Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Matt and Cat have long been occasional patrons of KFC, Newport. but rarely go into KFC Ryde. It was whilst out Christmas shopping with...
KFC, Ryde

Matt and Cat have long been occasional patrons of KFC, Newport. but rarely go into KFC Ryde. It was whilst out Christmas shopping with junior reviewers Bill and Jack that Matt decided try the offerings that KFC dishes out in its Union Street branch.

The restaurant is long and narrow, and slopes down, so that when approaching the tiny counter, customers have the slightly odd experience of looking down onto the serving staff. The lad who served Matt was pretty short, and as Matt’s no midget himself, this meant that the difference in their eye levels was, disconcertingly, some four feet. With the powerful Christmas music blaring out this made communication a little challenging. But having made his wishes known by bending down and speaking clearly, Matt was promptly served with a Supercharged Fillet Burger Meal, along with a Colonel’s 2-piece Meal and a Cheese Fillet Meal for the nippers. There’s no doubt that KFC serves its food very quickly. The menu choice is also reasonably wide – assuming you like chicken – and with specials regularly changed, there’s often something new to try.

The party settled themselves on barstools along the side of the establishment, and settled down to graze on the food. The Christmas party CD of noxious cover versions roared in their ears, as Roy Wood, Freddie Mercury and Jona Lewie got the worst of a musical battle against Phil Spector. Why is it that no Christmas song was made any later than about 1990? Did people suddenly realise how wrong it was in the 1990s? If so, why do we all still play these dire jangles? Anyhow, after a while the CD player must have achieved sentience, because the row degraded into digital static, and then ceased altogether.

Meanwhile, Matt and the lads were chowing happily on their food. Whatever else is said of KFC, it does produce a pretty eatable product. Matt’s Supercharged Fillet Burger was, as advertised, pleasingly hot and spicy, with plenty of salad alongside. The addition of a potato patty in these fillet meals bulks it up well to ensure it is satisfying, and moist without being over-greasy. Jack enjoyed his classic 2-piece meal. There is something simple and rewarding about just nibbling fresh, hot meat off the bone. Bill expressed approval of his Cheese Fillet Meal, although it was not as flavoursome as he was hoping.

Some mention must be made of the eating environment. Unlike the KFC restaurant in Newport, this one was tatty, worn, and downright messy. Napkins and other debris strewed the tiled floor; the toilets were tiny and in a state of great disarray, and perhaps most unpleasant, the walls and even the ceiling seemed to be spattered intermittently with various fluids, including ketchup, mayonnaise, and molten cheese. The mirrors that Matt sat gazing into whilst he ate were extreme examples of this – his view was clouded by a miasma of grot, including, incredibly, bits of plastic which appeared to be adhering to the vertical surface.

Despite the state of the place, once more Matt is unable to resist the charm of KFC. The food really is pretty good, it’s quick, and you know what you’re going to get. Anyone going into KFC for a delightful candlelit dinner for two is going to be seriously disappointed. But, come on, it’s KFC. You know what it’s for. Appreciate it for what it is.

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  • Neil (local)

    20th September 2010 #1 Author

    Well the last person to comment was just over a year ago and nothing seems to of changed. I took my young son in recently to eat in. The place was far from busy but never the less, the floor obviously hadn’t been swept for some time and most of the tables were dirty. We were there for around half an hour and during that time, no form of cleaning was carried out by the staff (which you see done at McDonlads constantly) while we were there. Food, however was ok but this outlet is not a good advert for KFC.


  • Curry Fan

    9th August 2009 #2 Author

    Ate there this evening… The team serving had no chips, or chicken ready at 5.15pm. A huge queue formed out the door, with customers getting angrier by the minute.

    When we finally got the food (2 boneless boxes to take away to feed 7), it was pretty good.

    As other reviewers have pointed out, the inside of this branch is a right mess – KFC rubbish all over the floors – I WOULD NOT FANCY EATING IN.


  • The Billo-bob

    8th November 2008 #3 Author

    Yeah, dirty tatty smelly, but hey, its better than McD’s anyday!
    The food is just below (and I mean JUST) the usual KFC quality and lets face it, when you think to yourself “hmm, I want some real good chowder!” KFC isn’t the first place that springs to mind.

    However perhaps if they sorted the place out it could be a nice fast food chain although they’ve so far failed at that there is wimpy next door…

    -Billo-bob over and out


  • Phil

    13th December 2006 #4 Author

    Thanks, I did read Wikipedia’s ( a brilliant on line encyclopedia), article on KFC, but I think they may have just got this one wrong. From Wikipedia one of the reasons of Kentucky Fried Chicken changing their name to KFC. Quote “KFC was using a genetically modified animal that could not be considered a chicken”. This was always a big hoax.

    You can read this hoax at only if you won’t to. To lay any fears to bed to any would be dinners at KFC. You can still eat real chicken here, this is from KFC’S own Webpage


  • Cat

    11th December 2006 #5 Author

    Matt and Cat respond: Thank you for your comments and your positive endorsement of our blog. The following entry about KFC’s re-branding is from Wikipedia:
    “The company adopted the abbreviated form of its name in 1991 for three reasons: to de-emphasize chicken (since the chain was moving to offer other foods), to avoid the unhealthy connotations of the word “fried”, and because a shorter name was considered more appealing to the youth market. When the name changed, an urban legend arose that the move was necessary because KFC was using a genetically modified animal that could not be considered a chicken”. Of course, Matt and Cat don’t believe any of that – one thing you certainly do get at KFC is chicken, and plenty of it.


  • Phil

    10th December 2006 #6 Author

    Many years ago KFC was better known as “Kentucky Fried Chicken” Then some smart alex decided to shorten it just to KFC. In those days of “Kentucky Fried Chicken” it was a treat to eat. In no way was it greasy, or did you get this horrible looking brown and red meat that tastes like rubber, that you get in some pieces now. It almost looks under cooked in some pieces.

    The Colonel’s “secret recipe” of eleven herbs and spices has now turned into more like a fish and chip shop batter, full of grease and no taste at all. and the fries or chips are so bland. It’s a shame no one remembers how it tasted years ago and was mostly white meat and excellent tasting drum sticks.

    As you say the Ryde branch is so tatty looking and dirty. I would never eat out of it personally

    Love your lighthearted reviews. you must have cast iron stomachs by now.