Have you ever been to Nando’s? Are you sure? Did you have a good time? Well, forget everything you’ve know about your past experiences because the newest restaurant is about to blow your mind. First of all they are in the heart of one of the coolest, trendiest neighborhoods in the city, Queen West, with an exceptionally large patio – which I believe rivals the historic Black Bull Tavern.
I attended the soft opening with a friend who is an expert on Portuguese cuisine and she LOVED it. First opening in South Africa, the flavours and spices of roasted Portuguese chicken spread around the globe. No two restaurants are decorated alike. Each, I think reflecting the neighborhood in which they are situated. It’s an experience right down to the care in service and freshness in the product.
Let’s start with a winey, fresh fruit sangria – ON TAP! Then roasted red pepper dip is served alongside hummus that one MUST drizzle with PERiPERi chili oil.
Not normally a “breast girl” , BUT I must say that over on Queen Street it’s delightfully succulent, along with dark meat, roasted or skewered.
A mixture of chili spiced, salt and pepper house-made mixed nuts are a DREAM, alongside garlicky black and green olives. After a few handfuls of nuts I discovered a hot sauce making station! Here, we were able to create our own hot sauce – the based on the original recipe:
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 lemon mashed (whole with skin)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 African birds-eye chili (whole)
4 green chili peppers (whole)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- prepare all ingredients as listed above
- add ingredients in a mortar bowl
- gently grind all ingredients until liquid smooth PERI-PERI sauce is produced
A chicken slider, dressed in cilantro, chili lime jam is filling. For vegetarians or a lighter option – roasted portobello mushroom and (my fav) halloumi cheese on a pillowy bun.
Oh, yes and they have FRIES with spicy (spicy) Nando’s sauce to dip.
Cool off at the self-serve frozen yogurt machine or the touch-screen soda fountain (very futuristic) in the back.
Warm Pasteis de Natas are honestly the best I have ever had – straight from the oven.
Let me say if you have written off this restaurant as fast food in the past you MUST give it another try. It’s an experience; the food and the decor and the feel just makes you feel so good. And if all that doesn’t sell you, take a look at the coolest tip jar EVER!