From my seat on KFC’s first floor

Well, here I am again in the Super market, wandering around aimlessly and filling my lungs with fresh Islamabadi air (mixed with popular brands of perfume, the stench of garbage cans, the smell of sweaty under arms, and the hormonal discharge of emotionally charged adolescents). Having brisk walked around the area for over an hour, I was beginning to feel hungry, and so I decided to go to the KFC outlet for my favorite snack of a chicken nuggets combo meal with an Arabian rice add-on. I hadn’t eaten something unhealthy in quite sometime, so I thought it would be nice if I could treat my taste buds to something Finger Lickin’ Good.

Since I’m a regular KFC customer and keep ordering those nuggets at my place whenever I feel like getting my arteries blocked with cholesterol, the delivery guy wandering around the counter recognized me and made sure that I got my order in time. And soon my hot star shaped nuggets came sliding down their delivery cabinet and were served in a disposable paper plate along with the unusually salty fries by their side. Since the lower floor was being renovated, I had to go to the first floor to have my meal.

What I have felt during my three year stay in Islamabad (my personal observation) is that people here like going to the KFC outlet more than McDonalds, whereas in Lahore McDonalds is far more popular than KFC as you’ll usually see every McDonalds outlet in Lahore spilling with people who are dying to sink their teeth in a juicy slab of chicken or beef meat (stop drooling, you’ll short circuit your keyboard). Accessibility maybe? With McDonalds far away in F-10 near that park thingy (Fatima Jinnah probably?), people would rather prefer going to the more accessible KFC in the Super, a market place where people are found anyway at any time (except for later in the night after 11, which I think is quite sad). I would personally rate the McDonalds Big Mac more chunkier and juicier than the KFC’s Zinger, the latter having tarnished my image of the much likened burger after I received it in a messy condition at my place. And for some reason I have this feeling that food served at the KFC is more unhealthier than that served at McDonalds.

No comparing McDonalds fries with KFC’s though! Nicely served, crisp and hot and appropriately salted, the McDonalds’ fry is the perfect sidekick to an equally good Big Mac burger, unlike the KFC fry which is a bit more oilier and inappropriately salted. The taste of the fry should be uniform; it should penetrate the flesh of the potato and be homogenous throughout the fry. Because if you chew on a piece of fry with a non-uniform taste, you would see that it is saltier on the outside, but not as salty on the inside, giving you an incomplete taste in the mouth. When you bite a fry, your brain expects the same lovely salty potato taste on the inside too, and when your tongue does not find it, the brain is disappointed. And that’s why McDonald’s fries are better than KFC’s… they just have a nice uniform taste in addition to the crispiness and freshness.

I guess we’ve dissected the fry a bit too much than was necessary.

The first floor of the KFC outlet seemed like a children’s area with balloons everywhere and lovely greeting cards self-made by children pasted to every window of the outlet. I found some of the cards very very touching. Here’s a window covered with cards the children made for their mothers, probably for mothers day:

Image044

There’s all sorts of lovely things written on them. The kids have been very creative about expressing their love for their mother in these cards. There was stuff like: There is nothing more comfortable in this world than a mother’s lap.

But I find this quite strange. Not that the kids are expressing their love for their mothers, but that a multi-national fast food outlet that serves fried chicken with potato fries and a soft drink in a disposable glass has children’s emotions splattered all over their walls. Why is a fast food outlet stressing so much on a child’s love for this mother? Is it because they want to improve their sales by attracting more children? Is it because they are using the cover of Mother’s Day to get more customers? Is it because this outlet is in a way educating these children to respect KFC more, and by doing so are preparing them to be KFC addicts in the future? Or does KFC truly and honestly respects a child’s love for his or her mother and is proudly displaying it on their windows with these cards that the children made? Quite strange if you think of it.Image045

It didn’t take me much time to finish what I had in my plates, but what I usually look forward to eating at KFC is the Arabian Rice. I often find myself ordering two plates of Arabian Rice, one as an add-on which costs Rs. 40, and one separate, which costs me Rs. 75 I believe. It’s that combination of the rich chicken flavor with the capsicum, the peppercorn and the green chilli that makes this rice so irresistible. I tried making it at home but wasn’t very successful with it. The only difference was the absence of chicken; I had put chicken stock in it instead. But it did come near to the real thing.

