With KFC formally bringing back their chicken patty-hash brown crossover this week, it made sense to bring back a long-running Kotaku column to answer the question: is the Tower Burger still worth the pain?
The Tower Burger is one of the more filling items on a KFC menu, although it’s not in the same league as the iconic Zinger Stacker. Still, it was one of KFC’s more popular items until it was pulled from the menu in 2018.
But the tangy tomato-covered hash brown upgrade to a regular KFC fillet burger is back, although it’ll only remain in stores until March 22 at certain KFC restaurants. If you preferred the Zinger version, that’s making a month-long return as well.
It’s been a while since we’ve been through regular taste tests here at Kotaku, save for the luxurious Like a Dragon bowl of ramen we enjoyed last year. The KFC Tower Burger is infinitely more accessible at $8.95, or $11.95 in a combo. So we got a few into the office to test, just to see how things would literally stack up.
Here’s what you get out of the packaging. All Maccas, KFC, Red Rooster burgers: their buns always tend to compress a little when travelled. The distance also meant the hash brown wasn’t as crispy as it’d normally be if you got the Tower Burger hot off the line. But beyond that, it’s a hash brown. You know what to expect there.
I split the burger below in half with Gizmodo Australia’s editor, while Kotaku Australia’s producer Leah had a full burger of her own. Here’s what Leah, our resident burger queen, thought of it all:
“The Tower Burger oozed through my intestines in the most glorious way. As someone who’s trying to eat healthier I immediately felt guilty about eating it, but there’s no better way to destroy your diet.
I’m not a big potato fan, but the patty on the bun was crisp and beautiful. The chicken was delicious, and the sauce struck the perfect balance between sweet and sour. This is a delicious, delicious burger and I felt very guilty about eating it.”
For myself, I think I was just missing a bit more texture. Putting the softness of the hash brown aside — because that’s affected by travel mostly — I think the Tower has always been better with a Zinger patty. Alternatively, there’s the Double Tender Burger with the slightly cragglier texture of the tenders. It’s a little lighter than the Tower, although you’re not getting the balance between the mayo and the tangy tomato sauce; it’s just straight mayo, lettuce and two chicken strips.
But the Tower has always been a good gut-filler without having the massive calorie counts of the bigger KFC burgers. It’s always been one of the reliable fast food options in Australia. You need a fast food burger. You don’t want anything too large, nothing too salty, and nothing too heavy on calories. If you just get a regular burger with a single patty, you know you’re not going to be satisfied. Adding a single hash brown adds just enough to keep you going, without leaving you feeling like you’ve just had breakfast and lunch in a single sitting.
It makes me wonder why KFC took the Tower Burger away in the first place. Still, at least it’s back for a while. It’s not at all stores, however, so check your local KFC store here. Now speaking of staples, when is KFC going to bring their Christmas feast to Australia?