Popeyes, the American multinational fast food chain of fried chicken is finally here! With the help of Softlogic, they've launched their first branch in Sri Lanka, right at the basement of Mount Lavinia Softlogic Glomark supermarket.
We decided to pop in for a First Look.
Ambience & Service
We actually had to wait quite a while till the coast is clear, so we can take this picture.
Popeyes opened their doors less than a week ago, and yet, it's already swamped with customers. There's a long queue leading up to the counter, and almost all the booths are full. Thankfully, we managed to grab two seats as soon as we entered, but we noticed that a couple of bigger groups had to wait around a bit to sit down.
It's a tight space, featuring a black, orange and white colour theme, along with a mix of cushy seats and wooden furniture in the seating arrangement. Here they can accommodate at least 30 customers at a time.
It's self-service here. You order your food from the counter, keep an eye on the screen until it pops up that your order is ready, grab it from the collection point, and eat. They don't take long to serve the food. Ours arrived within 3 - 5 minutes.
What We Had
Pretty much everything here revolves around fried chicken. They've got a few burgers, wings, popcorn chicken, and even rice with chicken. Aside from that, we also spotted a few seafood dishes. However, we also realised that it's missing some of the signature dishes - like Popeyes Biscuits.
The Regular Classic Chicken Sandwich Combo (Rs. 900) arrived with a Classic Chicken Burger, French Fries and a soft drink.
It's a simple burger - just a fillet of fried chicken, mayo and some zucchini. Light, crispy, and golden-fried, the Classic Chicken was quite juicy.
The bun is the ultimate winner here. It's soft, airy, moist and tastes, looks and smells extremely buttery.
Sprinkled with Cajun-style seasoning, the fries were crispy and salty.
The Spicy Signature Chicken (Rs. 580 for 2pc) had a browner texture from the outside in comparison to the Classic, simply because of the blend of spices that had been included in the batter. It's the same light, crispy batter, carrying a spicy undertone.
From what we gathered, they have to keep it mild, as adding more spices to the batter would make it even darker in colour.
The Peri Peri Wings (Rs. 340 for 4pc) was comparatively spicy and had a brighter shade.
This is the Classic Rice With Grilled Chicken (Rs. 450). The rice was aromatic and well-seasoned, the onion sambol was peppery, while the chicken had a firm and juicy texture. However, the highlight here was the gravy, which had this nice, mutton curry-like flavour.
On the drinks side, Popeyes serves soft drinks, coffee, iced milo and mojito.
With a mild limey-kick seeping through, this Virgin Mojito (Rs. 220) was refreshing, fizzy and had the fresh hit of mint.
The Iced Milo (Rs. 260) wasn't exactly milo-y, and leant towards the milky side.
As of now, Popeyes has its moments. We'll be back in another few weeks for the full review, so stay tuned!
*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re