Kangaroo land’s Friggin’ Chicken..or KFC !

Since the time we were in Pune, we always had this crazy craving to go buy a huge bucketful of KFC original recipe chicken and hog ! But you see in India, KFC is probably not the most cheapest option and somehow we never got around to buying it actually for two reasons – calories & price, well it was primarily the price to be honest. KFC in India unlike McD & other fast food joints, never used to include the taxes in the listed prices of items on their menu. It was always a surprise factor, introduced right after you painstakingly produce the exact change (feeling quite proud of yourself); And I didn’t like that marketing stunt. Giant corporates vs us minions !

kfc OZ

In Australia, KFC is probably the last place you’d go to buy fried chicken, for it’s not very popular, although it well might be the cheapest option ! Anyway, that didn’t bother us – it is affordable, the cost is justified etc. etc. So we decided to trade a night’s home prepared meal for our bucket fantasy !

As Indians we love bargain. I mean we literally get a high when we know we’ve saved few bucks buying on promotion. So get this, here in the local KFC, a bucket of 5 fried chicken pieces is $12.95, whereas a streetwise feast of $19.95 is “6 pieces of fresh Original Recipe Chicken, hand coated in the 11 secret herbs and spices, 3 mouth wateringly tender Crispy Strips, 6 delicious Kentucky Nuggets, 2 sides of seasoned large chips and 2 of our famous dipping sauces.” !! Oh WOW, we thought – now isn’t that the biggest bargain ever?!

But what we did not realize at the time, even in our worst dreams gone bad is that the “hand coated secret recipe” was the last thing we would taste because of the overwhelming amount of salt and oil on the chicken, which by the way I’m sure, was how it was killed in the first place!

The coating was coming off the chicken and drenched in oil. The chicken itself tasted extremely bland and we certainly had to hand coat it back again to make it palatable.

Back when I was in school in India, the tales about how wonderful KFC chicken is, used to make us drool. I even remember the time I was at a friend’s place and was offered a piece of the original KFC chicken, which was just flown in on a flight from Dubai – and I felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to savor it ! Ha, which brings me to the question – Does KFC chicken taste so horrible everywhere in the world? Or is this Australia’s master plan to promote Red Rooster over KFC?

Even at KFC back in India, I don’t recall the chicken tasting so bad. In India, we are so fond of KFC that, especially in my hometown in Kochi, we have all these KFC wannabes – AFC (Asian Fried Chicken), FFC (I don’t even know what it stands for), ChicKing (which by the way is now in UAE too) and couple more of others I just can’t remember now! And these places are packed.

Hmm, I think I’m going to stand by my conspiracy theory and from now on, if I give in to a craving for fried chicken in future, it’s gonna be Red Rooster !!



Colombian Coffee at it’s best – Melbourne CBD

I was at The Little Mule cafe today for a quick bite & coffee. This place popped up on my radar when I foursquared “best lunch places around you”, at the Elizabeth St/Collin St X. While I don’t vouch for Little Mule as the best place for lunch, I certainly will be headed back again for their coffee.

Courtesy – http://www.beanhunter.com/australia/victoria/melbourne/melbourne-cbd/the-little-mule

I love specialist cafes that serve single origin coffees, cold drips, siphons, you know..the lot. Coffees here are a treat; leaves you feeling “money well spent”; although, it’s probably “more” money spent on a cup of coffee. But, what the heck – makes you feel better, when you know you’re supporting a coffee farming community in Africa or South America !

Little Mule had 2 single origin brew offerings – espresso (sourced from Colombia) and filter (sourced from Ethiopia). I was in a mood for cappuccino and henceforth went for the espresso. This particular blend was from the Caicedonia region in Colombia; which contributes only a meager share of the globally available Colombian coffee. The lion’s share of Colombian coffee comes from the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis.

The cappuccino tasted extremely smooth, with absolutely no hint of bitterness. The strong notes of honey and cocoa well pronounced. On previous occasions, whenever I’ve had coffees made from beans which claimed to have imbibed intricate flavors from fruits and nuts, the notes were much too subtle to hit home. Unlike wine, tasting which is an art and unless you are well versed in it, you really can’t tell the difference between a $10 one and $ 25 one, drinking coffee is relatively straightforward; this is not to belittle the technicalities of the coffee; but the point is, this Colombian brew is a winner to all – laymen and connoisseurs alike !

The Little Mule vs Sensory Lab – I’d say Little Mule for a cup of joe !!

What are your thoughts??


Kashmiri Kahwa


The Kashmiri Kahwa is usually served out of a Samovar – metal brewing pot – traditionally used by cultures that flourished in & around present day Iran, Turkey, Russia & China.

The Kashmiri Kahwa is a concoction of green tea leaves & spices such as cardamom, cinnamon & saffron. It is usually served with a hint of honey either on the side or mixed in. Before serving, the Kahwa is topped with a spoonful of almond & walnut powder. The Kahwa owes its origin to the multi-cultural influences during the Kushan Era. It is also therapeutic and one can find variations of the same in several other regions inhabited by Persian & Islamic cultures. “Irani Chai” is one such variation. In the Northern Malabar regions of Kerala, a version of the Kahwa called the Sulaimani – (a black tea preparation with/without spices) is often used to ease the digestion after a heavy (festive) meal !


Hot & Spicy Mutton Pizza


@ George Restaurant – Pune Camp !  Ingeniously crafted combination of Desi lamb preparation, marinara sauce in red chilly base, topped with an excess of mozzarella cheese ! This, I can vouch quite confidently is one of the best Indian versions of the pizza I’ve ever had.

INSANE –  (1) Loaded on cheese & great combination of ingredients (2) Fantastic price point for the serving proportion

Burger King – Pune Camp

This is Pune’s own local Burger King which really means business. For all its worth, it will give any original Burger King a run for its money.

Their speciality includes several burgers and roles that are of humongous proportions, and which given their size, cost absolutely nothing !! The burgers can get you through the day, although it might not be the healthiest choice given the amount of mayo and the greasy patties that goes into it.

Insanity MeterHigh – Bang for the buck (80 rupees for a Jumbo Chicken Burger & 70 for a King Beef Burger)