Wednesday, 29 April 2009

KFC Paninis: The Gourmet Lunch


Monday 27th April saw the launch of KFC's new time limited offer, (TLO) Paninis, strap line: The Gourmet Lunch.

It just so happened that this was the very day I'd planned a trip to KFC's Stourbridge branch and thought that whist there, I should quickly pop into the West Midlands Safari Park nearby. My friend will swear that infact the day was planned the opposite way round, which I let her keep thinking, we however all know different.

I had been promised by Jenelle Tilling, VP of marketing that this new TLO would appeal specifically to my penchant for spicy boneless chicken. She was not wrong. What she didn't know is that I have a particular fondness for chutney too, and here we have a product containing a Zinger Chicken Fillet & fire roasted spicy pepper chutney.

My Spicy Chicken Panini arrived promptly in an elegant brown and orange paper bag incorporating a cellophane viewing window through which you can whet your appetite whilst on the way to your table.

Having opted for the spicy version I found, ensconced within my panini roll, an entire Zinger Fillet cut length ways to expose the juicy Chicken within, and allowing me to see a rich seam of zing marbling the meat. This was topped with melted cheese and finished with a smothering of fire roasted spicy pepper chutney.

The Panini was long, hence the need to cut the chicken lengthways and so provided a sizable portion. The use of a new type of bread was an interesting change to the usual Sesame Kaiser bun. It was light but perhps a tad dry towards the edges where there was a low concentration of moist sauce and cheese. However a dunk in gravy (3 Step) soon solved that minor quibble.

There was a generous helping of both cheese and chutney and the spice of the chutney complemented the Zing superbly. Towards the centre the burger continued to improve. With this in mind I employed a dual end approach to the eating in order to finish on a high. The highlight was the final bite containing maximum concentrations of all ingredients.

Marketed as the "Gourmet Lunch" the Panini really does offer a chic(ken) element to KFC, encompassing style and sophistication, and the idea of a quick light lunch on the go. The use of high end ingredients such as fire roasted pepper chutney or a sunblushed tomato sauce also helps to reinforce this chic image.

If anything perhaps the Panini was a little long and could have been better prepared using 2 or 3 Mini Fillets to ensure a more even distribution of Chicken. It also lacked that familiar crunch of hash brown to which I am a slave. Finishing my meal with a bite of Zinger Tower it was only then that I felt I was home.

KFC Paninis 7/10

The Panini comes in two varieties, Spicy or Italian Chicken. Retailing at 3.49 each or4.49 for a meal, the Spicy Panini uses a Zinger fillet and the Italian an Original Recipe fillet.

The Panini is an LTO and will be available for roughly 6 weeks when we can expect its replacement, starting June the 8th.

Stourbridge KFC is a double decker branch with an upstairs seating area. It shares space in a building with a branch of Halfords and also the bathstore. It was a clean and modern branch with attentive staff and notably clean tables.

It also sits within the trial area for KFC chillers which I was thrilled to be able to try. I opted for the cookie crush which was enjoyable if not in need of a slight amount of extra creaminess.

Of course the usual test applied, as well as trying the new TLO a Zinger tower was also ordered and the Stourbridge branch I'm pleased to say passed with flying colours. This is a restaurant the town should and can be proud of.

Zinger Tower 8/10

1 comment:

paulbot said...

new panini, chiller, and ZT all in one sitting? surely the best meal ever!