NANDO’S has become an institution for my group of friends since it opened last year.
The location, opposite another of our hang-outs, Cineworld, the budget prices and the filling fare gave Nando’s the nod over other chains in the centre.
And after several months respite from the place, for fear of turning into a chicken, my better half and I thought it was time to revisit our haunt.
From outside the restaurant, passers-by may get the impression it’s a little cramped and hectic. However, once you step inside, the restaurant seems a lot more spacious.
With the quirky decor, welcoming staff and unpretentious canteen-style ordering, Nando’s is simple and effective which makes it hard to dislike – unless you don’t eat chicken.
The restaurant is all about the bird – with customers getting a choice of marinades depending on their spice preferences. There are options for non-chicken eaters but these are limited.
We decided to go for a non-chicken option to start – houmous with peri-peri drizzle which is served with a large plate of warm pitta pieces and a bottle of the chain’s famous sauce so the level of spice is up to you.
The houmous itself was creamy with a lemon kick, and the unique twist of the peri drizzle made it exciting.
For the mains, Katy opted for a quarter chicken with lemon and herb marinade along with spicy rice.
She teamed this with a large corn on the cob, grilled halloumi and a roasted whole portobello mushroom.
And while I wondered if her eyes had been bigger than her belly when ordering, the small portion of rice proved me wrong.
The chicken quarter had ample fleshy pieces of meat that melted off the bone, the halloumi side dish was a little bland and rubbery while the massive mushroom was fresh and juicy.
The two corn on the cobs had been chargrilled and the rice had chunks of pepper throughout but lacked spice.
Mixed together, the dish appeared like a chicken risotto and, with a drop of the garlic sauce, she was satisfied.
I went for the chicken breast fillet in a wrap along with a side of halloumi. The wrap, which came in two pieces, was a little underwhelming in size.
However, the large chunks of chicken breast teamed with the halloumi and salad proved a winning combination.
To finish off the meal, we went for a carrot cake to share which was more of a slab than a slice.
The large pieces of walnut and raisins throughout added crunch to the tasty sponge, while the thick layer of cream cheese icing on top was heavenly.
With only a couple of minor setbacks, we were delighted with our three-course meal.
And with a mere £26.75 to pay, we’ll be visiting our haunt again soon.