The first restaurant opened in December 2000 in Glenfield, Auckland. Nando's soon caught on in this beautiful land where people have a love for life that extends into many different outdoor activities from their obsession with rugby to their passion for sailing. New Zealand is not big when it comes to population but they are big on character and they have taken to Nando's with our unique approach to casual eating.
It is our grand plan to continue covering the length and breadth of our great land so that everyone can experience our famous hospitality and great chicken.
We will take you on journey - your own voyage of discovery. Your senses will be fired with the unique products & tastes of Portugal - all prepared with pride & passion. Here, you will be touched by the magic that is the Nando's way.
You'll laugh, you'll cry...your taste buds will never be the same again!
After hearing many great things about the Nando's food from some friends, and another reviewer who frequents the Johnsonville store, I simply HAD to stop in when I passed this store, and see what all the fuss was about. As I pulled into the Coastlands Centre, I thought they had picked a prime spot. Plenty of parking, lots to keep you occupied until they opened at noon, and positioned well for those doing the long drive to or from Wellington.
My first impressions as I entered the store was that it had obviously been converted from the original Pizza Hut in a hurry, because the front counter had been recovered by stick-on metal laminates so fast, they hadn't sealed it down correctly, it was sticking out at the corners, blistering at the edges and it looked just plain shoddy. However, I was there for the food, so though it was a bit of a shocking sight, the menu soon grabbed my hungry eyeballs and held them firm...
SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM! Quarter-chook, half-chook, whole chook, burgers, wraps, salads, side dishes, chips, drinks, desserts... I was almost at a loss to make a selection before I had to hop in the car and hit the road again! In the end, I took my lead from one of my travelling companions, and ordered the chicken wrap combo, with hot sauce, periperi fries as the side dish, and a bottle of blackcurrant juice for the drink. The juice cost extra, so it was a $12.40 meal...
After nearly 10 minutes of watching the staff goof off and butter some burger buns slowly, the food finally arrived. The wrap was quite out of this world... tasty, with lots of -zing- but not too tongue-torching... quite filling, but it left me wanting more, a LOT more... and that's NOT what I expected from that price-tag. The periperi fries actually came out as plain fries, which really annoyed me, as I had heard so much about them. So instead I had to pour a pile of the sauce from the bottles on the table onto an empty plate and dunk all the fries. When I mentioned it to the delightful young lady behind the counter, she at least had the decency to blush as she mumbled an apology. Would have been more impressed if she had offered to cook me what I ordered and paid for, but ah well, I had to head off so couldn't have waited anyways.
As I stood waiting for her to get me some information, I noticed that she was in the process of marking a large portion of the menu as 'unavailable due to stock shortage'... this is NOT a good look for a restaurant... but I was still enamoured with the food to the point where it just didn't matter... but if I had seen that on the way in I would have probably turned around and walked over to KFC instead.
Overall, though I am now a total convert to the joys of periperi-coated roast chicken, I think I will wait for the Nando's franchise to come to my home town, as this store really didn't impress me much. As it was, as I was leaving I went to buy a bottle of the 'medium' periperi sauce they sell, only to find they only had a bottle of 'very hot' and a couple of the 'hot' variety in stock... I'll leave it to you to decide whether the glorious food is worth the effort.
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