“So bro what do they have to do in Osaka? I’m headed there tomorrow.”
“Well there’s Osaka Castle, a few temples, oh they have an all-you-can-eat KFC…”
My jaw dropped. The rest of his list became white noise. From that moment on I knew one thing: said jaw would consume a gluttonous amount of fried chicken within the next 24 hours.
Turns out the KFC Buffet Restaurant in Osaka’s Expo City Complex is the world’s only all-you-can-eat KFC. Just five months old, it offers carnivores 90 minutes to eat as much KFC as they can handle. The menu isn’t like your typical KFC; with desserts, soups, and salad (lol.)
Having spent hours on the train getting there, I was mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to take on this quest. The hefty $26NZD entrance fee meant one thing: I had to eat to the point where I didn’t need dinner. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I began.
– x3 Pieces of original recipe chicken
– x2 Pieces of the Colonel’s crispy chicken
– x2 Chicken nuggets
– x1 Serving of chips w tomato sauce
– x1 Serving of shrimp pasta
– x1 Handful of curly wedges
-x1 Miscellaneous fish stick
I have to admit this was a show-off plate. This was a “hey look how extreme kiwis are” to all the Japanese families peacefully nibbling their carcasses around me. I felt the weight of it as I plonked it down, ready to dive in.
This plate went down very easily, very greasily, and holy goddam curly wedges?! Crispy sticks of beauty they are. However after plate one, I was already a healthy amount of full. If this was a normal KFC feast, I’d happily have moved on with my life. But this was no normal feast. I set off again, with a hankering for more grosstein. (Greasy protein.)
– x3 Pieces of original recipe chicken
– x1 Piece of the Colonel’s crispy chicken
– x1 serving of crispy wedges with aoli
OK even for me this looked unappetizing.
When I finished serving it up I wanted to go back to my seat, but felt guilty for what I was about to do. I felt like I needed a shower, or to high-five a nun or something. That single shade of cholesterol-brown dominated the plate and made me uneasy.
Luckily I’m really smart, and just did this:
All of a sudden it looked like I was on paleo.
This plate took me much longer than plate number one, although my fingers were too greasy to check the time on my phone. This was when I started getting strategic. I had 90 minutes to get as much food in as possible, so I let it digest for a bit. Killing time, I explored the restaurant and came across this:
It was clear this place was like the Hard-Rock Café equivalent for fried chicken. The Colonel was a superstar. One that ladies loved, and poultry feared. He was a hard-working man, who never gave up until his recipe was the most recognized. Was I to give up after plate two? No. I knew I had the willpower to push through. I also knew I had limited time before the dreaded KFC hangover hit, so I quickly continued.
– x2 Pieces original recipe chicken
– x1 Handful of curly wedges, drizzled with maple syrup and whipped cream
– x2 Chicken nuggets garnished with strawberries and blueberries
– x1 Small serving of boiled cabbage salad
People told me travelling is all about discovering yourself, trying new things, and experimenting. Obviously they must have been talking about nuggets and wedges, which is exactly why I got weird with the third plate.
Despite my body telling me no, I tried my first custom creation: curly wedges with maple syrup and whipped cream. Oh. My. Sweet. Lord. I had created a masterpiece. It must have been how Leonard Cohen felt when he finished Hallelujah. The crispy outer layer complimented the sweetness so perfectly. It was at that moment I learned my eventual cause of death: “death by maple-cream curly wedges.”
Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the berry-garnished nuggets. They were on par with my first food combination back in NZ: Spafrootti Loopognese:
Despite the magic of the sweet curly wedges, I was done. I had never been so full in my life. I took a moment to let it sink in. That it did, as I was so full I could feel it in my feet. It hurt to breathe. I felt like I needed the Colonel helpline.
Then it hit me. The KFC hangover.
How to describe such a sensation? They say taking heroin is like downing a bottle of vodka, while soaking in a boiling hot bath, waiting for it to kick in. Taking this much KFC felt like devouring the entire cast of Chicken Run, while soaking in a vat of potato and gravy.
I was legitimately scared for my health. I had 15 minutes left before my 90 were up, and all I could do was sit with my head in my hands like I’d just lost the house on a blackjack hand.
With five minutes to go, hangover blaring, curiosity got the better of me. I honoured the 11th commandment: “there’s always room for dessert” and rolled out of my seat.
– x2 Mini scoops of berry ice-cream
– x1 Slice of pineapple
– x1 Cube of pineapple cake
– x1 Mini cup of miscellaneous white pudding
I don’t know how, but I managed to eat everything, despite barely being able to see colours anymore. The ice-cream was delicious, along with the random pudding which I’ll never know the name of. It didn’t matter.
I had done it.
What exactly? I don’t know, but the sense of achievement was enough to get me out of the seat, pay my yen, and retire to the closest bench outside the restaurant.
I just sat there for about 45 minutes, falling in and out of a food coma daze. I put my headphones in and listened to Kanye’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Because I had just lived out one of mine. I awoke realizing I was asleep for about 20 minutes before finding the strength to walk on, and continue my travels.
Would I recommend Osaka’s all-you-can-eat KFC? It’s something I’d wish upon both my best friend, and worst enemy. The pleasure and pain is so intertwined and so extreme on both sides, it’s like watching a Victoria’s Secret fashion show while someone sets your legs on fire. Although I’ve barely eaten in the last 24 hours since, and it was about 23 hours ago I said to myself “I’m never eating again…”
…I’ve got a serious craving for some maple-cream curly wedges.