Norwich: Nando's (Riverside)
You go to Nando’s for the value, the lively atmosphere, enriched by up-tempo music, the simplicity of food on offer and, possibly, the speed with which you can arrive, eat and go.
My daughter was the only one of our party who had been to Portugal this century and she spoke sagely about the cuisine and the fiery heat of the peri-peri.
And perhaps it was because of this superior knowledge that she was the only one of our party who declined to sample a dish daubed in the African bird's eye chilli sauce with the funny name and opted instead for a veggie pitta offering with salad at £5.30.Clever girl. She was happy with her choice, but not so her young brother, who thought he'd try a chicken burger with hot peri peri and chips (£5.10) and regretted it.
Eyes watering and with one hand clasping his cold fizzy orange ready to assuage his scorched pride, he struggled on manfully, finished the lot, but vowed to have a slightly cooler version next time.
As the leading male of our team, I had to do the done thing and went for the hot peri-peri spread liberally over my flame-grilled, half chicken with chips and corn on the cob (£7.90).
I'm growing more and more fond of all things hot and tasty (of a culinary nature, that is) and appreciated the warmth emanating from my bird.
Nando's say their saucy peri-peri recipe, combining the chilli with herbs and spices, is a closely-guarded family secret, handed down from generation to generation. If that's the secret of their success, long may it continue.
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My wife went for the Mediterranean chicken salad (£6) and was rewarded with a healthy and tasty plateful with medium hot sauce.
Coke and Fanta etc are in limitless supply for £1.60, there is a selection of wines and sangria and also a couple of beers on offer. You can even buy a pot of the peri-peri sauce to take home, should you so desire.
You go to Nando's for the value, the lively atmosphere, enriched by up-tempo music, the simplicity of food on offer and, possibly, the speed with which you can arrive, eat and go.
With few frills, lots of colour and plenty of jokes, Nando's is a fun place, which caters equally for families as for those of mature years (but perhaps not such mature minds).
These chicken fanciers live up to their marketing slogans, such as “We are never too chicken to have some fun” and “Nando's always looks at the bright side of life”.
t Nando's, Unit 7b, Riverside, Norwich; 01603 663930
t Style: Modern, racy
t Food: Chicken Portuguese style
t Wheelchair access: Yes.