Third Christmas in Tokyo on the books

Last Christmas, I said I wasn’t about to wait in line for a KFC Japan Christmas party bucket. This year, however, not only did I not wait in line, I also made a reservation for a xmas bucket weeks in advanced. -_-

Knowing that I would have to work both the 24th and 25th of December, I figured it might be a good time to give the Japanese tradition a try and also write a review.

The plan was innocent enough, but little did I know, my review would be so controversial it would elicit the most negative feedback I’ve ever had about anything I’ve ever written.

Before I get into it, an excerpt of the review itself:

The chicken was similar to that served back home, though a little saltier and not as crisp. The salad was probably the tastiest part of the meal (must’ve been the fake bacon bits). The cake was moist, but I wasn’t impressed to see that it had been sprinkled with edible gold flakes. It’s difficult to mess up chocolate cake, but it wasn’t all that good.

KFC Japan’s infamous Christmas meal failed to do its job. Instead of providing me with a taste of home, it only made me crave the American version even more. All through the meal, visions of mashed potatoes, gravy and flaky biscuits — items not offered with any of KFC Japan’s Christmas meal options — danced in my head.

Read my full review for Stars and Stripes here.

This review ran in the paper after Christmas, of course. And then a few emails and comments on Facebook started rolling in. It was as though anything but a glowing review of mediocre chicken was unacceptable!

Most were upset that I didn’t like the chicken. KFC Japan is okay, I’ve had it plenty of times while here; I just didn’t particularly enjoy the party bucket.

Others called me an “ignorant” writer, another a “typical American” for complaining about food in Japan and for having certain expectations about the bucket, and even a winner went so far as to say he was offended by the way my name is spelled (!!!). Sue me for being an expat of a multicultural background (hence the funny name) that gets homesick sometimes around the holidays. haha

Perhaps I should have been more obvious in my wit and light-hearted wording. Maybe the complaints would’ve been less had I not failed to acknowledged KFC Japan (and other US franchise restaurants with locations in Japan) cater to their Japanese audience for the menu options. I’ve lived here for three years, of course I know that I can’t expect to go into a US chain in Japan and expect the same food and ingredients I get back home. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be disappointed and have an opinion!

Just like these readers have the freedom to talk shit, I, too, have the right to dislike something.

Christmas in Japan is definitely a trip, as I’ve written before here. And, in the future, I am glad to know that Sanders Claus will no longer tempt me to waste my money (and time) on a party bucket nor will the scoundrel expose me to the Internet trolls.

But speaking of expensive holiday meals, I did find a lady in Japan selling homemade tamales. The tamales were tiny but we gladly paid 18 DOLLARS for a dozen because they were soooo tasty. In Japan, where ingredients expats usually have access to are rare, I would gladly pay the premium for something that tastes good and is of good quality. KFC Japan’s Christmas bucket just didn’t seem worth it to me and I wrote my goddam truth! haha

Hope your holidays were less controversial this year! Below, a few pics of my SAD xmas meal. Happy New Year! xx




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