Friday, 29 November 2013

KFChristmas: the taste that unites

We know, we know, it's not even December yet. But we wanted to let you know about the new KFC Xmas ad - a beautiful, moving tribute to the love of chicken, put to music. Check it out for yourself below then head here to take part in a competition to be featured in the next TV ad during the X-Factor final (ok, so the last part doesn't sound so cool).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

KFC Russia

Question: When is a KFC not a KFC?

Answer: When it's in Russia and in a partnership with local restaurant chain called Rostik's, thereby relegating the famous acronym to the end of the name and usurping the Colonel with, of all things, a figurehead who is a Chicken.

With Russia being an alien market to US based Yum brands they entered into a partnership with Rostik's who were familiar with business practices and legal issues in Russia, allowing the chain to expand rapidly with a minimum of bureaucracy.

I am however glad to inform you, that this is mostly in the past and thankfully the colonel is back where he belongs ruling the roost so to speak. Having completed a friendly takeover  all of the 164 Rostik's - KFC are being re-branded as simply, KFC a process that was scheduled for completion mid 2012.

To find out how KFC is standing on it's own two legs and managing in Russia now it's put all of its eggs into one basket, KFB visited Moscow.

With Over 80 locations in the city, I had assumed it would be easy to spot a branch without research. It wasn't as easy as I had presumed, but we did eventually find one a stone's throw from the Kremlin and Red Square although buried in a subterranean shopping centre so not immediately apparent.

The unit itself was nothing to look at, being similar in every respect to many mall based branches found throughout the world. The menu too closely mirrored the fayre that can be found throughout Western Europe. However, where they have localized their product offering was the use of the Cyrillic alphabet on Menu's and packaging featuring Fillet Burgers, Twisters, Box Master's but sadly no 'Towers'.

Opting for a Box Master and something we'd not seen before, a 'Bigger' burger we tucked in:

 The Box Master is was a carbon copy of one you might have got elsewhere in Europe whilst the 'Bigger' burger conjured up images of the Big Daddy and was a as a result somewhat disappointing:

Fashioned with only 2 mini fillets, some cheese and a splodge of mayonnaise its only saving grace was its final ingredient, the liberal use of fresh cut tomato, yet even this couldn't save it from mediocrity.

Pricewise...... Whilst Moscow itself is not a cheap city, visitors from the UK and western Europe should notice the price of a meal to be £\€1 cheaper than back home and the quality good. a burger consists of good quality white meat and your meal can be enjoyed with a beer.

KFB enjoyed their trip to Russia, and although not blown away by what they found, this was a solid offering and with the food in Russia generally dismal... KFC here has a bright future.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Kentucky Fried Candles

Sometimes a product comes along that's just so ingenious, so fantastical and so downright obvious that you wonder how nobody has ever thought of it before. One such product arrived this week in the form of fried chicken scented candles. Made by a company called Kentucky for Kentucky, the candles promise to 'Let the fresh, fried sizzle of savory golden goodness drift into your hearts and homes with one of our most delectable creations to date.'

Made by a lady called Kathy Werking (presumably some kind of relative of the Colonel himself), we found the following explanation of the manufacturing process: 

"To make these candles, she fries chicken in all-natural soy wax and adds an infusion of family secrets"

Note of course that she uses family secrets rather than explicitly listing the presence of the fabled 11 secret herbs & spices. However if our theory about her being a relative to the Colonel is correct, she may well have access to the treasured information.

The candles cost $22 dollars and are available here. But hurry, they're only making 25 and obviously, we've already purchased 24. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

KFB Asian Odyssey Part 1: Japan

As you'll have realised from our previous coverage of Thailand,
America, China, New Zealand, Germany and a whole lot more, here at KFB we like
nothing better than to explore the offerings of different KFCs around
the world. With that in mind we set off on a 3 month tour of
Asia to report back on how the Colonel goes about his business on the
other side of the globe. First up: Japan.

Having eaten enough raw fish in Tokyo to bore even a penguin we were
almost at the end of our collective tether. And then a moment of
divine inspiration - what should whizz past us on the street but a KFC
delivery moped. Yes you read that right: delivery. There was only one
thing for it: time to order some take out. Unfortunately the fact that
we don't speak a word of Japanese made this slightly troubling and we
settled for finding the nearest outlet in the Ginza district.

Much like Thai KFCs, Sanders stands proudly outside most branches in
Japan. Rather than adopting the thai 'prayer' greeting though, here he
has his arms outstretched as if to say "Where in God's name am I?".

We walked into a very small branch and began to peruse the menu. Not
being able to read anything meant we ordered the burger that most
closely represented the Zinger Tower. First impression: small. Smaller
than a regular meal in the UK that's for sure. For only 500¥ (£3.40
ish) though we weren't about to complain.

As you may be able to tell from the above photo, the fries here are
very chunky. This is especially interesting given the rent decision in
the UK to thin out the fries to make them more McDonalds like. We're
glad to report however that they were hot, crunchy and delicious.

And so the main event: the mystery burger. Again smaller than a
typical UK Fillet Burger (a Japanese version of which did seem to be
on the menu), we were slightly alarmed at the orange glow of the
coating which didn't seem to be original recipe.

Here's what we think was inside: normal KFC cheese, mustard/wasabi
mayo, spicy salsa and raw onion slices. The latter in fact turned out
to be a real highlight, complimenting the moist chicken very well and
adding a new depth of flavour to the burger. Another new element was
the bun which looked and tasted like the 50/50 style white/wholemeal
bread you can buy back home. An excellent decision from the Colonel
here as full on wholemeal would undoubtedly have overpowered the
carefully balanced other flavours.

Overall we very much enjoyed our meal but would make one suggestion:
add a hash brown - always a winner.

Taste: 6.5
Value: 7
Overall: 7.5

Oh and one more thing: on the way out we noticed these bizarre
leaflets. If anyone can translate do let us know. We assume it's
perhaps a recipe you can make using the chicken from KFC - we
certainly didn't see anything like this on the menu.