Auckland Chef Hercules Noble Is Turning KFC Into a Luxe Five-Course Meal for Three Nights Only

At pop-up eatery Mr Sanders, Ponsonby Road diners will taste fried chicken like they never have before.
Emma Clark-Dow
February 29, 2024

Auckland chef Hercules Noble is launching a fine-dining series with a fried chicken twist. From Wednesday, March 20–Friday, March 22, Noble will serve up five courses of KFC at his first restaurant, which is aptly named Mr Sanders — as in Colonel Sanders.

Noble has curated a menu that highlights the fine-dining elements of fried chicken, and will match each dish with wine as well, but he's keeping the full five courses under wraps until the first session in mid-March. He has revealed one key clue: the hero dish of the experience will incorporate KFC's hot and crispy boneless chicken.

"I'm looking at unusual ingredients, inventive plating and a dash of drama to elevate this to a whole new level," Noble said.

The chef has garnered a substantial following on social media over the past year, due to his famous video series Will It Sourdough?. The videos do what they say on the box, with Noble infusing quirky ingredients into his loaves of bread, with some attempts including a full English breakfast, sour gummy lollies, carbonara and Ferrero Rocher chocolate.

Noble said that it wouldn't be right to launch Mr Sanders without featuring a slice or two of sourdough. "I couldn't launch this restaurant without incorporating my iconic Will It Sourdough?, so I'm experimenting with ways to infuse the bread with the flavours of KFC potato and gravy," he said.

The restaurant will be located on Ponsonby Road, giving late-night party people a fancier option to their drunken meal of choice. Mr Sanders will even look like a fine-dining joint, taking inspiration from some of its Ponsonby neighbours, with the fitout including neon lights and creative table settings.

Tickets cost $99 just for the five-course meal, or $129 with matched wine. Both options include a cocktail or mocktail upon arrival.

The concept is similar to a Sydney event held at fine-dining institution Nel in 2022. Known for creating degustations themed around Disney movies, stage shows such as Moulin Rouge!, Christmas and more, the Surry Hills joint served up a 11-course set menu dedicated to KFC.

Mr Sanders runs from Wednesday, March 20–Friday, March 22 at 152 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland. For tickets and further information, head to the event's website.

Published on February 29, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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