Words: Graeme Roberts
On Wednesday, after a tiresome 45-minute photo shoot, I had one of my all-too-frequent cravings for fast food. I decided to sate this desire by popping into the Stockport branch of Colonel Sanders’ world-famous eating establishment, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
After a brief glance at the tempting menu, I gave my order to the spotty teenage lad behind the counter. I wasn’t feeling overly peckish, so I plumped for a modest Mighty Bucket for One, a relatively new addition to the KFC range. Their website describes this meal thus: “Two pieces of original recipe chicken, two hot wings, two mini breast fillets, fries, a dip of your choice, plus a drink to wash it all down.” It sounds awesome, but it was far from perfect.
Firstly, the meal came without a bucket. It was incredibly naive of me to expect a meal called the Mighty Bucket for One to involve a bucket of some description. I should have known from the product’s name that I’d be served the contents of the meal on two cardboard trays. Next time I go to the seaside, I’ll be sure to take my tray and spade.
Secondly, I wasn’t offered a choice of dip. This wouldn’t have been such a disaster, as I’d paid an extra quid for a tub of gravy, which was supposed to do the job of taking the blandness off the fries and enhancing the tastiness of the chicken. But far from being the gravy that South Park chubster Cartman once got ruinously addicted to, this stuff tasted like thickened, hospital-standard vegetable soup.
Despite these grievances, the chicken was pretty damn tasty, which may go some way to explaining KFC’s continued international popularity. The original recipe pieces and breast fillets formed a triumphant conga along my digestive tract. The wings gate-crashed the party a little; they lacked spiciness and were crispier than a bag of Walkers. On that note, the fries were lukewarm but the portion - a large, naturally - was generous. Plus the hulking cup of sugar-infested Pepsi went a fair way towards balancing out the salt overload.
The meal was OK, but I’ve had much better KFC experiences. The Mighty Bucket for One’s contents are a little bland; it is essentially a scrubbed up version of the working-class classic, chicken and chips. I really did rue not being served the meal in a bucket, not least because I was planning on reusing the bucket as a trendy piece of headwear, just like this guitar demigod:
Next time I visit KFC - and yes, I will be returning soon - I think I’ll get me a tried-and-tested Box Meal, probably the Big Daddy, with its towering burger, one piece and included-in-the-price side. After the Stockport gravy incident, I may have to return to barbecue beans, which have the added bonuses of requiring a plastic spork and providing one of my five-a-day. The green stuff on the burger might even take me up to one-and-a-half out of five-a-day, making the Big Daddy Box Meal practically health food.
Oxford Road rating: ★★★