There is a new “Nando’s” in North Vancouver, and I came up during their grand opening to celebrate the occasion. “Nando’s” is a known for their Portuguese flame grilled chicken, seasoned in their trademark Peri-Peri spices, a sauce and a flavour I would learn to recreate this evening.
For the recipe and the how to, plus a recap of all the below that we enjoyed, check out my latest vlog on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei!
Like all their other restaurants, this location had its own character. Warm tones, wooden fixtures, and colourful geometrics coming together to bring you a casual and modern setting. Comfortable, but still dressy; enough to enjoy a glass of wine at, and so we did.
New to their menu was the availability of sangria, described on their menu as a “fresh and fruity mix of red wine and berries”. They also have the regular wine, if you didn’t want the fruit.
They are a great way to start your meal, just like the sides of mixed salted nuts and olive oil seasoned olives.
The “Peri peri chippers” are also new to their menu. House made and fried crispy warm chips, dusted in their peri peri seasoning, served with a side of their “perinaise” to dip in to. “Perinaise” is what they call their blend of peri peri seasonings and mayonnaise for a creamy and spicy spread. So good and so popular that it is also available in a squeeze bottle for you to take home.
Their “peri peri crusted wings” (also new), are available for ordering as a trio, quintet, and in a group of ten. The seasoning creates a crust over each juicy piece of wing or drumlet, giving it a crunchy texture to sink your teeth into.
They also offer regularly seasoned wings, in plain, herb and lemon, mango and lime, medium, hot, and “xtra hot”. Like all their other chicken, the choice is yours, but if you need additional heat or more flavour they also have their bottles of peri peri on stand by for self pouring.
But the best way to try all the above is to order their “wing roulette”. 10 wings in varying peri peri heats, where half of the fun is seeing who gets the “xtra hot” one. A game we played and filmed in the video above.
“Grilled chicken livers” are also new to the “Nando’s” menu. Having grown up eating liver, I didn’t shy away from trying their rendition. We choose a medium spice and opted to have it with a side of their garlic bread.
The nuggets of organ meat were good on its own, plenty of flavour and not ashy. However, I much more preferred it with the bread as base and some of their hot peri peri sauce for additional flavour.
If you visit “Nando’s”, you have to get some of their rotisserie style chicken, as it is their most popular dish. We had our half chicken on its own, in mango lime. The fragrant sweetness of the mango was a nice break in the consistent taste of everything else.
And be sure to save room for dessert because the “Pasteis de natas” should not be missed. I would and do travel to my local “Nando’s”, just for one of their traditional Portuguese custard tarts. A sweet flakey crust, cushioning a creamy custard that just melts on your tongue. Delicious.
The “Nando’s kiss” is a new dessert, along with the bottomless frozen yogurt, and their chilli chocolate cookie. The “kiss” was named after the Hersey’s chocolate, a shell of chocolate, topped with whipped cream, housing a dark chocolate ice cream centre. Sadly, our dessert came out before we were ready for it, so we sent it back. And as it sat in their refrigeration unit, it melted, the result was a pool of chocolate in chocolate; chocolate soup as it were. Therefore I cannot give a true assessment of this.
In between courses we took part in their peri peri making work shop. A table was set up with prepped ingredients, all chopped up and minced. Their marketing rep takes you through the process, spooning ingredients and grinding them together with a mortar and pestle. As you worked to grind everything down to a paste, she educated you on their trademark spice.
Their peri peri peppers grows in Africa, it is the only chilli that grows towards the sun. The work required to pick it and make it into the sauce and spice we know and love, gives African workers the ability to earn a living, and take care of their families. “Nando’s” pride themselves on this fact, realizing that it not just about making a sauce, it is about the people behind it as well.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A solid destination for some good chicken. And with an extensive menu that includes salads, wraps, sandwiches, and meat on skewers; you could eat with them everyday and still find yourself trying something new. I will be picking up from them, the next time I have a potluck, a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Don’t deny your cravings.