Kentucky Fried Chicken set to open all-you-can eat buffet restaurant in Japan

RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

If you’re walking into a branch of KFC, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re there to eat fried chicken. You could even argue that the whole process of ordering is partially redundant, since the question isn’t whether you want some of the Colonel’s deep-fried bird, but simply how much.

And if your answer to that query is “All of it,” then head on over to Osaka, where the first all-you-can-eat Kentucky Fried Chicken buffet is about to open.

Actually, KFC and Osaka go way back. Not only is the local baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers, said to be cursed following some of its rowdy fans tossing a statue of Colonel Sanders into a river 30 years ago (which was also the last time the Tigers won the Japan Series), in 1970 Osaka hosted the Japan World Exposition. Inside the event’s United States pavilion was a Kentucky Fried Chicken trial restaurant, the very first to operate in Japan.

45 years later, the Expo City entertainment complex is set to open in the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, and from November 19 one of its tenants will be a buffet-style KFC restaurant.

For 90 minutes, diners will be able to enjoy all the Colonel’s original recipe chicken they can eat, along with roughly 60 other menu items. In addition to standards such as fresh-baked biscuits and cole slaw, the restaurant will also serve rotisserie chicken, soup, salad, and macaroni and cheese made according to a recipe from Colonel Sanders himself. For dessert, there will be a selection of fruit, cake, and other sweets.

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KFC is also promising an atmosphere of Southern hospitality, which in addition to piles of fried chicken means a woody interior and Colonel Sander’s actual suit on display, since the late chicken mogul’s iconic duds are now in Japan.

Adult prices range from 1,880 to 2,480 yen (US$16-$21), with weekday afternoons being the lowest-price dining time and weekend evenings the highest. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 eat for reduced prices, and those under 4 dine for free.

Restaurant information
Kentucky Fried Chicken Lalaport Expo City /ケンタッキーフライドチキン ららぽーとEXPOCITY店
Address: Osaka-fu, Suitashi-shi, Senribanpaku Kouen 2-1
大阪府吹田市千里万博公園2-1
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

KFC potato chips return to Japan this spring

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RocketNews 24:

Last year, something beautiful came to Japan. It was only here for a short while, but in that time, it left a deep impression on many people. And while we were sad to see it go, it’s time to dry our tears, because this spring, it’s coming back again!

So, all excited for cherry blossom season? That’s great, but what we’re actually talking about right here are Kentucky Fried Chicken-flavor potato chips.

Once again, Japanese snack company Calbee is teaming up with the world’s most famous fast food fried chicken outfit. Whereas last year’s version was billed as “Colonel’s Crispy-flavor,” this new batch of fried chicken-inspired fried potato slices emulates the taste of KFC Japan’s honenashi Kentucky paripari umashio, or Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt flavor.

We’re a little puzzled by the “Boneless” part of the product name, since we don’t recall any bone-like flavors in the KFC chips we tried last year. In more specific terms, Calbee says the chips draw out the natural deliciousness of chicken with a simple mixture of salt and pepper, so you can be assured that they make use of at least those two of Colonel Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices.

In a rarity for Japanese snack foods, Calbee is leaving pricing up to individual retailers. The larger, 83-gram bags are available exclusively at Japanese convenience storesstarting March 2. A smaller 58-gram bag will go on sale March 16, and both packages will include a coupon for a discount on an order of Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt chicken at KFC locations in Japan, in case munching on the chips has you craving the real deal.

Happy Kentucky Fried New Year! And this year’s KFC New Year Lucky Bag contains…?

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RocketNews 24:

Every New Year’s, people across Japan flock to stores for special bargains, and in particular, the “Lucky Bags” known as fukubukuro. From electronics and chocolate shops to up-scale department stores, Japanese shops and businesses of all kinds come up with original Lucky Bags at the beginning of each year to tempt those of us out for some new year’s shopping. Now, these bags are supposed to offer good value, containing products worth more than the price you pay for the bag. Well, the bags may be a good value, but the catch is that you can’t choose what you get in your bag, and each year there ends up being much online discussion on whether the Lucky Bags from different shops are a particularly good or bad deal.

Not to miss out on the action, the team at the Japanese RocketNews24 site has also joined the Lucky Bag rush, and as we’ve already started reporting, we’ve taken a look at the contents of quite a few of the bags being sold this year. And one of them happens to be a bag from none other than … Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan. Let’s see what “finger-lickin’ good” items were included in their Lucky Bag for 2015!

The Lucky Bag we purchased from KFC this year was priced at 2,000 yen (US$16.64). So, what did we get for a little under $20?

▼Here’s the bag on sale at the KFC shop we went to. There were only five bags left when we got there! KFC 1

▼And this is what the bag contained: four tickets for two chicken pieces, a discount coupon pass and a bottle of their honey maple syrup.KFC 5

▼The four tickets alone are worth 1,920 yen ($16), and they came in a pretty bag illustrated with motifs associated with New Year’s in Japan.KFC 3

▼And this honey maple syrup should be a welcome item for fans of KFC’s popular biscuits. Now you won’t have to go to a KFC shop to have their delightfully sweet syrup. It’s sure to go well with the pancakes or toast you have at home!KFC 4

▼And the bag the goods came in was actually quite nice. It’s a good size, and the KFC logo is unobtrusive enough that it looks simple and stylish overall. KFC 6

▼It may look like a regular bag from the outside, but it’s actually thermally insulated, so it will come in handy for carrying food for picnics or outdoor barbecues.KFC 2

So, what did we think of KFC’s 2015 Lucky Bag? You get most of your purchase price’s worth from the tickets alone, and the coupon pass can be used as many times as you like for a limited time, so we guess it’s not a bad deal, but to be honest, we also didn’t feel like it was a great deal either, at least not something that would make us jump up and down with joy.

That said, you would probably be getting at least your money’s worth of products, and if you like their syrup or if you like the look of the bag, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be more than happy with this year’s KFC Lucky Bag.

Unique Christmas traditions across Asia

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 Audrey Magazine: 

Christmas is less than a week away! For many of us, this season means decorating Christmas trees, navigating through crowded malls, playing the Michael Bublé Christmas album way too much and baking gingerbread cookies. But what does Christmas look like for the rest of the world? More specifically, how is Christmas in Asia?

Asian countries have a smaller number of Christians and Catholics compared to the rest of the world. In Thailand for instance, less than 1% of the population is Christian. As a result, many Asian countries who do celebrate Christmas simply follow Western customs and traditions such as Midnight Mass and the exchange of gifts (but not without enthusiasm). In places like Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia, Western customs and traditions are followed, but the holiday has a more secular view than a religious one.

Of course, this is not the case for all Asian countries. The Philippines, for instance, is one of two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia and Christmas is the most enthusiastically celebrated holiday on the calendar. The country is known for celebrating the world’s longest Christmas season which begins September 1st.

We’ve found that the Asian countries which do celebrate Christmas have an interesting set of traditions specific to their country. Here are some of the most unique ones:

JAPAN

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In 1974, KFC Japan began to promote fried chicken as a Christmas meal. The insanely successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign made the “Christmas Chicken” bucket an annual tradition. In fact, the tradition has become so popular, people order their buckets months in advance to avoid the two hour line.

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In addition to KFC fried chicken, there is one more thing that must be on the table for any Japanese home to feel the holiday spirit: Christmas cake. According to anthropologist Michael Ashkenazi, who studied Japanese culture and tradition, Christmas cake is “sold on practically every street corner.”

Japanese Christmas cakes are sponge cakes covered in white cream and ruby red strawberries.

KOREA

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Christianity is still relatively new in Korea, so many Christmas celebrations follow that of Western culture. However, Korea has its own version of Santa Claus. Santa Haraboji, or Grandfather Santa, looks similar to the Western Santa, but he wears a traditional Korean hat (gat) and his statues have often portrayed him in a green suit instead of a red one.

