Our Verdict On KFC’s New Umakara Chicken

Your favourite spicy fried chicken with an interesting umami twist

Text and photo by Samantha Francis

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Feast on the Umakara Chicken Box ($9.50).

When it comes to fast food, I tend to gravitate towards the original flavours — think KFC Original Recipe or the good ole McSpicy Burger.

Why fix what’s not broken, right? Plus, familiar flavours are infinitely comforting.

But by the looks of this year’s tsunami of food trends — from salted egg yolk to Thai milk tea, we’re betting new and exciting is the way to go.

Umakara Chicken

KFC, of course, is no stranger to that. Hot on the heels of its KFC wings which came in both the Korean-inspired Yang Yeum flavour and the Japanese-inspired Umadare flavour, is the brand new Umakara Chicken.

Inspired by the fifth taste profile “umami”, the Umakara Chicken is inspired by the Japanese loan word which translates loosely to ‘moreish savoury’.

I had a taste of the Umakara Chicken Box ($9.50), which came with two pieces of Umadare Chicken, two pieces of chicken tenders, two pieces of Shrooms Poppers, one regular Whipped Potato and one regular SJORA Mango Peach drink.

Inspired by umami

At first glance, the Umakara Chicken resembled the Extra Crispy Chicken, but with a sprinkling of spiced powder and sesame seeds on top. My first bite resulted in a mouthful of crispy, battered skin and umami spice sprinkle.

The battered skin had a somewhat peppery flavour, with a tinge of sweetness that emerged with every bite. On the other hand, the chicken meat, marinated in savoury shoyu, was juicy with an unmistakable heat.

Verdict? The contrast of various seasonings left my taste buds slightly confused at times — the spice was slightly more overpowering towards the end.

But if umami meant this indescribable savoury taste; the Umakara Chicken came pretty close.

Available at KFC from 13 July; while stocks last.

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