Saturday, 27 September 2014

KFB in Australia: Zinger Stacker review

Welcome, KFB readers, to the land down under. I've been sent on special assignment to the other side of the world so expect a special series of Aussie KFB posts coming your way. And be sure to check out our previous Australia write-up here.

Upon arrival in Melbourne I was excited to find not one but two special edition burgers on the menu. The intriguing sounding Kentucky Jack (complete with coleslaw and crispy fried onions) will be covered in a separate review but for today our focus is on the Zinger Stacker. Let's address the elephant in the room first: yes the Zinger Stacker features TWO Zinger fillets in one burger, bringing it up to Double Down levels of chicken provision. But unlike its well-known American cousin, this bad boy is sandwiched, quite literally, in a bun. Other ingredients include 2 slices of cheese, spicy salsa, lettuce and Supercharger sauce. I opted for the combo meal which set me back $10.95 (about £5.90 at current exchange rates)

As you can see in the above photo, construction was solid, with the white cheese binding the fillets to both each other and the bun. 

The first bite was a good one - this is a whole lot of chicken. Compared to the UK Zinger fillets though I couldn't help but find the chicken slightly lacking in flavour and kick. The Supercharger sauce is the same as has been found in the UK and is a kind of richer, tasty mayo. The lettuce was unremarkable. 

The spicy salsa, as seen in the above photo was less chunky than the UK equivalent and mustier in taste. It was also quite sweet but not in an unpleasant way. Sampled by itself it had a decent kick which was sadly lost in among the other ingredients.

Overall, and as we've frequently noted, this burger was missing something and that something was a hash brown. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I'd rather they swapped the additional fillet with a hash brown or in some kind of dream wonderland, added a hash brown to the two fillets on offer here. That variety in texture and flavour is very important. 

A quick word on the fries: it was as if I'd gone into some kind of time machine and emerged in the UK back in the depths of 2013, for the fries on offer in Australia are of the thicker and slightly floppier variety we were so accustomed to in the UK. They were hot, fresh and came in a strange carton rather than a paper packet but were nothing to get overly excited about. 

Taste: 6/10
Value: 7.5/10
Overall: 6.5/10

Thursday, 4 September 2014

KFC Japan reveals chicken themed keyboard, mouse and USB stick

According to a recent post by Kotaku, KFC Japan are giving away 3 incredible items to 3 extraordinarily lucky Twitter followers. First up is a chicken-based keyboard which we can't help but feel would make typing far more...delicious:

Then comes a surprisingly ergonomic looking mouse:

And finally a drum(USB)stick:

Here at KFC HQ we've been racking our brains to think what they might have in store next. If you're reading this guys, how about a range of hair gel in the gravy pots? We can only dream.

Monday, 1 September 2014

TLO Review - Pulled Chicken Ultimate Burger Meal - Hazel Grove branch

The most eagerly awaited KFB product of this decade has finally gone nationwide. KFB originally reported on the arrival of KFC Pulled Chicken some months ago when it was undergoing an 'Ops Shakedown' in Scotland. This is a trial period that irons out the kinks in the product and its preparation, service and presentation.

Although no members of KFB were able to sample it during this period we had some good feedback from blog posters and we've been eagerly awaiting it ever since.

KFB were even happier when KFC got in touch to offer some exclusive 'Chicken Cheques' so we could trial the new product.

Chicken Cheque in hand I sidled into the Hazel Grove branch on the first day of release for what was billed as the Ultimate Burger Meal:

For £5.39 you get the Ultimate Burger (Toasted Brioche Bun, Paprika 'Slaw, two Mini Fillets, Cheese, a portion of Barbecue Marinated Pulled Chicken and Lettuce, not just iceberg either - the good stuff ) a drink and fries.

Perhaps a tad expensive, but let's deconstruct this burger that has been built from the ground up:

The Brioche Bun is totally new and is not used in any other product; the glazed plain top is visually a little reminiscent of one of McDonalds buns but this had a subtle sweetness.

The Southern Style Paprika Slaw - Strangely 'slaw has never made an appearance on a burger before but instead of taking the easy route and opening tubs of the coleslaw used as a side, this is a new development. It's a colourful and crispy blend using red cabbage to liven up the visual appeal of the burger somewhat. The crisp veg is in a light subtle mayonnaise and although the Paprika doesn't really shine through this gives a nice texture, flavour, colour and moisture to the burger - a real linchpin around which the other ingredients hinge.

The Two Mini Fillets were coated in delicious Original Recipe and were hot, fresh and juicy.... need I say more.

The Cheese Slice was possibly the lost ingredient in this burger although it probably served a more structural purpose being employed in more of a binding role.

The Lettuce is not your common or garden type, there are some varieties in there which lend this burger a visual touch of class and provide a crisp topping.

The BBQ Pulled Chicken is an entirely new concept. The marketing blurb - To Get Something Special Takes Time - could be taken by the cynic as an allusion to the length of time it has taken to come up with a 'pulled' product which seem to have been ubiquitous elsewhere for the last 12 months. I would counter that although undoubtedly 'pulled' has perhaps been the preserve of the gastro movement, KFC have been the first of the 'big three' to bring this type of product to market, so it would seem that the marketing is in reference to the time that the chicken has spent marinating in what is a subtle BBQ sauce that allows a nice meaty flavour to shine through and maintains a nice moisture that doesn't cloy.

Put it all together and what have you got ...... The Ultimate Burger?

For those who've read carefully you'll have noticed that I've described a lot of the ingredients as 'subtle'. That was totally intentional, and as a result KFC have come up with a perfectly balanced burger. The moist Slaw and Pulled Chicken found top and bottom counter the ever so slight dryness of the Brioche Bun. The pleasantly salty Original Recipe Chicken at this burger's heart is counteracted by the sweetness of the BBQ marinade and the bun, whilst the slaw again comes into play with its opposite ingredient, the Lettuce, to provide a refreshing crispness.

Whilst I've been impressed with the long called for innovation, it seems that all effort was directed at putting this thing together, whilst the name was hastily pulled out of the bag at the last minute. Hard as I try, the 'Ultimate Burger' moniker conjures up images of a standard beef burger that's been pimped up to earn it's 'Ultimate' accolade.

Overall this seems to be a great addition to the range, which due to its ingredients will be good at even quiet periods of the day when you sometimes have chicken that's become a little dry, this on the other hand will always remain moist.

It's great to see KFC Coming up with new ingredients rather than re hashing old ones. I enjoyed this burger, and for the first time in a long time am going to award an 8 out of 10.