Newest Review: ... available - instead of you having to wait for the server to bring refills. The menu at Nandos is very straightforward. Although most of ... more
Both good and bad experience here!
Member Name: MsTricia
Advantages: good food, nice to eat out in a fun vibe
Disadvantages: hygiene! yuk!
I am a lover of Nandos, but this review will be a mixed one....
**About the Brand**
My best friend worked for nandos for 3 years, and so has taken me great delight in telling me all about the company! It is a portuguese restaurant, which actually originated in South Africa. It began in 1987 and specialises in chicken dishes. Although there are restaurants all over the world there are actually none in Portugal! Reason being, it is like having a pizza hut in Italy...no-one is particularly interested in a brand of food they would most likely eat all day at home!
From personal experience the staff are always friendly, and eager to help, sometimes too eager as they ALWAYS ASK "have you been to nandos before?' which to be quite honest I find annoying as I have been a million times! It is not the usual restaurant etiquette, where a waiter serves you at your table and you give your order, you are shown to your table, simply given a menu, and then when you have decided, you proceed to the till to place your order and pay for it before you have eaten; a mixture of fast food service and restaurant to be quite honest. However, I enjoy this system, as it means when your food arrives you can eat in peace, without quibbles at the end over the bill.
It is a predominantly chicken based menu; burgers, wings, whole chicken etc. They do cater for vegetarians but on the one occasion I took my vegetarian friend she said it was the worst she had ever tasted (so never took her back again!) but at the same time my friend who is not a vegetarian only eats their veggie burgers! (Weird!) but each to their own I suppose. They have enjoyable healthy sides, like ratatouille, sweet potato mash, and other yummy sides like rice, and chips. To make the brand specific, all their chicken is cooked in a peri-peri sauce, which is indicative of the nandos brand, and everyone can choose the spiciness of their food.
I wish to note, that (being told this from my friend who worked in nandos) the chicken is not cooked fresh. All pieces are boiled prior, and when the order is placed, they then proceed to place it on the grill (simply to make it brown) and add the spice (hot/medium/lemon & herb etc). Although saying this, it is delicious and I have never had any qualms about the taste of the food. Only that the breast is VERY DRY. If you order half a chicken, they will give you a quarter breast, and a quarter leg and thigh, unless you flirt your ass of and specifically request it, or you know the waitress and she will hook you up :)
They do a good refillable drink which is only carbonated e.g. sprite, fanta, coke etc so I and most people I know tend to go for this cheaper option as you can drink to your hearts desire until your food arrives. If you wish for something healthy like juice or milk, be aware it is around 250ml for around £3 so sip it slowly until your food arrives!
It is definitely a family friendly restaurant, with baby changing facilities (at least the ones I have been to have these facilities) and is a nice place to eat out for a fraction of the price and have a good time.
**My Personal Experience**
The only downside about nandos is the general hygiene of the restaurants. About 18 months ago I visited a branch with my friend, and after our meal we saw a mouse run out of the kitchen, to the area where they were grilling the chicken then only when we screamed (melodramatic we know!) that a member of staff killed it with a broom and swept it out the front door! We were appalled. As the manager could see our distress he apologised and offered us a "chicken cheque" entitling us to return to any nandos store and receive two meals for free. To be quite honest, after seeing that show it was the last thing I wanted! I actually wanted a refund of my meal and never to set foot in there again! Nonetheless I accepted it, and it was about 3 months later, I visited a different branch to use it and everything was perfectly fine. I am now always hesitant to go nandos, but I won't let that experience ruin it for me as I do genuinely like the food. I just haven't returned to that particular branch (and don't intend to in the future!) and stick to the ones in central London.
Summary: enjoy but with caution