It’s all too easy to think of omnipresent brands such as McDonalds and KFC being on every street corner. But, being the rampant example of Yankee imperialism that they are, it is unsurprising to find that in many countries they either do not exist or play second fiddle to a local monolith. Even in places where they don’t exist, the one characteristic that all the world’s people seem to share is a deep-seated love of Fried Chicken. So, we’ve compiled our quintessential list of five fast foods your mother would rather you stayed away from.
Jolibee – Philippines
Image courtesy of jollibee.com.ph
A favourite with our friends in the Philippines! You have not experienced the Philippines unless you’ve been to Jollibee. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but the place is still pretty special. The burgers are decent, the cheesy fries are out of this world, and the spaghetti? Well, the less said about Filipino spaghetti the better, but let’s just say that when Jollibee opened in Italy it didn’t go down well.
Dicos – China
In case you wonder if the Chinese reputation for copying things is unfair, then we invite to this KFC rip-off that is now a true staple of fast food in China. OK, so that may have blatantly plagiarized The Colonel, but KFC in China is not only dreadful to start with, but Dicos have gone their own way a bit and made their place in the world. Whilst their fried chicken is pretty flavourless, they do a burger where the bun is made from rice! To this day I have yet to find starchy goodness to match this burger – the ultimate hangover quencher.
Tehran Fried Chicken, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Ah, Tehran Fried Chicken. There’s not much to say about this place, apart from that it looks a lot like KFC, yet without delivering the kind of Fried Chicken you would like. What brings forth the masses however is their great selection of non-alcoholic beer; the most popular being a malt beverage that tastes like the small French stubbies you used to get. My personal favourite is the “lemon malt beverage”, which is exactlythe same taste as a Smirnoff Ice, but with no alcohol content, or the shame. Great success!
El Rapido, Cuba
Ah, El Rapido. Or, as Cubans like to call it “Cuban McDonalds”. It’s exactly like McDonalds apart from the interior, the lack of burgers, or fries, or clowns, or in actual fact food. But! El Rapido has something McDonalds, Burger King, or even KFC do not! Cuban rum, cheap beer, cigarettes, and a penchant for being the last place in a city open to buy booze. I can’t say much about the food, but I have certainly finished many a night here.
Chicken and Chips restaurant – Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Kimchi – a classic accompaniment to chips?
Even just thinking about this place makes me excited. This absolute gem is situated just a stone’s throw from the Arch of Triumph, and, you guessed it: they serve chicken and chips in a basket. Now when I say chips, I don’t mean a straw sized cop out French fry, I mean ENGLISH chips, the way God intended. And not only that, but Korean vinegar is enough to set your mouth on fire. Chicken, chips, salt, vinegar, oh and of course kimchi to keep your Korean buddies happy! Sheer perfection.