Many Singaporeans love Nando’s – the casual dining restaurant group originating from the Mozambiquan Portuguese community in South Africa, known for their flame-grilled hot Peri-Peri chicken. Maybe, except Ms Joanne Peh, who is probably still feeling the heat from the lack of water.
Nando’s just launched another interesting signature Portuguese dish – The Cataplana. The Cataplana is the name for both the recipe of the dish, and the utensil used for cooking. The cooking ware is made of copper and shaped like two clamshells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp, keeping the food inside warm and flavorful.
Service felt awkward and slow during my invited visit to Plaza Singapura, but I am willing to be not bothered about that.
The Cataplana Originale ($19.90) comes with grilled Peri-Peri chicken things served on a bed of spice rice, along with colourful ingredients such as bell peppers, onions, courgettes (zucchini) and tomatoes. True to Nando’s style, you can also have your pick on sauces such as lemon & herb, mild, hot or extra hot.
One would expect the rice to feel hot and steaming when it arrived simmered in a copper cookware. Unfortunately, it was lukewarm at most. The blend of tastes felt unbalanced, more to an acerbic-sour side. The good and bad news is there are always Peri Peri sauces available for the ‘rescue’.
The Cataplana Porto ($19.90) fares better though. The generous servings of button mushrooms and olives worked better with the flavourings of the rice. Though again, it did not steam up the tastebuds as expected.
Sorry Cataplana, you are just not Hot enough this time.
68 Orchard Road, #04-10/11 Plaza Singapura, Singapore (Plaza Singapura) Tel: +65 6336 2555
Other branches: Tampines Mall, 112 Katong, Bugis Junction, Tanglin Mall
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm