No kidding – The name “Nando’s” can twinkle a sparkling eye, a short scream and fiery exclamation. Since its old Park Mall days, the return of this Peri-Peri chicken to Singapore spells nothing short of success.
For those who had not been to Bugis Junction for some time, this store at the corner had been making waves, achieving a cult status, and creating snakes of queues with excited patrons since its opening in May 2010. 5306 friends on Facebook, that’s a feat.
I was too lazy to queue for anything, but succumbed after all that hype, feeling so out-of-trend. 10 minutes was all it took on a weekday 2:00pm.
Some background information: Nando’s (named after the founder Fernando) is a casual dining restaurant chain founded since 1987 which originated from South Africa with a Portuguese meets Mozambican theme. It is famous for its Peri Peri chicken. Peri Peri, also known as African bird’s-eye chili, is often used as marinades in Mozambican roast and grilled dishes, adding a spicy capsicum taste.
The menu was slightly confusing as I flipped it up and down, lost in my choices of chicken sizes (found in the middle) , side items (found at the back) and Peri-Peri flavours (found at the front). I finally decided on a 1/4 chicken that was “Hot” in a hasty, over mild, extra hot or lemon and herb. The waitress first asked if I was Singaporean, and assured me that I should be able to endure “Hot”.
Oh, it was hot indeed, with the tang lingering in my tongue for a long while after my first bite. It might leave it numb temporarily. Unfortunately, water was NOT offered, and I had to make do with a out-of-this-world Crimson Cola. Who would have thought Pomegranate and Coke could go so well together? (Then again. It’s Coke, which could go well with lemons, salt and volka.)
I was glad I did not queue more than 30 minutes for this. It was not too bad, but the chicken a tad too dry and chunky for my liking.
The 4 bottled sauces did make this meal very experimental yet enjoyable, especially the Garlic Peri-Peri sauce which reminded me strangely of MacDonald’s garlic chilli. But somehow I might just place Nando’s in the same league, as say er… Kenny Roger’s?
To fans, this is peri-perfect chicken. Though I heart the peri-peri sauce, but I do not intend to queue for peri-peri long. You?
Nando’s, 200 Victoria Street #01-85 Bugis Junction Singapore Tel:+65 6339 65555
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily