"Bland, albeit relatively cheap food"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Since their origins in South Africa in the late 80s, Nandos have become famed for two things: chicken and peri peri sauce, a hot dressing made from African bird’s eye chillies.
For our meal at the Chalk Farm site we get half a very greasy chicken, with oily, un-crispy skin. Perhaps if we'd gone for one of the spicier versions rather than the lemon and herb it would have had more flavour, but they're all allegedly marinated for 24 hours in peri-peri, which is noticeable only by its absence. It's a combo meal, meaning it comes with two sides: garlic bread, which is just like the frozen supermarket variety, and creamy mash, which turns out to be our favourite bit.
Another combo is the fillet steak & chargrilled veg. Note that this is not a fillet, it's just a piece of beef smothered in peri-peri with vegetables and some apparently aoili-flavoured mayonnaise. Chips also taste like they've been cooked from frozen. The advertised 'macho' peas are supposedly drenched in pea mash, parsley, mint and chilli, but they're just a few peas dotted with flecks of red chilli for colour. Both the aioli mayonnaise and the plain mayo we get on the side are awfully bland, merely watery salad dressing indiscreetly disguised.
There are better dishes however. Halloumi and portobello mushroom in pitta is tasty, with plenty of salad and shredded red cabbage, and the grilled corn on the cob is good. Peri peri salted chips are an improvement on the plain ones, and the double chicken wrap fares better than the half a chicken, as it's made with breast meat.
Just like McDonalds and Pizza Hut you can find Nandos everywhere, yet the only things that seem to be going for it are the relatively cheap prices and the free refills of soft drinks.
Leila reviewed Nando's Chickenland on Mon 01 Aug 2016Review disclosure: reviewed anonymously