Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Nando’s is all about chicken – what is a vegetarian going there for? But read this review and hear me out – Nando’s is certainly not off the cards for vegetarians! I’m always wanting to know places I can visit with all my non-veggie friends where we can all have good grub, and good ol’ Nando’s is one such place. I was invited down to try out the new branch in Grand Central shopping centre, and I thought this would be a great chance to dispel the myth that Nando’s is good for chicken and chicken alone. I will also be attempting to write the whole review without calling it a word meaning ‘impudent or irreverent, typically in an amusing way’ (OED).
The first thing we found out about the new Nando’s is that it is far bigger than it looks from the outside, so never be put off by how full it seems downstairs! We were seated in the large dining area upstairs, which had really funky decor and the typical laid back feel that we’ve all come to expect from our beloved Nando’s. The staff were super friendly and attentive, and though you wouldn’t expect service to be a strong point of an order-at-the-counter restaurant, we were really impressed.
To start Jack ordered the houmous with peri-peri drizzle, which was served with slices of warm pita bread. The bread was lovely and soft, and the peri-peri comes in a cute little bottle meaning you can have it as mild or as spicy as you like. There was maybe too much pita for a starter as it did get quite filling, but it would be the perfect option for sharing. I opted for the spicy mixed olives, which were beautifully fresh and ‘co-starred’ garlic, peppers, mushrooms and chilli.
For his main Jack had the ‘beanie’ burger with peri-salted fries. The burger was a spicy, tasty bean burger – nothing too exciting but it went down well all the same. The chips were great and there was a generous serving of these. For my main I ordered the mushroom and haloumi burger and the fino coleslaw. The burger was packed full of gorgeous haloumi and was served with lettuce and sweet chilli sauce. The moisture from the mushroom did make the bread a little soggy however, which was a shame. There was nothing much to the coleslaw that we could imagine made it better than the standard coleslaw but again, it was a nice side and helped cool off the spice! We also shared a side of sweet potato wedges. The description of these may be slightly misleading if you’re expecting chips, as the side is actually a whole sweet potato cut into giant slices, but this was probably the highlight of the meal. The potato was cooked to perfection and the corriander dipping sauce and roasted seeds complimented the texture and flavour beautifully.
For dessert a certain man who thought he could handle the extra hot peri-peri ordered the passion fruit sorbet to cool off. If you’re into your spice then this is a really great option for afters and had a great fruity flavour. I ordered the chocolate cheesecake, which was a huge serving (of course, help was at hand) and served with double cream. Not for the dieters, this dessert was as indulgent as they come, with all three chocolate varieties packed into a creamy soft cake. If you’re a chocoholic then I would definitely recommend this!
Overall, Nando’s in Grand Central delivers on everything we’ve come to expect from the trusty chain: good grub, great atmosphere and friendly staff. The food wasn’t always perfect, but there were some real winners on the menu and we left feeling full and satisfied! Thank you to Niki and the rest of the team for having us down, we will see you all again soon!
*Our meal was complimentary for review purposes. This does not affect my honest opinion.