Sunday, 27 September 2015

KFC's of Europe - KFC Poland

My First KFC in Poland was pre KFB, back in 2005. I have dim but happy memories, and remember a fellow traveller remarking with a note of jealous wonder in her voice, after I consumed my burger with a certain veracity that she'd 'never seen anybody eat chicken like that'. Regardless of the intent I wore the comment as a badge of honour.

The branch itself is located near the Warsaw Central Sstation, and, unusually given the different parent companies shares premisis with a burger king, their kitchens merely seperated by a glass panel and the restaurant seating available to patrons of either brand.

Due to some unfortunate timing, we were forced to have KFC for breakfast and I was very happy to see the branch open and serving a full menu at 09:30am.

The menu had a lot of traditional favouries, Wraps, Boxmasters, Zingers and towers as well as a couple of innovative chinese inspired menu items not too disimmilar from our own current UK Time Limited offer (TLO) ricebox.
Due to hangover and a desire to get the measure of the branch in terms of the quality of their bread and butter items I opted for something a little more familiar, taking a fairly standard wrap whilst my travelling companion sampled the Boxmaster (here called the Mega Pocket). Both were made using good quality ingredients throughout:

I have to say that the qualty of the branch was all to a high standard, as was the food and weighing in at around 16 Zlotych for a standard meal this came in at around half the price of it's UK counterpart for comprable quality.

Not content with scoring highly on all of the above and great early opening to boot, the Polish KFC had one more excellent boast - Beer as a drink option. I see a bright future for KFC in Poland

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

KFC Ricebox Review

Here at KFB we've been critical in the past of KFC's failure to genuinely innovate. For a long while it seemed that each new Time Limited Offer (TLO) was essentially a chicken burger with a different sauce.

However when they go ahead and innovate and introduced last period's Burrito we stayed silent, but to try and correct that course I present a review of their latest TLO - The Ricebox:

Promising Steamed Tex Mex rice, Bean Salsa, Fresh Lettuce and Zinger chicken, this represents a real departure from the norm where KFC have consistently opted for a bread based carbohydrate component. Although the recent Burrito contains rice, that meal also came with Fries and I wondered upon seeing the first street ads for this whether the tradition meal format would survive.

It hasn't, for £4.99 you get a Ricebox (O.R. or Zinger) and a drink. An optional regular side is priced with a 50% discount at 50p.

I tried this at one of my favoure branches, Goldenhill in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent during the evening rush at about 18:15. Service wasn't too quick and my server apologised upon handing me my bag. Whether as a concilliatory gesture for the perceived delay or poor training I shall never know but I opened my nicely weighty bag to see a portion of fries sat atop my ricebox.

First look:
The plain brown minimalistic packaging gave it quite a refined look that didn't scream 'fast food'.

Disappointingly the cellophane window designed I'm sure to tantilise the expectant diner with a first glimpse of the feast that awaits them was smeared with an unidentified sauce (believed to be ranch) rather ruining the experience, but offset by the knowledge that my box was full to bursting.

Having finlly figured out how to open the box I was greeted with:

a mess!

My bag hadn't contained the sturdy looking wooden fork displayed on the marketing images so I opted for a company plastic spork which barely survived its travails.

The salad I expected to be cold as well as the salsa, the Chicken I expected to be hot, the rice I didn't and still don't know. It was either cold to start with and had picked up a bit of heat from the Chicken breast or had been served only lukewarm.

However I dived in, and overall enjoyed a pleasent experience. The salad and bean salsa (primarily kidney beans) provided a range of flavours and textures that kept the whole thing fresh and it was moist throughout. There was no surfeit of rice but neiher was it a stingy portion.

Overall this would make a great lunch, perhaps not big enough for my evening meal but a great addition to the current fast food ensemble which stands out as a unique offering amongs the big 3.

I felt the price point was a little high and breaks with the traditional 3 item meal. (perhaps the addition of a small dessert would make £5 seem a good deal). Another minor gripe was the cutting of the chicken which had not gone clean through and was quite difficult to manage with only aforementioned spork.

Whilst not to my personal taste this is a good crack of the whip which  deservs a 7.5 out of 10