Breaking a Sweat over Nando's Chickenland
By MaryLaine | Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 18:17
I'm a regular diner at Nando's, the Enfield Town branch being a typical example of a quickly expanding Chickenland chain. And why? Because their chicken is, quite simply, to die for.
All in high spirits after a group meal at Nando's!
For those who are unaware of the brand, Nando's is a chain of Portuguese-style restaurants specialising in spicy, Cajun cuisine. For those who are a fan of the flames, they also offer the option of dangerous hot Peri-Peri sauce, which will not fail to send your taste buds into a tantalising inferno.
Although there are options for those less keen on the set-your-mouth-ablaze option, choices can be limited, as each dish possesses at least a small kick unless you opt for totally plain. For vegetarians especially, with the Nando's restaurant striving for an all-out Portuguese cha-cha-cha experience, it's hard not to feel the heat of staff and customers raving about their chargrilled chicken.
So where does this experience start? On entering, you'll be greeted by staff who will ask if you've been to Nando's before - a method, observably, to ensure you know that you must order your food at the till and pay upfront at the same time.
This method of ordering is controversial to say the least. I, myself, have become accustomed to this through regular visits to the restaurant, yet I admit it is bizarre to newcomers who may have obvious reservations. What if you encounter a problem with your food? With your money already firmly in the manager's pocket, you, quite frankly, hold a duff hand. Additionally, could the fact that the customer themselves must walk up to the till and give their order mean that they are, effectively, doing half the job of the waiters?
However when the food arrives – and this may take some time, as Nando's is a popular, and hence busy, restaurant, so make sure you have company to while away those many minutes – it is never a disappointment. Moist chicken and flavoursome sauce leaves nothing to be desired, yet of course the menu still holds the downfalls for non-spice-lovers and vegetarians. None-the-less, the bottomless drink is always a winner, as you can chug down as much liquid as it takes to douse those flames!
Once stuffed to brim, and while slumped in a reverie of gluttony, you begin to appreciate the 'pay upfront' method. No unnecessary and troublesome small talk, or risk of embarrassing burping in the faces of waiters handing you your bill. You can slide away happily and discreetly, and although you may not be able to say the same for your mouth, the Nando's experience will definitely not have burnt a hole in your pocket! At around £10 each, the price outweighs Nando's' many noted shortcomings
and is a recommendation on my part based on food quality and price.