This is a bit of a weird one for me – I am actually going to review a Nandos on my blog!
Last month, there was a lot of chat online from people in the US asking what on earth a Cheeky Nandos was after they had seen it being discussed on social networking sites such as Twitter and Tumblr. Queue lots of Brits trying and failing to explain it because actually, it isn’t quite clear to anyone why the cheeky prefix is nearly always put in front of a trip to Nandos!
To be clear, a Nando’s is a chain chicken restaurant in the UK. It’s fast food but a cut above McDonald’s and Burger King. You are seated, you order at the till, you pay, they bring you food, you eat it. In my eyes, the cheeky prefix is added to it because it is fast food, which isn’t the healthiest, so you know you shouldn’t be having it. Therefore it is a cheeky Nandos.
Now the reason I’m writing this isn’t actually to explain what a cheeky Nandos is. It is because after a month of being closed, my local Nandos, the one in Kilburn, norh west London, had reopened with a fresh new look.
My husband and I love Nandos, him more than me, but still, I love it too. However, usually we would avoid the KIlburn branch as it was never really that good. The food wasn’t great, it was always a little bit grubby and the decor was dull. Last month my husband was craving protein after a big cycle ride so convinced me we should give it one more go but alas, it was closed for refurbishment. This week it reopened so we thought we’d give it a try.
When we walked through the door we were surprised – there were actually people there and lots of them! On the few occasions we had ventured into the KIlburn branch before, it had been pretty empty, presumably because like us, locals had tried it once and realised it wasn’t great.
The new decor is really brightly coloured and just how you’d expect a fun loving chain aimed at families and young people, to be kitted out. Modern art using string and rope is displayed on the walls and ceiling. This all gives it a much more fun vibe than it had previously.
The staff were superb. Everyone was so happy and helpful and seemed to be enjoying their job where as before they all seemed a bit fed up and tired of work. I’m not sure if it is new staff or if just having a happy, modern and upbeat environment with satisfied customers may have just giving them a boost. I’m sure some of the staff were the same as before so perhaps the later. Take note employers – a happy environment makes happy staff and happy staff make happy customers!
The most important thing about any trip to Nandos is of course the food, which is why we were there. Although Nandos is a chicken restaurant, it does sell a few other main courses too, including some vegetarian options (my veggie friend Kate loves a good Nandos!) and an amazing selection of sides. Of course there are chips, but there is also grilled halloumi, sweet potato fries, sweet potato mash, spicy rice, just to name a few.
My husband opted for a half chicken and two portions of chips (the half chicken either comes on its own or with two sides), while I had a chicken burger and spicy rice. We also always orders the grilled halloumi (I could seriously eat Halloumi with every meal) and two bottomless sides. All of that came to about £24 and we were stuffed afterwards. The food was really great. You might think a chain restaurant surely can’t get their food wrong but it has happened to me before. I could not fault the food this time though. It was tasty, cooked well and came really quickly.
Overall it was a lovely meal so if any Kilburnite Nandos fans are wondering whether to give the new look Nandos a go, I would say definitely, and if you are a visitor to London and are looking for reasonably priced but filling fast food and fancy giving a cheeky Nandos a go I’d say most definitely give it a crack!