Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Reggae Reggae Box Meal Review

So the time comes once again for a new TLO (time-limited offer) at KFC. If you've been following us here at KFB recently you'll know that the TLOs have been on a steady downward spiral ever since the incredible peak that was the Hot Rods Box Meal, primarily due to a lack of innovation. Could Levi Roots' famous musical sauce turn things around? Could this be the shot in the thigh that the Colonel has been looking for of late? Or will this be yet another disappointment? Read on to find out.

The prospect of a new TLO is always an exciting one (if tinged with a little trepidation these days) and the Reggae Reggae Box Meal was no different. A Caribbean-influenced addition to the menu surely couldn't go far wrong. After all, jerk chicken is a famous national dish of Jamaica, the home of Mr Roots and almost always delicious. With this in mind, we ordered at Marble Arch: KFC UK's flagship branch.

The first shock was the price: KFC has recently taken to automatically upgrading all meals in their largest central London branches to 'large' sizes (something this blogger complained directly to HQ about) meaning the meal cost a whopping £5.69. Naturally, we felt the need to Tower Up which adding a shocking 50p extra.

The meal arrived:

Reggae Reggae burger, fries, drink, side, mini breast fillet and a dipping sauce (which was totally absent). Sadly it seems the branch had run out of the special TLO boxes which dampened the spirits somewhat.

Let's cut straight to the chase: this is a fillet tower burger with Reggae Reggae sauce instead of ketchup. Nothing else is different. No special ingredients, no additional marinades, no Jamaican inspired bun. Nothing. Our hopes were immediately dashed: once again the Colonel has seen fit to simply take an existing product, make a tiny variation and sell it as something new and exciting. Still, we cracked on with the eating.

The accompaniments to the burger were all of high quality. Crunchy, hot fries, 3 step gravy and a succulent (if unusually small) mini fillet. No complaints here. 

The main event

A Fillet Tower is a consistently delicious burger (though obviously no Zinger Tower). The real question here is around the sauce and the first issue was that it wasn't spread equally around the bun, meaning the last few bites contained none of that Jamaican flavour. When we did taste it though, we liked what we were experiencing: zingy, tangy, fruity and spicy all combine in the mouth to provide a flavour never before known at KFC. And despite the fact that the mayo was still included in the burger, it all worked together very well. We just wish there was more of it or that the chicken had been marinaded in a jerk seasoning to add that special extra punch.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: the Colonel needs to bring something new to the table. Simply adding a new sauce to an existing product is just not good enough. What's happened to the creative geniuses that suggested the Hot Rods or Wrapstars of this world? The most innovation we get today is the Supercharger: a new type of roll containing two mini fillets and a sauce recycled from a special edition Zinger Tower from many moons ago. The depressing thing is, having visited KFC's HQ in the UK and toured the test kitchen, we know that they're experimenting with some products that are seriously pushing the boundaries (one of which didn't even contain chicken!). It's just a real shame that they don't have the guts to bring them to market.

Taste: 6.5/10
Value: 5/10
Innovation: 2/10