INDONESIA

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Although Indonesia is a Muslim country, Christmas is still regarded as a public holiday celebrated by many. Shopping malls are known to cover themselves in Christmas decorations and Santa Claus is even a widely-known figure. One Christmas tradition in Indonesia that we typically see in July are fireworks.

INDIA

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Similar to Indonesia, India has a very small Christian population, but the 2.3% of Christians (that’s 25 million) are very enthusiastic about Christmas. Religious customs such as Midnight Mass are observed and some even put a small, oil-burning, clay lamp on their roof to show that Jesus is the light of the world. In South India, the tradition of the Christmas tree is alive and well, but instead of pine trees, mangos trees are used.

PHILIPPINES

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In the Philippines, Christmas is celebrated from September until January. Needless to say, this holiday is huge. One of the most well-known traditions is Simbang Gabi (night mass) which are nightly, dawn masses beginning from December 16th and ending on Christmas Eve. The masses are meant to show devotion to God and create more anticipation for the birth of Christ. After each mass, plenty of traditional food is consumed.

A "parol" is a traditional Filipino Christmas lantern.

To us, the Christmas tree is one of the most symbolic decorations of Christmas. In the Philippines, it’s the paról. Paróls are star-shaped lanterns which represents the star of Bethlehem which guided the Three Kings. Early paróls were made of bamboo, rice paper and oil lanterns.

Now, the art form of making paróls has become as intricate as they are beautiful.

 

KFC Japan launching new restaurant that serves Kentucky Fried… Coffee?

kfc coffee shop

FoodBeast:

 

It seems like KFC wants to be your official coffee source now. Because being your chicken spot just wasn’t enough.

According to Kotaku, a KFC in Kobe, Japan will be opening a coffee shop called the Colonel’s Cafe. It will try to make you feel like you’re at a Starbucks that conveniently lets you order a two-piece and a biscuit.

Among the things that will be offered at the cafe will be French press espressos, pancakes, ice cream, New York cheesecake and, well, chicken.

KFC has scheduled a launch for November 28, and you might as well start calling it Kentucky Fried Coffee now, because you know it’s coming.

 

KFC Japan offering pumpkin-flavored biscuits for Halloween

KFC-Pumpkin-Biscuit

FoodBeast/RocketNews 24:

 

We can’t tell if the Pumpkin trend is ending or just getting started anymore. Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan has added a new Halloween-inspired biscuit to their menu and, guess what, it’s pumpkin-flavored. The biscuits are actually made with kabocha, a green squash that looks like a smaller version of a pumpkin though less bitter and a bit more moist.

Close enough, right?

The pumpkin biscuits can be purchased individually or as a part of the Halloween combo bucket KFC is offering. The bucket will come with two pumpkin biscuits, six pieces of chicken and two small fries. Japanese children can finish their chicken and even use the bucket as a candy container on All Hallows’ Eve.

The biscuits and Halloween bucket will be available for purchase Oct. 16. Customers of KFC Japan can purchase them as a combo for 1,850 yen ($17.09 US) or the biscuits individually for 180 yen ($1.66).

This KFC Keyboard from Japan is real

 

KFC-Keyboard

 

 

FoodBeast/Kotaku:

 

As part of a Kentucky Fried Chicken promotion, KFC Japan is offering this must-have fried chicken keyboard.

The brand is pushing their Twitter followers to tweet about the product using the hashtag #KFC, most likely to promote fried chicken awareness. They’ll then select one lucky individual to receive the keyboard, a fried chicken mouse and a fried chicken USB. Yep, as far as everyone knows only one exists.

While nothing more than a PR tactic, the keyboard and computer accessories are the pinnacle of fast-food novelty gifts. No word yet on whether or not this campaign will only be available to Japanese citizens. However, we are more than prepared to spam the Twitterverse until we get our hands on said fried chicken keyboard and accessories.

KFC-Mouse

KFC-USB