Of the big western fast food chains, I don’t think any have adapted quite as thoroughly to Asian tastes as Kentucky Fried Chicken. In Japan, the chain has even managed to make itself part of the local Christmas tradition and the Colonel regularly shows up in popular culture.
In China, I can’t say whether the chain has made that much of an impact, but the menu is decidedly tuned to local tastes, with fried shrimp on the menu and red bean pies and egg custard on the desserts list.
There’s just one problem – with the option of getting fried shrimp OR fried chicken, how is a man ever supposed to make a choice? I can see myself wasting my entire lunch hour staring at the menu board, desperately locked in one of the world’s greatest conundrums.
Thankfully, KFC heard my pain, and came up with something called the “伴鸡伴虾堡”, or (if Google Translate is to be believed) “Companion Chicken Companion Shrimp Fort”
This is dangerous alchemy indeed. Is man MEANT to eat such a thing?
I decided to find out.
Now, I am used to fast food items not exactly living up to the advertising images when actually ordered, so it was a bit shocking to order a Companion Chicken Companion Shrimp Fort Combination Meal and wind up with a tray that looked like this:
You’ll have to pardon the bad lighting. This is what happens when you don’t want to use the flash in a crowded restaurant.
The point is, when I got it out of the box, it looked rather tasty, not a disgusting mess.
And, yes, it was pretty good. They’re pitching the Companion Chicken Companion Shrimp Fort as part of their “New Oats Burger Series”, which suggests that they’ve put a lot of effort into the bun. It paid off – it was one of the better fast food burger buns I’ve had. There’s also lettuce, some sort of mustard-based dressing, and the promised separate shrimp and chicken patties.
The chicken patty was, well, a KFC chicken patty. I did not count the herbs and or spices, but I feel confident that all eleven were present.
The shrimp patty was, as expected, shrimp, but covered in one of the strangest breadings I’ve experienced. The fried shrimp in the side dish were a more or less traditional breading, but the patty was fried in something that resembled a breakfast cereal of some sort, with a most unusual texture.
This would be a tricky one for KFC to bring to the states, and I’m not sure we’re ready for Companion Chicken Companion Shrimp Fort. I wouldn’t mind if they added fried shrimp to the list of sides here, though.