Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Always keen to push back the frontiers, KFB has visited what could possibly be the most northerly group of KFCs in the world.........Iceland.

And the reason for our visit? Well, to celebrate the recent vanquishing and subsequent departure of arch enemy, rival chain and nemesis.......Mc Donalds, who last month closed their three Icelandic branches leaving them with no presence in the country whatsoever.

KFC however retains a strong position in the country and this reporter found 3 branches without even looking for them. The country boasts at least 4 more, not bad considering the entire population of Iceland is only 300,000. That's an incredible 1 KFC per 42,000 people compared to the UK ratio of 1/75,000.

Not only do they provide the population with delicious chicken they also add to the architectural grandeur and character of the country, with the most recently constructed Keflavik restaurant (shown below) gaining plaudits by featuring in British architecture magazine Archdaily (read the article here).

But what you really want to know, how was the food?

Firstly, the menu was huge, it was how I imagine the KFCs in heaven. A large board displayed all my favourites past and present as well as a few innovative products to boot, that I'd love to see in the UK. As well as the usual OR Chicken pieces, also on offer were Zinger Tower Burgers, Zinger Boxmasters, Twisters (including a zinger twister which I'd love to see in the UK) and a TLO of the Wrapstar and the innovative Meltz (small chicken pieces in a Mexican style sauce sandwiched between a folded wrap, incidentally this product was spotted doing the international rounds in Germany 04)

The below picture show the menu options in all their glory, and note the bottom right option to add any of the 4 sauces to be slathered across your chicken. The only thing feasibly missing was the Hot Rods.

Slightly overwhelmed at first by the huge choice on offer I opted for a Zinger tower (of Course) as well as taking a Zinger Boxmaster (I had loved its British incarnation as the Blazin' Boxmaster), some Meltz and a Wrapstar as well as fries and a pot of gravy. The order was promptly prepared and I took it to our spotless table (as were they all in the restaurant) complete with cruet set........very civilized, but sadly they wouldn't last a minute in England.

And so the feast began, or at least I attempted to begin it. However, when I tried to pick up my ZT box it felt as if my burger had been substituted with a lump of lead. I soon discovered that I was not the victim of some cruel prank but the recipient of the most massive and mighty ZT ever constructed, we weren't talking quarter pounders, we weren't talking half pounders we were talking very close to the 1lb mark(of which 85% was pure Chicken). If this wasn't GM Chicken (which would be no bad thing) then I'd love to know what they're feeding them over there. I have tried to capture its awesome size in pictures but I fear I may not have done it justice.

The Burger itself was well constructed with all the key ingredients in their proper proportions somehow though it just wasn't quite right. the ETC coating tasted odd and the Zing was not as strong as our homegrown stuff, Icelandic mayonnaise too differs taking on the guise of something more akin to sour cream which was actually a very refreshing ingredient as opposed to the sometimes cloying UK mayo. 10/10 for effort but really a 6/10 for taste.

The Zinger Boxmaster too suffered a similar fate, huge size just not enough zing, the Wrapstar however was a faithful representation of its British counterpart and the Meltz were tasty, moist and very reasonably priced at 899kr.

The gravy however was a let down being described as 'bad canteen gravy' and although sporting a rich brown colour it tasted like it had only been made using half a step. The chips too suffered in the same way as their British counterparts, being very satisfying fresh from the fryer before cooling rapidly to become insipid and unappetising.

Overall, the pros:

Breadth of menus
portion size

The Cons:

The gravy
the chips
the fact that it was just not quite right.

Result 7/10


paulbot said...

Great stuff, a very informative read! Would love to experience the Icelandic KFC. I like the retro style packagaing on the chips, and interesting to see they dont use the Kaiser bun, but a slightly more traditional burger bun - how did it fair?

Kirsty said...

That piece of chicken is obscene!

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