A letter to KFC …


Dear KFC Australia,

Hello there!

My 11-year-old son and I could before now hardly be described as fans of your, um, food – I mean, we find it difficult to picture what someone who  wants to win a year’s worth of KFC would actually look like.

But nor have we been antagonistic – ambivalent or apathetic would be closer to the mark.

Until now.

Now we detest your company and its greasy products.

You see, what we are fans of is sport – which is why we indulge in the affordable luxury of pay TV.

At this time of year, when there’s not much going on, we’re definitely up for watching a bit of T20 cricket, the domestic competition of which has provided us with much viewing pleasure in previous years.

This year, though, that enjoyment has been severely lessened by the rampant repetition of KFC adverts – on and on and on and on ….

Worse, this year they feature the Madden brothers, a couple of charmless US rock “stars” of a band so hot most Australians have never heard of it and are probably glad that that’s the case.

Worse again, the pair have been involved in vegetarianism and animal rights in the past, although you guys seem to be confused about that according to the website Umbrella.

It’s all very confusing, not to mention profoundly irritating.

I mean, do you really think showcasing a couple of, ahem, animal rights activists, or at the very least sympathisers, in your ads is a winner in terms of marketing?

Especially when it comes across very clearly they’re in it just for the money and it’s also very noticeable they are not shown at any point in the act of consuming your products?

Whose idea was it to employ these has-beens?

But then again, we are pretty much out of the loop when it comes to corporate marketing and branding.

So for all we know getting a reaction such as this letter from disgusted punters could have your PR and marketing types wildly high-fiving.

But the fact remains – we now hate your “food” and we hate you.

Cheers, Kenny

KFC Signature Series burgers


Ready, steady … crook?

Well, actually – no.

Chef Darren Simpson, who we know of only from the odd time we used to watch Ready Steady Cook, has come in for a good deal of sometimes venomous stick for taking the KFC dosh and having his name and image affixed to the chain’s line of supposedly deluxe burgers.

Like just about everyone else, we sniggered.

Good luck to him, though.

Truth is, if I was in the same position as he or fellow foodie celebs such as Maeve O’Meara or Curtis Stone, I’d probably be doing exactly the same. Kids to put through school and hay to be made while the sun shines and all that.

As the barbs flew amid talk that Simpson had comprehensively trashed whatever reputation he had, he was moved to comment: “I’m not sure how many of these critics have actually tried my burgers, but I think they should do that before passing judgment.”

Well, now we have – and our judgment is … nowhere near as bad as we expected.

As we pull into the local Barkly St KFC outlet, Bennie is gobsmacked more than surprised or delighted.

We’ve talked about it for weeks, so he can’t quite believe his dad is really going to do this.

We order one apiece of the two burgers to share – smoked bacon and parmesan, and sweet BBQ and carelmised onion.

My expectations are below zero.

I warn Bennie that if this goes as badly as I expect, we’ll out of there pronto and up the road for a dosa.

I expect this food to be so awful as to be beyond redemption. And certainly I expect it to look nothing like the images conveyed by TV trickery.

The latter is certainly true.

These are diminutive sandwiches.

Nor does the chicken bulge out from under the “warm sourdough buns” as strongly suggested in the advertising. Big surprise, eh?

But the buns ARE superior to the normal unbread served by the major chains.

The other lauded protagonists – parmesan, real carmelised onion, BBQ sauce, chilli sauce, bacon – are in as short supply as is the chicken.

And the bacon is under-cooked.

There are only a few tantalising moments as that trademark KFC chicken flavour merges with the rest to deliver something approaching flavoursome.

Worse, as we drive away we agree that we struggled to tell the difference between the two – something confirmed when we get home and I can’t tell one from the other when I upload the photos.

Still, our burgers are edible in a way that I truly didn’t expect.

Far from memorable in either a good or a bad way – and that, indeed, does exceed my expectations.

And far from the “car crash” described in the only pertinent review I was able to find the previous night.

At $6.95 each, though, we can’t help but compare them very unfavourably with the similarly priced and truly memorable sandwiches we experienced recently at La Morentia.