, but then it starts to feel quite heavy.
Beef Lasagna from 7-Eleven
In Circle K, the Beef Lasagna, comes in a very large portion. It is not really following the recipe for lasagna. It rather looks like Bolognese Sauce topped up with cheese. The taste is very boring, the same as eating tomato sauce out of a can.
Beef Lasagna from Circle K
Final result: 
My general opinion is that those convenience stores are not selling proper, edible food. It is in your own interest to avoid them.

If I had to choose a lesser evil, I would go for 7-Eleven as they have more choice and their products are in general more fresh (though slightly more expensive). It is not good enough to repace a normal meal or food taken on the street I think. Circle K is a big NO for me, I will never buy any take away food from them again.
I felt unwell after eating their food, especially the Beef Salad Sandwich: Mild migraine, discomfort in my mouth, stomach pain that required a trip to the bathroom.

Another thing that bothered me a lot is that there is no label indicating which ingredients were used to make these products. I am especially curious about the origin of the meat of the hot dogs and that of the bolognese/lasagna sauce.

5 comments to '' Circle K vs. 7/11: Which Take-Away Food Tastes Better? "

  1. Important topic, this. :p

    I prefer 7-11 because they have bananas. They have several foods that Circle K doesn't, such as chicken katsu. The hot dog pictured seems abnormal compared to what I usually see in 7-11.

  2. Alfamart (the recent trip to Bandung) was not bad... must try the Nasi Ayam Bakar... do the have Alfamart in Jakarta?

  3. circle k's has the best brownies tho

  4. Can I give a little shout out to Lawsons while we're on the subject? You're absolutely right to say most of the food from any of these places should barely be labled food, but the french fries in Lawsons will stand up against McD or BK any day of the week. Serius!

  5. "Can I give a little shout out to Lawsons while we're on the subject? You're absolutely right to say most of the food from any of these places should barely be labled food, but the french fries in Lawsons will stand up against McD or BK any day of the week. Serius!"