Image046With plenty of time to waste I thought I should send up a few tweets through my cellphone. But then I wondered if there was a WiFi internet connection in the outlet. Quite a ridiculous thought, but when I scanned for wireless internet I found a LOT of them! And everytime I ran the scan I found new ones. The first one in the picture on the left gave me 100% signal strength, so that probably was the KFC’s connection. There was another one for the Chopsticks restaurant right next to the KFC outlet, and this too was an unsecured open connection. The others had either WPA or WEP encryption, so I couldn’t get through them. But I spent my time there comfortably tweeting through the KFC and the Chopsticks WiFi connection. So if anyone of you is on the move and is looking out for a good internet connection to post a blog, check e-mails or work, then just sit around the KFC area and you’ll get a good signal.

And after having my meal, I walked back home, made two glasses of nice salted lassi with a kulcha, and went to bed with the thought that by the time I wake up in the morning, my body would have had absorbed the proteins from the nuggets and patched up my muscle tissue with it, the fries would have provided the much needed carbohydrate, and the rice a truckload of calories to burn on another walk on a Saturday afternoon.

24 Comments so far

  1. Twitted by IMB (pingback) on May 31st, 2009 @ 6:36 am

    […] This post was Twitted by IMB – Real-url.org […]


  2. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 1st, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

    Test comment.


  3. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 1st, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    When i finished reading your analysis and comments on the fries, only one thing came to my mind. You should write for BBC Food. :-D Such elaborate details made me feel the fry in my mouth and it was yummy too. Good work!

    And thanks for letting us know of the WiFi spots. It would be a treat if we are passing by with a WiFi enabled gadget and get hold of some bandwidth to quickly reconnect to the WWW.

    I have not yet spotted the Chopsticks restaurant beside KFC. I must be blind or something. Or maybe it is very very new and my last visit to that place was ages ago. Possibilities (that i can think of to justify my not seeing the place) are endless. :-D

    Keep the travelogues coming. They are a good read. :-)

    -Monazza.


  4. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 1st, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    I am trying to comment and my "long" comment keeps getting lost after i hit Submit. :'(


  5. crazymonkey on June 1st, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    hehehe.. divide your comment into three seperate comments :P or you can post a seperate blog entry as a response to this entry.


  6. A for [pine]Apple (asmamirza) on June 1st, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

    oh boy .. KFC and McDonalds … why cant people adopt some healthy lifestyles intead of killing themselves at their own hand :/

    Well if you were more of using the internet .. then its fine :)

    Nice post … post more of longish tales .. plz :>


  7. furquanatique on June 1st, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

    Good Fun! Good to see wifi penetrating into Islamabad. Just a few years ago on my visit to Islamabad, I used to get so frustrated when I couldn’t find a Wifi hotspot without security encryption, it seems now Tweeting is common among Islooites! I believe a little unsecure Wifi mischief is in order? :P


  8. crazymonkey on June 2nd, 2009 @ 7:58 am

    Pineapple bajums: When poor bachelors don’t have time to cook their own food, they resort to eating readymade food at places like these :( Sometimes I wish there were more quality restaurants with cheap, simple, clean and hygenically prepared food available. A good idea for a business venture! Anyone got the lakshmi for it?


  9. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:07 am

    When i finished reading your analysis and comments on the fries, only one thing came to my mind. You should write for BBC Food. :-D Such elaborate details made me feel the fry in my mouth and it was yummy too. Good work!

    And thanks for letting us know of the WiFi spots. It would be a treat if we are passing by with a WiFi enabled gadget and get hold of some bandwidth to quickly reconnect to the WWW.

    I have not yet spotted the Chopsticks restaurant beside KFC. I must be blind or something. Or maybe it is very very new and my last visit to that place was ages ago. Possibilities (that i can think of to justify my not seeing the place) are endless. :-D

    Keep the travelogues coming. :-)

    -Monazza.


