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Nando's - a favourite in my household
Member Name: rackerss
Date: 01/07/12, updated on 10/07/12 (167 review reads)
Advantages: fairly cheap, loyalty scheme, vegetarian, delicious, wide range, friendly
Disadvantages: no table service, a bit impersonal, quick turnover
Nando's is one of my favourite places to eat out. I've been to quite a few branches across the country, but mostly ones in central London and in Bluewater shopping centre.
Nando's is not your typical fast food restaurant, but neither is it a fancy restaurant. It is somewhere firmly in the middle. You will often have to wait for a table and once seated you must order your food at the bar, then get your own soft drinks, cutlery, sauce and napkins. The staff in my experience have always been really friendly even though the restaurants are always really fast paced and although you are meant to get collect everything yourself if you ask them to get something for you, they are happy to help you out. Turnover is fast and you may feel a bit rushed as there are usually people waiting for your table, but I have never felt so rushed that it was unpleasant.
The food is fantastic. I am a vegetarian and there are 3 different burger equivalents I can have, each served in a wrap, pitta or burger. It's unusual for a chicken restaurant to do so much for vegetarians. Each main comes with a range of sides and the option to have it cooked in different levels of spiciness. As far as the non-vegetarian food goes, I've heard it's also really good. You can have chicken on the bone or butterfly chicken breast in a burger. One impression I am under, however, is that the chicken is a bit overpriced. As well as the mains there is a variety of starters which come out really quickly, but the mains might come out before you are finished as they are not technically 'starters'. One of my highlights is the frozen yoghurt which is fat free and bottomless - and delicious! Speaking of bottomless, fizzy drinks are free refills which is always a bonus, especially if you're having spicy chicken!
They offer a loyalty card which gives you a stamp for every visit, and then after various amounts of visits you can claim a free ¼ chicken, ½ chicken and whole chicken. As a vegetarian they also offer alternative rewards for your loyalty stamps which is nice. My mother works for the police and with her identity card she receives a discount - this also applies to NHS workers, fire-fighters and members of the forces.
Overall I really enjoy my trips to Nando's. It's not pretending to be fancy, but it is fun, relaxed and delicious. The loyalty card keeps you going back and rewards you for your custom which is a nice touch! I also like the consistency of the branches - I feel that I could step into any Nando's in the country and be confident I would enjoy it as much as any other. They also do a takeaway (no delivery) which I have used once - it was the same delicious food, but once home it was a bit cold and not as good as in store.
Summary: great for a casual meal out - don't expect anything too fancy