Be seduced by some Extra Hot Chix!

11 12 2011

Much as I am somewhat of a glutton, I must admit that it doesn’t take a glutton to think twice about accepting and invitation for a food tasting session at Nando’s – especially when one discovers out the delectable treats the restaurant in Singapore now has to offer on its menu. Nando’s, famous for its flame-grilled chicken, has been one of my favourite drools ever since my first bite, having stumbled upon one outlet on a cold, wet and dark winter’s evening in London in 1995 – and when that invitation to go for the Nando’s Chickenland Getaway, it had to be a yes.

I have been a fan of Peri-Peri since stumbling upon a Nando's outlet in London in 1995.

Walking into what seemed like a group of unruly protestors holding placards at their new Tampines Mall outlet, it did feel like I might have been in London again – I wasn’t of course, the protestors actually promoters for Nando’s latest campaign which I wold mention in another post. Being one of the later ones to arrive, it wasn’t long before the first of several treats came – in the form of colourful Designer Drinks – Madeira Red and Refresh Mint. One sip of the Madeira Red – a pomegranate lemonade made with Sprite, and I was in a very sweet and refreshing part of heaven! Loved it so much that I had to have another.

Designer Drinks to die for.

Soon after the drinks were served and introductions were made to break the ice, it was time to share – we were advised that sharing is very much a part of the culture that gave us Nando’s and a feature of Nando’s menus are sharing meals – one, a starter, Pestico was promptly served together with some other starter items on the menu – Wild Mushroom Soup with Bread and Chicken Livers with Portuguese Roll. The chicken, as well as livers, are made with the secretly blended world-famous Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce that makes Nando’s such a huge hit – which come in four flavours from which the customer can choose from which are Extra Hot, Hot, Mild and Lemon and Herb. I’ve always been one for Extra Hot the Petisco platter which was flavoured just with that, was, I thought, made it perfect. The Petisco comes with chicken wings and thighs, served with olives, Peri hummus and Cream Perinaise on the side and is a sharing platter that is certainly an excellent way to begin any meal at Nando’s. I am not one for innards, but with Peri-Peri flavouring it, I really didn’t mind the Chicken Livers at all. The other item is also a good way to start – Wild Mushroom Soup loaded with the taste of wild mushrooms! And with starters so mouth-watering, it did seem as if there wasn’t going to be place for what was to come.

Pestico - a starter to share with chicken wings and thighs, pita and hummus and olives.

Chicken Livers with Portuguese Roll.

Comfort food - Wild Mushroom Soup with Bread - loaded with the flavour of Wild Mushrooms.

Having done an excellent job in delivering the starters, the polite and attentive staff soon delivered the main courses – first up were attractive looking tender pieces of marinated flame-grilled chicken thighs on a skwewer supported by a metal frame, and served with sides – Espetada. This came to us again in different flavours – I tried the Lemon and Herb, which I always thought was a nice choice if the senses demanded something that wasn’t hot. I loved it – the juicy and flavourful bits of chicken would certainly be a huge hit with anyone who tries them and makes an excellent alternative choice of a chicken dish. We also had flame grilled quarters of chicken as is traditionally served in Nando’s as well as another dish that I was really surprised with – the Cataplana. I requested for the chicken to come naked – so to speak – served without the topping of Peri-Peri sauce that it seems to be always doused in both in Singapore and Malaysia – something which I felt disguises the real taste of the famous flame-grilled chicken. What came was served just how I asked for it – and I wasn’t at all disappointed. Without the chicken unclothed, I could as I suspected, taste it for what it really was – the rich flavours of chicken pieces that had been flavourfully marinated coming to the fore – just the way I had fallen in love with it off that cold dark street in London.

The Espetada being served.

The Espetada - skewered pieces of deliciously marinated flame-grilled chicken thighs, comes served with a choice of two side dishes.

A close-up of the Espetada dish which makes an excellent alternative to the traditional serving of chicken quarters.

Naked chix which appeal to me - without the huge amount of sauce that it is often served with - this is how I think that you can really taste the flavours that makes Nando's such a hit worldwide.

What I thought was a most excellent addition to the wonderful Nando’s menu is the Cataplana. I always have enjoyed a meal of the traditional rice dishes found around much of the Mediterranean which are always full of flavour, but I have always found the flavours a little overpowering on the dishes, being used to how rice is served in this part of the world. Half expecting that to be the same of the Cataplana with strips of Peri-Peri basted chicken, peppers and ripe tomatoes trapped in a traditional copper dish over a bed of spice rice, which the menu suggests is waiting to be opened, I was pleasantly surprised with the rich but subtle flavours found in the dish, flavours that certainly did not overpower, but complemented the ingredients perfectly and it is for me not just a dish waiting to be opened, but one I can’t wait to have a go at again!

The one that really surprised me with it's rich flavours that do not overpower - the Cataplana.

No makan session would be complete without desserts, and after the wonderful main courses that were served, Nando’s obliged with a selection of wonderful looking desserts, which included Natas – traditional Portuguese egg custard tarts (something I always find hard to resist), cakes and another item that so delighted me – Chocolate Crunch Rolls – melted chocolates mixed with biscuits – which didn’t do my attempts at shedding some weight no favours – as I just had to have more of it!

The selection of desserts from Nando's includes Natas, and Chocolate Crunch Roll.

I guess with all that on offer, there is more reason to be seduced by Nando’s hot chix, especially with Nando’s expansion into the heartlands with two new outlets, the one that I had the treat in at Tampines Mall and another that will be opened in December at Katong I12. Both are decorated in the warm and welcoming colours and natural wood and certainly adds to the dining ambience. Nando’s I12 Katong will also offer something more when it opens, with an exclusive Breakfast menu, as well as with extended opening hours till 1am from Sundays to Thursdays, and till 3am on Friday and Saturday late nights. A special Snack and Beverage menu will be on offer during the extended hours.

Nando's newly opened Tampines Mall outlet (image courtesy of Nando's Singapore).

To commemorate the opening of the two outlets, Nando’s has also introduced sharing meals for the festive period that is ideal for families and groups of friends. Available in platters for two, four or six people, what is on offer are juicy chicken thighs grilled to perfection, grilled corn on the cobs, Mediterranean rice, salads, potato wedges and other side dishes. Something else that is surely reason enough to go to Nando’s this festive season to celebrate!

Nando's Sharing Meals to celebrate the opening of the two latest Nando's outlets (image courtesy of Nando's Singapore).


Information on Nando’s Sharing Meals:

Celebration for 2 – $38.80
– 2 x ¼ chickens
– 1 x Peri Wedges & Creamy Perinaise
– 1 x Salad (Choice of Portuguese or Caesar Salad)
– 3 x Regular Sidelines of your choice
– 1 x Citra (1/2 litre)

Celebration for 4 – $68.80
– 4 x ¼ chickens
– 1 x Peri Wedges & Creamy Perinaise
– 1 x Salad (Choice of Portuguese or Caesar Salad)
– 4 x Large Sidelines of your choice
– 1 x Citra (1 litre)

Celebration for 6 – $98.80
– 6 x ¼ chickens
– 1 x Peri Wedges & Creamy Perinaise
– 2 x Salad (Choice of Portuguese or Caesar Salad)
– 5 x Large Sidelines of your choice
– 2 x Citra (1 litre)


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