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Recent relaxations of regulations by the government of Myanmar have gone a long way in opening up the country to foreign tourism and investment. While we’re sure this is big news in the worlds of finance and manufacturing, we couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean for RocketNews24’s journalistic foundation: fast food. We’d heard that Japanese/Korean hamburger/craziness emporium Lotteria had entered the market, but where do the people of Myanmar get their fried poultry fix? Do they have KFC?

We suppose we could have used Google to see if the chain operates in the country (turns out it does), but we saw no reason to do so when we could get paid to take an overseas business trip instead. And so we travelled to Myanmar’s metropolis of Yangon in search of KFC.

We found two thirds of what we were looking for.

While wandering Myanmar’s largest city, we come across what we thought was a branch of the fast food eatery formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken. A closer look revealed that we’d instead stumbled across a Myanmar original (using a loose definition of the word).

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What we’d discovered was an AFC. This isn’t the world’s first Kentucky lookalike, as it’s predated by Bangladesh’s King Fried Chicken, among others.

With no clear explanation for AFC’s acronym, we’re going to go ahead and assume it stands for “Another Fried Chicken.” Fried chicken is of course the house specialty, as you don’t go to the trouble of ripping off the name, coloring, and even the font of one of the most successful fast food chains on the planet if you’re not going to bother ripping off its menu, too.

▼ Does the “Pepsi can” include the Pepsi itself?

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Intellectual property issues aside, the Yangon branch is still the closest AFC to our office, and so we decided to give it a shot. We were greeted by two friendly, perky cashiers. They responded to our inquiries by confirming that AFC has absolutely no connection with KFC, but that their chicken was tasty nonetheless.

We ordered a two-piece combo and sat down. We should note that while AFC gets docked points for their lack of originality, they earn some of them back by serving their food on ceramic plates with metal cutlery.

▼ No plastic sporks here!

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But while we appreciated this extra touch of class, we’re not really accustomed to eating our friend chicken with a fork, let alone three of them. Grabbing our drumstick and taking a bite, we were satisfied with the meat’s flavor, even if it wasn’t as juicy as we would have liked. The breading was thick and plentiful, allowing us to enjoy its crispiness in the same bite as the chicken’s tenderness.

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We wouldn’t say AFC is as good as the Colonel’s genuine article, but judged by the standards of budget-priced Western food in Myanmar, it wasn’t bad at all. We just have one question: Will AFC continue to copy its more well-known rival by bringing out its own version of the KFC-flavored potato chips?

Images: RocketNews24
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