Nando's- A Family Friendly Restaurant

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theAsianparent reviews Nando's and its famous Peri-Peri Flame Grilled Chicken!

I have always been curious about the extremely positive, rave reviews my friends regularly award Nando’s and its legendary Peri-Peri Flame-grilled Chicken.

After noticing the throngs of people waiting to squeeze into the Bugis outlet, I was determined to satiate my hunger for some authentic South-African Peri-Peri adventure by visiting Nando’s and tasting the dishes myself.

So, imagine my excitement when Jason Lim, General Manager- Regional Marketing of  of Nando’s, invited me down to the Tanglin Mall outlet for a tasting session! His invitation immediately perked me up and if you had been with me, you would have seen me bounce with joy.

During lunchtime, I made my way down to Tanglin Mall. I was greeted by Jason and his friendly waiters who took great pleasure in showing me to my seat. I was relieved to find that this outlet was not as crowded as the one in Bugis.

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Quite a number of families were present which gave the restaurant a very friendly and relaxed feel. “Nando’s at Tanglin Mall attracts a lot of families while you see mostly couples and teenagers at the Bugis outlet,” Jason shares. A row of kids’ seats at the corner of the restaurant convinced me of Nando’s family-friendly stance.

While chatting, I was introduced to some Gourmet drinks: bestseller Redbush Refresher (a combination of Rooibos Red Tea- sans caffeine, mint leaves and lemon grass) and Cape Verde Fresca (a blend of iced green tea and lime wedges). I found both drinks amazingly refreshing and cooling.  What a wonderful way to survive our insane Singaporean heat!

A starter I would recommend for sharing would be Petisco- a platter of four chicken wings, mini chicken thighs, olives, novo pita, Perinaise and your choice of a Grilled Vegetables Dip or Peri Hummus.

The Tanglin Mall Outlet

Not sure what to order for your kids?  We advice the chicken strips from the exclusive kid’s menu! “The fruits and juices we serve together with the kid’s meal also re-instate our stand on providing healthy food,” Jason says. It is heart-warming to know that Nando’s does not add MSG, preservatives or artificial colouring to its dishes and sauces.

Once the Peri-Peri Flame-Grilled Chicken that Nando’s prides itself on arrived at our table, I was shivering in sheer excitement. When I sunk my teeth into it, the flesh felt soft and tender. It had a nice sweetness to it that was very enjoyable.

However, I am afraid the dish did not live up to my expectations. Then again, my expectations had been uber high what with everyone around me waxing lyrical about the dish.

Petisco- an appetizer platter

The ever-present bottles of Peri-Peri Sauce (Garlic Peri-Peri for the meek, Hot for the daring and Extra Hot for the audacious) on the table call out to you constantly. I first dipped a morsel of the tender chicken in some Garlic Peri-Peri sauce (OK I am quite the unadventurous sort) and liked that it was both mild and flavourful.

Jason urged me to try out some Extra Hot Peri-Peri sauce and I timidly did so. It was fire in my mouth! “It takes a few tries to really get used to,” Jason informs me. True enough, after a few mouthfuls, I felt well at ease.

Peri-Peri Flame Grilled Chicken

What caught my interest most were the sidelines. With a variety of more than 10 sidelines to choose from, I was spoilt for choice. The Potato Lime Leaves Skewer was both delicious and distinctive. “Our more popular sidelines are Mediterranean Rice and Old Style Chips,” Jason quips.

Nando’s Sauces

A dish called Cataplana arrived next. “This dish reminds some of a spaceship and is very popular,” enthuses Jason. A metal platter with an open lid with some succulent grilled chicken thighs served on a bed of spiced rice, peppers, eggplants, onions and ripe tomatoes appeared before us.

Cataplana

Sideline- Mediterranean Rice

The dish did indeed look unique. I must say that this was my most favorite dish! The turmeric in the rice added a nice flavour to the dish. I liked the combination of grilled chicken, vegetables and rice that rendered the dish well balanced and healthy.

By this time, Jason had fed me well and I was comfortably full. Since most ladies have a second stomach for dessert, I was yearning to try some of Nando’s desserts. Jason shared my excitement as he is a dessert enthusiast himself.

The Viennese Coffee (freshly brewed coffee crowned with a dollop of whipped cream) was exceptionally delicious. The sweetness of the whipped cream contrasted wonderfully with the bitterness of the coffee. The Hot Chocolate also tickled my taste buds and had me craving for more.

However, I was not quite impressed with the cakes I tried. I expected The Baked Cheese to be a ‘slice’ above the rest but it was quite bland and definitely not my cup of tea. The chocolate tiramisu was also mediocre to say the least.

Overall I was well satisfied with my lunch at Nando’s. Jason’s company also kept me entertained. Great environment, ambience and quality of food!

I liked how family-friendly the restaurant was and would definitely recommend friends and family to visit Nando’s. I left feeling very impressed with Nando’s many innovative takes on preparing chicken.

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