Here’s a rather biased review of KFC in China: The food is not like the food back home. There is a lot of sea food, a lot of spice in things that are not spicy back home. The mashed potatoes taste and feel like watery infant rice cereal. And worst of all, they all subscribe to a very inefficient ordering system, in which the person who takes your order then goes to fill it himself before taking your cash and moving on to the next person, which results in long lines at busy times. It’s also more expensive than McDonald’s, and for children, at least in the winter, they only have hot milk, not cold or room temperature. Oh, and the bucket of chicken is half made up of spicy-coated chicken, and half with original recipe. If you have children, however, there is one thing that may keep you going to KFC in spite of all of these drawbacks: nearly every KFC has a play place. Below is a list of phrases you may find useful when ordering at KFC.

Ordering Online

You can order online very easily using their website: KFC Online Ordering. The only catch it won’t work while you’re logged onto your VPN. You’ll get an error message until you turn the VPN off. The biggest challenge will be entering your physical address, but once you’ve done it, it will all be saved under your email address for next time. Once you’ve picked out Tianjin, and your district in the drop down menu, just paste the Chinese name of your neighborhood into the location and some options should drop down. Pick out the one that looks the most like yours, and then paste your entire address into the last box. They’ll figure it out. If it’s a large order, they may call you to confirm, but I think that’s just over 500 RMB. You can even copy/paste 我不会说中国 in the special comments box, just so they know that they’re dealing with a foreigner who can’t talk to them if they call!

Useful Phrases:

Photo Menu (asking for this, if they don’t automatically produce when they see your foreign face, is very helpful – you can just say the first part for photo and get by): 照片菜单 – Zhàopiàn càidān

Kentucky Fried Chicken (say you need a taxi driver to find one): 肯德基 – Kěndéjī

Meal: 套餐 – tàocān

Children’s Meal: 儿童套餐 – Értóng tàocān

Chicken Nuggets: 鸡块 – Jī kuài (sounds like Ji Kuar in Tianjin)

Large-Size : 大号 – dà hào

Eat In: 在这儿吃 – zài zhèr chī

Take Out: 带走 – dài zǒu

Ketchup: 番茄酱 – Fānqié jiàng

Cola: 可乐 – Kělè

Sprite (they only have Pepsi products): 七喜 – Qīxǐ

French Fries: 薯条 – Shǔ tiáo

Simple Cone Ice Cream: 圆筒冰淇淋 – Yuán tǒng bīngqílín

Not Spicy – 不要辣 – bùyào là


About Author

Wife of a teacher and mother of three, Tianjin resident since 2011.

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