- I visited Popeyes in London ahead of its official UK launch in November.
- I was shown how to make the brand's iconic chicken sandwich that went viral in 2019.
- I also got to try the Biscoff milkshake, which is exclusive to the UK menu.
The popular fried chicken chain Popeyes launched its first restaurant in Louisiana in 1972. The franchise has 2,709 locations across the US and launched its first UK location in November.
In 2019, Popeyes introduced its now-iconic classic chicken sandwich to the menu, which sold out two weeks later. It went viral, prompting one fan to list a sandwich on eBay for $7,000.
I visited the first Popeyes in the UK ahead of its launch in Westfield Stratford City, a shopping mall in east London.
During the press launch, I was given a first look at the Popeyes kitchen and had the opportunity to make my own chicken sandwich.
An employee informed me that the sandwich consists of two brioche buns, 14 grams of mayonnaise, two pickles, and a piece of fried chicken. I started by toasting the buns.
Then I used a spatula to slather on the mayonnaise.
I added two pickles to the bottom bun, followed by a piece of buttermilk fried chicken. The employee said that if the chicken has a curved shape, place the curved side on the bun so that it fits nicely.
Then it was time to wrap the finished product in the signature Popeyes paper, which involved tucking in the corners. It felt almost like wrapping a birthday present.
I was pretty impressed with the finished product, which costs £4.95, or around $6.70. The chicken was both tender and crispy, making it excellent quality for money in my opinion.
Later, I sat down with Tom Crowley, CEO of Popeyes UK, and Peter Genna, director of product development. They let me sample some of the menu.
I got to try the spicy chicken sandwich, which had the same ingredients as the classic chicken sandwich with the exception of spicy mayo.
Crowley and Genna told me the UK menu is slightly different from the US menu, as some items are "slightly spicier" since the UK test audience responded well to spicy foods.
There are also milkshakes on the menu, something which isn't offered stateside. The flavors include Lotus Biscoff (pictured), Oreo, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and caramel.
I got to try a savory biscuit with gravy for the first time, something which isn't a typical delicacy in the UK. I think it's something I'd have to try a couple of more times to be fully adjusted to the taste.
I enjoyed my visit to the restaurant, with the chicken sandwich and the Lotus Biscoff milkshake being a highlight. However, I can't wait to come back and try more of the menu in the future to see how it measures up.
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