Monday, 18 February 2013

Nando’s, Church Street, Bangalore

The first time I came across Nando’s was in Melbourne, Australia. I was just browsing through the city and went to a Nando’s in Melbourne Central mall. The Quarter grilled chicken that I tasted there was the best grilled chicken ever. It came with a side of large French fries. It was gorgeously gleaming, tangy and fiery peri – peri basted chicken. It was juicy and succulent. It was the best of its kind. I became a regular visitor to Nando’s when I was in Melbourne. However, after 3 months, when I returned back to India, I missed it terribly.

Finally, in December 2010, Nando’s opened its doors to Bangalore. I was very excited and all my previous memories of the beautiful grilled chicken came back instantly. I decided to give it a try and it was the same experience. I kept going back to Nando’s every time I visit Bangalore. The first thing you notice as you enter a Nando’s restaurant is the delicious aroma of grilled chicken with their signature sauces. It makes your mouth water instantly. Even, after several countless visits, I still salivate as soon as I enter the beautiful world of peri-peri chicken.

 A week back I was at Nando’s and as usual I ordered for couscous salad, Chicken Liver, Quarter grilled chicken, Fries, Espetada, Spicy Rice, coleslaw and Iced Tea.

 The salad was fresh and vibrant. It consisted of these grilled strips of chicken that were so delicious that it makes you salivate just by looking at it. All the ingredients were fresh but I think, it needs a little more couscous (as the name suggests abundance of couscous) in the salad.

 Chicken liver and Quarter Chicken had mild peri – peri on it and it tasted fabulous and lusciously moist. However, the bread with the livers was a letdown this time. I did not taste fresh and it felt a little soggy. The Espetada consisted of beautifully grilled juicy pieces of chicken with spicy rice and coleslaw. It lived up to the expectations. Surprisingly, the spicy rice had curry leaves in it which was new to my taste palate. It was unusual but in a good way. It was like a subtle cheer-up kind of flavor for me.

 However, one thing that I have noticed about their chicken is the balance of flavors. The peri- peri has a tangy hot taste to it. It is wonderful but I think it needs a little sweetness to it from maybe sugar, honey, palm sugar or dark brown sugar that will make it even more scrumptious. For me, a little sweetness will boost its flavor. I feel it misses the sweet undertone. Or maybe they can add a side of a sweet sauce to be used as a dipping sauce according to the likes of the customers. Everything has Peri – Peri and it has the same taste whether it’s the salad or the chicken or the livers. It lacks the ability to bring out an array of flavors to your mouth after few mouthfuls.I strongly suggest the use of sweet to balance all the flavors.

 The staffs, as usual, were courteous and attended to everything quickly making it an even better experience. I would love going back to Nando’s even after these numerous times that I have already been there. Every time I see Nando’s logo, it makes me want to go in and indulge in the moist, juicy experience. It is a must-try restaurant.

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