Fried chicken showdown: KFC vs Texas Chicken vs Marry Brown

Everybody loves fried chicken— this is a fact. Source: just trust me. Fried chicken is probably the most popular side dish in Malaysia, whether it’s just a plate of white rice and kicap, or nasi lemak with some spicy sambal

But what about fried chicken from fast food chains? 

Everyone has their own preference. Some will confidently say that nothing will ever come close to McDonald’s spicy Ayam Goreng McD, and some will forever cherish the familiar taste of KFC that dominated their childhoods. 

In this showdown, I’ll be comparing Texas Chicken, KFC, and Marry Brown. I’ll also be focusing on 3 aspects: crispiness of skin, juiciness of meat, and flavour. To be as fair as possible, I made it a point to order 2 pieces of chicken at each fast food chain so that I could try both original and spicy flavours.

When it comes to fast food, most choose to get it delivered or to tapau. For the sake of maximum freshness, I made sure to try everything in-store. 

Texas Chicken

Texas Chicken - Storefront

My first stop was Texas Chicken. Since it was my first meal of the day, I opted for their 2pc Chicken Combo (RM18.99) that comes with a drink and a honey-butter biscuit. The à la carte version with just the chicken is priced at RM14.99

Texas Chicken - 2pc chicken combo

Firstly, the chicken came out piping hot. The meat was very juicy and tender, but overall quite oily. Taste-wise, it was unfortunately pretty bland. I found myself reaching for the small plastic container of chilli sauce over and over again despite not being a big fan of the condiment.

Texas Chicken - Chicken piece

The spicy chicken lacked the flavour I was looking for too, but the kick was definitely there. It wasn’t a need-tissue-to-wipe-my-nose kind of spicy, but all it was was just that— no detectable seasonings, just spiciness. 

As much as you might hate to admit it (due to health reasons), the skin is the best part; this is where you get most of the flavour, and the crunch is unparalleled. The chicken here had crispy skin, but nothing out of the ordinary. To paint a clearer picture, I don’t think you’d be able to create ASMR content out of this chicken. 

KFC

KFC - Storefront

According to a superfan, KFC Malaysia is the best KFC in the world. Not only is Kamlesh Mistry the first person to be awarded the franchise’s Super Fan title in 2020, he has also expressed his love for the menu we have here. He’s a fan of spicy food, and KFC Malaysia is good at catering to the local palate.

A few Singaporean team members have also stated that Malaysia’s KFC is way better than Singapore’s KFC. This shocked me, as KFC has never been my go-to fried chicken spot. That being said, I’ll be reviewing their chicken objectively with all biases thrown out the window.  

The 2-pc Chicken costs RM16.99.

KFC - Piece of chicken

Right off the bat, the meat wasn’t as juicy as the ones I tried at Texas Chicken, but that doesn’t mean it was dry in the slightest. It was still tender and pleasant, but the chicken juices definitely weren’t oozing out.

Kotak+: Indonesian restaurant with sambal goreng that’ll set your tongue on fire

In terms of crunch, it was about the same as Texas Chicken. However, the chicken I had here was significantly more flavourful than its previous contender. You can taste some seasonings, though you definitely won’t be able to detect all 11 herbs and spices they use in their infamous recipe.

KFC - 2 pieces of chicken

To be honest, it just tasted like every kitchen’s most used seasonings: salt and pepper, so that really goes to show how tasteless Texas Chicken was for me that day. 

Comparing their spicy chicken to their original, I prefer the original. The skin of the spicy piece was worryingly salty when eaten by itself. Though, it was fine when coupled with a big chunk of meat.

Marry Brown

Marry Brown - Storefront
Credit

This was my first time trying Marry Brown, so I was quite curious. I haven’t seen many outlets around either, but to my surprise, there was a branch just a 6-minute drive away from my house. 

Marry Brown - Drumstick on palm of a hand

I need to address the elephant in the room, or rather, the mouse. Their chicken pieces were much smaller than KFC’s and Texas Chicken’s. It shocked me, because I was so used to getting extremely large pieces at other fast food joints. As seen in the photo, the drumstick was smaller than my hand.

If we’re looking at portion size, this could possibly leave you still hungry, especially if you don’t order a combo meal. In this case, the smaller the chicken, the lower the price, as the total came to RM15.60 for 2 pieces, making Marry Brown the cheapest option thus far.

Marry Brown - 2 pieces of fried chicken

Remember when I said that you wouldn’t be able to kickstart an ASMR career from eating Texas Chicken? Well, you can definitely do that with Marry Brown’s. The skin on their chicken was jarringly different from the rest— it was extremely crunchy. 

The chicken wasn’t oily, and the breast meat was nice and tender. Marry Brown also had the most flavourful chicken in my opinion, although not mind-blowing or earth-shattering in any way. Unfortunately, their spicy chicken wasn’t spicy at all, so I think this would be well-suited for those who can’t handle extreme heat.  

Final thoughts

Texas Chicken disappointed me this round, especially since I’ve usually really enjoyed their chicken prior to this showdown. I will, however, continue to be a loyal customer just for their honey-butter biscuits. KFC was pretty standard, but the salty skin really threw me off. 

Marry Brown - Storefront and fried chicken

Since I’m picking the winner solely based on the 3 criteria, Marry Brown wins! Personally, I’m not too bothered by chicken sizes, but I could definitely see how this could be a deal breaker for some. I’m not entirely sure if all of their pieces are small, or if it was just my luck on that day. If you haven’t tried Marry Brown, it’s definitely worth a shot, just be sure to request for bigger pieces.

As the saying goes: live, laugh, ayam goreng.

Nasi Lemak Tanglin: Home-cooked fluffy nasi lemak with shiok sambal since 1948, opens at 7am

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