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(0113) 242 8908

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Review byElla Woods16/01/2009
Nandos brings Portuguese food to the high street and it’s hot!

The Venue
Nandos occupies a two-storey building on Briggate. Its seating arrangements and interior decoration are more MacDonalds than Malmaison so it’s safe to say it’s not the most romantic of locations.

There’s a few hints at the origins of the food in the shape of giant terracotta pots and some latin music. It’s what the Americans would call a ‘Family Restaurant’ and a family restaurant is exactly what it is. It’s bright and colourful and most of all, the kids love it! And when the kids are happy so are the parents.

The People
Nando’s has that ‘appeal to all’ feel that makes it a safe bet that everyone leaves happy, if not ecstatic. It’s always packed whatever time you stumble upon its beloved doors.

It’s a real winner for those teens who get a little bit more pocket money than those resigned to a foot-long sandwich in Subway and young couples on first dates.

It’s also an obvious safe bet for parents dining out with younger children and is also one of those places where you use your child as an excuse to go there when really all you want to due is slake your craving for a plate of spicy chicken.

The atmosphere is noisy and raucous at times but not unpleasant. The staff are very young, dressed in Nando’s uniform, so it’s probably wise not to ask which red wine goes best with the corn on the cob.

The Food
Apart from the threat of the food being too hot and spicy, rest assured there's something for even the most fussy of English palates here. The peri peri chicken is the main event, and boy does it deliver. Beautiful, succulent white meat with an extremely tasty, spicy marinade barbecued and brought to the table in a matter of minutes.

Nando’s prides itself on the fact that the chicken is marinated for over 24-hours and is never, ever, ever frozen. Who complains about chained restaurants again? The chicken is so good if it was served on a bed of rocket and creamed celeriac in a five star restaurant, people would be rolling off their chairs in admiration. But back on earth it’s not, it’s served with chips or coleslaw or a corn-on-the-cob.

A half-chicken with two regular sides or one fino side is reasonably priced at £8.50. Regular sides include chips, garlic bread, corn on the cob and spicy rice, fino sides are ratatouille, sweet potato mash and mixed leaf salad.

Peri peri chicken comes with different levels of spice depending on your bravado but even the 'extra hot' isn’t unpleasantly so. Nando’s does big and tasty and if you don’t plunge for the peri peri there are other dishes to cater to your needs such as chicken burger (£4.60), double chicken breast pitta (£7.85) and vegetarian options like roasted portobello mushroom pitta (£5.60).

Chicken does pretty much fill the menu but there are other meat options (prego beef steak roll £6.85), inevitably marinated in Nando’s famous peri peri sauce. Big plate platters are a fantastic idea for big parties (jumbo platter £35.80).

Desserts are basic and very family friendly (ice cream £2.55, toffee cheesecake £3.25), with Portoguese custard tarts (£1.25) reminding you this is a Portoguese restaurant. All prices have been altered according to the VAT cut, so expect a few pence off the prices this year (big plate platters are now £35.04, and the half-chicken with two regular sides is down to £8.31).

The Drink
Emphasising its Americanism and its open arms to children, it appears Nando’s most popular drink is its self-service bottomless soft drink (£1.90 per person), whereby you get a glass and are then free to fill it to your heart’s content with fizzy drinks and crushed ice, all dispensed from a row of machines hidden behind a row of kids.

The wine list is pleasant and some of the reds work really well with the spiciness of the chicken (starting around £12 for a bottle). Unfortunately this is served in a wine glass and not a bottomless tumbler. Beers from Portugal and Brazil complete the menu plus a selection of hot drinks too (cappuccino £1.70). Again, Nandos have passed on the VAT cut to customers.

The Last Word
Nando’s delivers tasty food that will outweigh the fact that you are, in essence, dining in an upmarket fast food joint. In fact it’s very tasty food so who gives a hoot about the surroundings. Great for families, no question about it. Enjoy!
Nandos has been reviewed by 1 users

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