According to their website, Nando's stores (much like the Dutch before them) first landed on the Australian continent in Western Australia. Unlike the Dutch, they were Portuguese and sold Chicken.
I found myself in one of their rapidly expanding restaurant locations the other day, around dinner time. The chain suffers somewhat from a split personality disorder. Its half fast food, half funkified sit down eatery. Sure, you're not going to see inner-city Blackframe wearing types in there soon, with their opinions and flexible schedules, but it is the sort of place family's may venture too, or suburban dates may take place at. It had me quite confused. I thought we had moved past the time when people actually sat down in joints like this. Wasn't that all a bit 80's? When MacDonalds still called itself a family restaurant! Haven't these chains all just given up, chucked a couple of stools off to the side, plumbed in a uni-sex toilet and opened up shop in petrol stations? What's with the decor Nando's! It's like I'm eating in a Basque style Ikea of Food.
Nando's specialise in three things Chicken, 90's style marketing tactics and Peri Peri sauce . For my meal I chose one of these bits of chicken wrapped in a different variety of tortilla, served with a different style sauce and chips. The menu and ordering system is much like a normal fast-food chain, except that you can personalise dish elements and some actually looks like it tastes. Overall, I found the Chicken Spicy Wrap gave me a moist, chewy zing of Portugal within my hand. I chose the eat-in option which comes on a white plate delivered by a waitress- classy! The take-away version even comes with an upmarket graphically designed bag. Watch as they raise that bar to new heights!
The above mentioned waitress will sport midly amusing slogan t-shirts as uniforms, such as "I like Hot Chicks" or "My Breasts are Free Range" and other Chook based puns. These have obviously come from the 90's centric Nando's marketing deptartment, who also gave us the Portugasm
. Peri Peri is their special hot sauce. I was dubious, and went the hottest version, as I like my sauce like my women- hot, bottled and with no preservsatives. It was fricken hot! Well played Nando's, well played!