Disappointment with KFC Taiwan

Since coming to Taiwan, I’ve rarely been to a western fast food joint.  There are too many Taiwanese taste bud tantalizing treats to pig out on, and I’ve been indulging in all of them.  So I was surprised the other day when I got a hankering for the ole Colonel’s secret recipe.  It’s been over a year since I’d bitten into a crispy 2 piece meal, so I figured – what the hell?  Let’s do it.

After a quick walk over to the local KFC (figured I’d start burning the calories immediately), I pointed to what I wanted and sat around waiting for my meal to get ready.

Ohhhh this was going to be awesome.  Golden yellow crunchy fries, mouth-watering, crispy-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside chicken with drippings running down, all slathered in KFC’s signature hot sauce – a nice tangy-spicy flavour combo.  Washed down with an ice cold Pepsi.  I was salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.

My order came up.  I bounded over to get it.  Somehow, I had the presence of mind to stop and check – to make sure I got everything – didn’t want to go home and be missing something (raining outside, and I didn’t want to come back).

  • Chicken √
  • Fries √
  • Drink √
  • Napkins and straw √
  • Ketchup √
  • Hot sauce ….. ….. ….????

No hot sauce.  It’s ok…don’t panic…

I asked the cashier in horrible Mandarin, “La de…??” while pointing at the ketchup.  “La de” roughly means “having hotness/spicyness”.  I didn’t know how to say sauce, so I pointed at the ketchup, figuring “spicy ketchup” would get the point across.

“Mei you.”  Don’t have.  Crap.  Damn my horrible Mandarin.  She probably thinks I want hot ketchup, not hot sauce.

“Qing, wo keyi kan kan ma?”  Can I please have a look (at your sauces)?

“Mei you.”  Frustration at myself mounting.  Wait!!  My gf can speak Mandarin.  Oh thank God!

I asked her to ask them for hot sauce, to which she replied, “Huh?  They don’t have.”

“Just ask! Please”  Dread was creeping on the outer fringes of my consciousness.

{Fast chattering of Mandarin} – Gf looks back and says, “See – I told you.  They don’t have hot sauce”

“In all KFC’s?” I asked in a very small voice.  I was mentally preparing to drive to a city 15 mins away to try that KFC.

“Yes honey, in all KFC’s in Taiwan.”  She must have sensed my oncomming hysteria “Let’s go buy some at 7 -11”

“But it won’t be the same!!” I whined.  Dammit – There goes my highly anticipated evening with the Colonel.

So, it appears that KFC’s in Taiwan don’t have the signature hot sauce.  Why KFC?…Why?

Not serving KFC hot sauce with KFC chicken is like having Cheech without Chong, or Brad without Angelina.

How would a building stand if you only had bricks, but no mortar?  How can you write a story with pen, but no paper?  What is gin without tonic?  Tutty without Fruity?

For my Taiwanese friends, imagine yin without yang.  Angry birds without pigs.  Tea without bubbles.  Taipei without 101.  Nightmarkets without Chou Doufu.

Together, all these things create awesomeness, but missing one, the other is just a pale, disappointing shadow.

As you can tell, I was SERIOUSLY looking forward to a nice helping of fatness, but was instead served up with a heaping plate of regret and let down.  Without the hot sauce, there is no reason for me to go to KFC at all.

I can’t help but wonder why this would be?  Taiwanese people enjoy spiciness just as much as the next guy.  Dumpling houses always have a little bottle of hot  sauce for diners.  Soup/noodle shacks regularly provide hot oil or sauce to their customers.  In fact, every local restaurant I’ve been to here has some form of liquid hotness.

Hell, they even have spicy mayo!  So what’s up KFC?

Is it that Taiwanese people (even if they like hot food) don’t like their WESTERN food to be hot?  I haven’t got a definite answer from any Taiwanese people I know.  Is KFC’s hot sauce just too expensive to make here?  I highly doubt that, considering all other food prices.  Is this a cosmic scheme to screw with me and deny me the highly satisfying combination of KFC’s chicken and hot sauce?  Probably.  Thank you, universe!

Whatever the reason (which I would really like to know), I’m highly disappointed with KFC Taiwan.



7 Responses to “Disappointment with KFC Taiwan”

  1. 1 Jon March 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    That’s weird ’cause I’m Canadian too, from Quebec, and our KFC’s don’t have hot sauce either 🙂 What they have is a secret recipe brownish-peppery thick gravy made from the chicken fat I heard, called the Colonel’s sauce. It’s actually the best gravy to my liking, but no hot sauce here. What province are you from? And what does that hot sauce look like? More like a thicker bbq sauce, or a watery-hot sauce like tabasco? I’m really curious about that hehe. Great blog by the way. I’ve spent my whole afternoon reading every article you’ve put up. I’ve been looking into teaching english in Asia, but I still haven’t decided on the country yet. However, Taiwan is really starting to show great promise 🙂

    • 2 islandsidechronicles March 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad you are enjoying the reads. I’m from Ontario, and the KFC hot sauce is more tabasco-y looking. In terms of gravy, you guys have it right, especially on the poutine. I fell in love with that stuff when I lived in Quebec, and miss it over here in Taiwan. Good luck with the teaching plans, and if you want any information regarding Taiwan, just drop me a line. Cheers

  2. 3 Troy Dalton March 17, 2013 at 4:18 am

    You could just buy Tabasco. Most supermarkets here carry it. Mos Burger has a spicy sauce in packet form as well.

  3. 5 Anonymous July 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

    never got hot sauce in both Boston KFC and LA KFC…your taste is kind of strange to me…KFC is for juicy and crispy fried chicken. Not for hot sauce..

  4. 6 Anonymous July 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

    never got hot sauce from Boston KFCs or LA KFCs…ok, i never got hot sauce from any KFC chain in the world. KFC is selling juicy and crispy fried chicken, not hot sauce anyway…

  5. 7 islandsidechronicles July 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Haha…fair enough. I developed a taste for the hot sauce with the fried chicken in Canada, so now I associate both with KFC.

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