Wednesday, 7 September 2011

KFC World Tour, Part 5: New Zealand

Arriving in New Zealand was like arriving back home. After the strange surroundings of China and Thailand (I didn't review KFC in Thailand as fellow blogger Albad has already done it) the green hills and moderate climate felt like a very welcome return to normality and I was hungry to start exploring...but also hungry, literally hungry, to find the nearest KFC and tuck into some delicious poultry.

After a few days of non-stop travel and activities I finally came across my first Kiwi KFC. The restaurant in question was a small branch next to a retail park in the town of Thames, at the south-western end of the Coromandel Peninsula, North Island. The restaurant exterior harked back to the old days, with retro graphics, that nostalgic colour scheme and even the bygone KFC-bucket-on-a-pole signage.

Inside, I headed straight for the counter, keen to survey the menu.

My attention was immediately captivated by the extensive menu featuring some very interesting products. Take, for example, a range of different Twisters (sweet chilli, pepper mayo, supercharged), "Quarter Pack" Original Recipe box meals (featuring bread roll, mash and gravy) and finally a superb range of burger box meals similar to those available in the UK. As if that wasn't enough, the Tower Burger menu featured 2 distinct variations: a BBQ Bacon Tower and Supercharged Tower (once featured as a TLO in the UK).

I opted for the Supercharged Tower Burger meal deal and ordered. Service was brisk and friendly, with my meal arriving in front of me before I even had time to fish enough dollars out of my pocket to pay. Interestingly, the chips arrived in their own container box, similar to Popcorn chicken in the UK. The box was stuffed to the brim with chips, some even forcing their way out of the lid. The quantity contained within didn't seem to be quite the same as what you would expect from a regular sized meal in the UK, but I admired the way in which the box provided protection from the elements and potential spills, whilst ensuring the chips stayed piping hot.

First bite, and the Supercharged Tower Burger was an instant win. The moist, plump chicken breast within immediately brought up memories of every delicious Fillet Tower Burger I've ever had, and it was apparent that the quality of chicken here in New Zealand was up to the same high standards as back home. The rest of the burger followed suit; crisp hash brown, tasty cheese and a spicy supercharged sauce. Admittedly, the size of the chicken breast was somewhat lacking (compared to UK standards) and the lettuce could have been a little fresher.

At the end of the day though, I just couldn't get over the delicious range of meals on offer in New Zealand. Everything from original recipe to box meals and burgers felt different, new and innovative. This may be standard fare over in NZ, but here's to hoping that some of these ideas and flavours make their way to Europe. During the rest of my tour of NZ, I tried one of the Quarter Pack meals and BBQ Bacon Tower, all with similar high quality results.

In the next part of my KFC World Tour, I stop off in Australia to compare how fried chicken down under compares to it's neighbouring New Zealand, and of course, here back home. Until then!

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