REVIEWS OF KFC'S FROM AROUND THE WORLD
I have a bit of a KFC obsession. I've had it on my birthday for almost 40 years straight. My wife and I like to sample the local KFC whenever we travel outside the US. So, in honor of July 6th, National Fried Chicken Day, in reverse order of quality...
- •SingaporeThis was one of the first international KFCs I ever tried, in 2006, and it almost ended the experiment right there. Dried up little hunks of meat that approached jerky-like consistency. The spices were a lot different than what I was used to in America, and tasted very "southeast Asian." Or, as I later described it, "like my mother-in-law's luggage."
- •Paris, FranceWe were in Paris on my birthday in 2014 so, of course, we had to celebrate with KFC. It turns out you can't get an entire piece of chicken there, only cutlet patties and nuggets. No drumsticks, thighs, etc. The chicken fingers tasted okay, but the entire experience was ruined for me. Worst. Birthday. Ever. Luckily I was able to soothe my pain with some macarons later.
- •Penang, MalaysiaVisiting in 2015 with my wife and in-laws, we stopped at a KFC in the southern portion of the island out of desperation. My mother-in-law wanted McDonalds but amazingly we couldn't find a Golden Arches. The Colonel would have to do. We thought the chicken was good and tasty, but it was really enjoyed by the group of five feral cats we fed in the parking lot afterwards. Poor babies.
- •London, EnglandLondon's food scene has improved greatly over the last decade, and KFC has kept up with the times. We visited London in 2013 just as Princess Kate was giving birth to her first heir. We celebrated with some juicy thighs and succulent breast meat, enough to nurse a grateful nation. Long live the (Kentucky) Empire.
- •Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMalaysia's capital is a mixture of cultures: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. But luckily they like their chicken red, white, and blue. I thought the KFC was great and tasted like home. So, so much better than in Singapore, just an hour away. The customer service left a lot to be desired, however. Got into an argument with the cashier about our soda order, and he wouldn't change it because he had "already pushed the buttons." Can't argue with that.
- •Shanghai, ChinaIn Shanghai for Labor Day (May 1st) in 2015, with about five million of our closest Chinese friends. The city had literal tides of people. The streets were impassable. But KFC offered delicious respite from the crowds. The meat was quite juicy, which is usually where international KFC is lacking. The portions weren't up to US standards, but that's probably a good thing. The Chinese aren't nearly as obese, either.
- •Abu Dhabi, UAEWe had our favorite international KFC when visiting friends in Abu Dhabi in 2014. Yes, the chicken was amazing, but it even came in a bucket, something you don't often see outside the US. The world would be a happier place if more people could eat from buckets. The packaging proudly proclaimed that it was "whole muscle chicken." We didn't understand that until we got to Paris and found they only served cutlets. UAE: our partner in defeating ISIS and protecting drumsticks everywhere.
- •Honorable Failure: Bali, IndonesiaWe couldn't find a KFC when we visited Bali, but we found "CFC's" everywhere. California Fried Chicken is an Indonesia chain with very similar branding to KFC. You're supposed to confuse the two. As of June 2012, they had 215 locations across the country, and they sell pizza, noodles, and pastries as well as chicken. We returned to Manado, Indonesia in 2015, however, and found KFC was the marquee advertiser for the airport parking lot. CFC is under attack.