  10. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    When i finished reading your analysis and comments on the fries, only one thing came to my mind. You should write for BBC Food. :-D Such elaborate details made me feel the fry in my mouth and it was yummy too. Good work!


  11. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    And thanks for letting us know of the WiFi spots. It would be a treat if we are passing by with a WiFi enabled gadget and get hold of some bandwidth to quickly reconnect to the WWW.


  12. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    And thanks for letting us know of the WiFi spots. It would be a treat if we are passing by with a WiFi enabled gadget and get hold of some bandwidth to quickly reconnect to the World Wide Web.


  13. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:12 am

    I have not yet spotted the Chopsticks restaurant beside KFC. I must be blind or something. Or maybe it is very very new and my last visit to that place was ages ago. Possibilities (that i can think of to justify my not seeing the place) are endless. :-D

    Keep the travelogues coming. :-)


  14. crazymonkey on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:23 am

    Monazza: Thanks for the comments dear, I see that you finally got through with them :) I hope you won’t look at a fry the same way again!

    Actually there used to be some thai food restaurant next to KFC in place of Chopsticks, if I remember correctly. I also noticed this change in this visit. Should prolly check it out sometime.


  15. Monazza Talha (montaleast13) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    Yup i knew of that Thai food restaurant. It was Royal Orchid. I’ve been there and they did treat us all "royally". It was a lovely experience eating there. If Chopsticks is a replacement then i guess it needs checking out as well. :-D

    PS: Apparently one cannot write the letter W three times without a space in a comment. That was causing the problem with my comments. So i switched to "World Wide Web" instead. Neat trick, isn’t it. ;-)


  16. A for [pine]Apple (asmamirza) on June 2nd, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    SOmehow I always used to read Chopsticks as charpai :s

    BTW ain’t aye a good name for a restaurant? Charpai. mmmmMM.

    have you been to Capri in lahore for halwa purri … *takes a mind-boggling chaskara in dreams* – that kind of thing is missing from Isloo.

    that reminds me I want to do a halwa purri post on IMB :D


  17. crazymonkey on June 2nd, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

    Pineapple bajums: There are retaurants which have charpai’s to sit on, but I find that rather uncomfortable. The charpai sinks low and you’re forced to bend forward more resulting in your tummy getting squeezed, thus limiting your intake of food. Islamabad does need original places like those, and not artificial restaurants which give you a traditionaly atmosphere in an artificial way.

    Waiting for that mouth watering post on halwa puri… do post it on a Saturday night so that when we in Pakistan wake up, we have a plate of scrumptious halwa puri waiting for us on Islamabad Metblogs ;)


  18. A for [pine]Apple (asmamirza) on June 3rd, 2009 @ 12:54 am

    and what about me .. I want it too =(


  19. sufiblade on June 4th, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    What’s the name of that memory disorder where people forget what they have said and keep repeating it?

    @asma: There’s already ‘baithak’

    @everyone: Let’s all do this now onwards: Whenever we dine out, make sure to leave comments on the feedback card regarding the atmosphere. i.e. why can’t they play some chinese music at a chinese restaurant? etc…


  20. durranee on June 6th, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    I thought you scanned for wifi on your mobile
    but that thing is a psp :S
    since when psp is a phone? :p


  21. crazymonkey on June 6th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    durranee: I usually carry my stuff around with me. I used the PSP to scan for the WiFi signal, and my phone to take the picture :P


  22. From my seat on KFC’s first floor « Chewy Thoughts (pingback) on June 14th, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    […] ((I wrote this post originally for the Islamabad Metblogs Blog. You can read the original entry here. Post your comments […]


  23. Hasan Mubarak (hasanmubarak) on June 15th, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

    *Hasan invites all Islooites and (ex-Islooites) to a savory desi Lahori nashta at Capri*


  24. A for [pine]Apple (asmamirza) on June 17th, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

    Oh my my … Hasan baita halwa puri and lassi @ capri rocks ;)

    I had mine two months back *_*



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