Way back when we started this site, I nominated Nando’s as one of my favourite cheap eats in Ireland.
Nando’s is a gigantic multinational chicken factory without the rancid awfulness of KFC. Is it true that they’re called KFC because they can’t legally use the word ‘chicken’ in their title? Probably not, and no. Snackbox and I ventured to KFC for a ‘family bargain bucket’ after a particularly heavy session a few months ago. We were lured by fond childhood memories, but it didn’t satisfy our hungover cravings and was way less enjoyable than other fast food junk like Chicken Hut or even McDonalds. Kids are cheap, I remembered.
Actually, it’s unfair to mention Nando’s and KFC in the same breath. They both serve chicken, but the similarities end there.
Like Wagamama in Stephen’s Green, or (arguably) any of the Gourmet Burger joints around Ireland, Nando’s offers good quality food in comfortable surroundings without garish lighting. I’ve eaten in a few Nando’s and each one has its own architecture and identity – a sweet ruse to make the place part of the neighbourhood.
And the food? Reliably brilliant, and excellent value. It’s all about the peri-peri chicken: choose from very mild if you’re a loser, to extra hot if you’re feeling extra brave. A quarter chicken with regular chips is plenty for lunch or a light dinner, and it’ll cost just €8. Add an extra side for just €1.95 and you’ve enough for dinner. Or be a pig: get a half chicken with two sides – may I recommend the Macho mushy peas and chips with peri-peri salt for a total of €13.75. You can also get your chicken in a burger, pitta, or wrap.
It’s €2.95 for a drink but you get unlimited refills; every time I leave my head is full of fizzyness and the sugar is burning my teeth off. Lastly, they’ve got a great kids menu and it’s a very welcoming place for all ages. Check out their Irish menu.
There’s lots of lovely places to eat around Dundrum – The Counter, Ananda, Harvey Nichol’s Cafe, Dunne and Crescenzi, Roly Saul, and Siam Thai to name just a few – but Nando’s keeps luring me back. Nando’s have just opened a second branch at the Pavillion’s Shopping Centre, Swords, north Co. Dublin.
Readers, do you love unashamedly love this gigantic corporation too?