Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen
Time Out says
When a restaurant promises Louisiana Cajun style fast food, I for one expect my meal there to be a hearty blend of creole, cayenne pepper-infused, spicy, fusion food. A nice blend of French, Mediterranean, Spanish and African flavours. Sadly, this was not what I got. Expecting full flavours, the food was sadly, and to be honest, quite distressingly bland. I am not exaggerating when I say that it took an effort to finish my meal.
Popeye’s offers three different types of mains: sandwiches, rice and a chicken or seafood set. Each main comes with a choice of chicken, fish or shrimp. Sadly, spinach was nowhere to be seen on the menu. Arriving with a group of people, we decided to order one of each. We had the two-piece chicken and biscuit set in both mild and spicy, the fish sandwich and the shrimp rice. We topped that off with an order of Cajun fries and a strawberry cheesecake dessert.
The mild chicken could only be described as bland. Battered in a supposed blend of Louisiana spices, the chicken left much to be desired. The spicy on the other hand was pretty decent. Less spicy than expected, the flavour was a welcome change for our tastebuds after the flatness of the mild chicken. Both sets came with a biscuit, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. The coleslaw was fresh and tangy with a slight kick of onions thrown into the mix. The mashed potato was average but the sauce it came with tasted of chicken and herbs with minced meat nicely adding a good dose of flavour to the dish. The biscuit, supposedly a speciality of Popeye’s, was – for lack of a better word – gross. It looked delicious, like a warm buttery scone, but you bite in to find a powdery mess with a barely-cooked, almost slimy centre. It did not warrant swallowing.
The sandwich was dry, but came with a rich tangy sauce. The shrimp rice came nicely fresh and steaming with juicy, pink shrimp, cheese and kidney beans all resting on a bed of sauce similar to the mashed potato sauce. Not a fan of beans, I must say that they went well with the rice dish, and nicely complementing the shrimp. I would have liked a little spiciness though; rice can take a good dose of spicy and not be overwhelmed.
The Cajun fries were reminiscent of a mild version of the CNY twister fries available at another fast food joint. Once again, not spicy enough. A must try is the strawberry cheesecake. It comes in a small serving, which was surprisingly sufficient, and left much satisfaction on the palate. Any larger and there was a risk of feeling muak, from the sweetness and richness of the dessert.
Overall, the visit did not leave me wanting more. It just didn’t deliver. The supposed Cajun flavour reeked of commercial toning down for the market. But, we’re Malaysian, we can handle the spiciness, kan? Rosheen Fatima