KFC, Crackbird, Hillbilly’s?
None of them are as internationally lauded as much as the celeb eat-out food of choice – Nandos. But why?
Well the initial three focus on mass produced deep fried and battered chicken. Don’t get me wrong that has a time and a place but in the new waistline-watching world of guilt free dining, Nandos will always trump bold splurges. The Peri-Peri poultry eatery offer up a multitude of spicy grilled chicken dishes which if you like a hot kick to your birds, I can assure will not disappoint.
Their menu offers up several levels of spice intensity from ‘Plain-ish’ to ‘Extra-hot’. Rather un-adventurously on my part I went for the ‘Medium’ alarm level of spice which promised to ‘Hit the spot without scalding my tonsils’, which is all I ask of a entreé really! Added to that I also chose to drum off the beaten track with the ‘Beanie’ wrap (veggie option) that I’d seen Niall Nando’s Breslin harp on about quite a bit. Herself opted for a double chicken breast with the same spice intensity. In addition we opted for some Spicy Rice, Halloumi (Justin Beiber’s fave I’m reliably informed) and Coleslaw. (A sense of stuffed tummy doom did cross the mind at one point!)
What’s unique about the Nandos system is you order and pay at the counter in a similar way to a fast food chain, but you’re then waited on and seated in a very plush and comfy restaurant. Sure, you have to fill your own soft drink, but it’s limitless. And you can change what you’re drinking as much as you want, little ice/no ice, water/no water. Completely exclusive to Nandos I think I’m right in saying? There’s also a great bar of dressings, sauces and seasonings that you can help yourself to. I’m big into trying it all (including the Extra Hot) even if I don’t want my main slathered in it!
The food arrived to the table pretty fast despite the busyness of the restaurant, which seemed to be very popular with teens on dates and their next step counterparts; young families. D’aw.
The beanie surpassed expectation. A mix of sweetcorn and other vegetarian friendly beans in a light batter, covered in a garlicky mayo, some spicy peri sauce combined with maybe a little too much salad. It was in spice heaven pairing it up with the spicy rice and very tasty Halloumi (always been a big fan). The chicken my dining partner tucked into was moist and juicy with plenty to be found in between the wrap and was a nice match with the tangy, crunchy coleslaw.
We didn’t venture into dessert land but rest assured with titles like Gooey Caramel Cheesecake and Choc-a-lot Cake we’d only be offsetting the good we did by choosing grilled chicken over deep fried! Maybe next time if we’re deserving of a treat! I can definitely see Beyonce tucking into a Choc-a-lot post O2 strutting that’s for sure! With two restaurants in Dundrum, Andrew’s St and a third coming to Dun Laoghaire the bird is certainly the word.
UPDATE: They’re launching a new menu including a Halloumi and Portobello mushroom option?! Jaysus, is it lunchtime yet?