To keep up with China's growing number of health-conscious consumers, KFC launched its first KPROs – KFC Pros – in Hangzhou and Beijing last year. Last week, a chain finally opened up in Shanghai to satisfy people's need for greens, located in Pudong's new L+ Mall.
The inside looks less KFC, more salad bar with a counter featuring fresh vegetables on display (mostly to show off the staff as they prepare your food) and a juice bar right by the entrance. Forget crumpling onto a classic KFC stall with a plastic tray, it's all cushioned chairs here, with metal cutlery and tables with charging points to boot.
As for ordering, there are three ways to do it. The first is to use the machines at the entrance; the second is to scan the QR code at your table and order with your phone; the third is the old-fashioned way at the counter. No matter the method, the staff will bring the food to your table.
Now, on to the food:
The menu here is heavy on salads and sandwiches – there's fried food, of course, but it's definitely not your regular bucket-o'-chicken KFC and chips. We're talking fried chicken wings with truffle (16RMB for two pieces) and sweet potato fries (18RMB).
As for the salads, think pumpkin and squash (36RMB) or kale and blueberry salad with prawns and avocado (39RMB).
On the heartier side, sandwiches range from a Mexican-style chicken burger (25RMB) to pesto chicken (our personal favourite, 29RMB) and truffle steak (48RMB) paninis.
Chasing something sweet? The classic sundae gets a swanky facelift in the form of the 'Cremia' (28RMB) – imagine a vanilla soft serve in a fancy-looking plastic cup with an upside-down cone on top, et voilà!
For us, portions are a little on the small side, so a filling meal will probably set you back more than you’d expect from an ordinary KFC meal. If you’re just looking for a cheap fast food fix, KPRO might not be your cup of tea, but for novelty value or a quick and (relatively) healthy meal it's got our vote – oh, and if you're not a fan of the KPRO, there's a regular KFC right next to it anyway. Go figure.