Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nando's in Singapore

I think I have fallen out of love... with Nandos, that is.

Any foodie, even those hiding under a rock, should have heard that Nando's finally opened its first Singapore outpost at Bugis Junction in May and there have been LOOONG, LOOONG queues. Since we were lurking around in the vicinity after my appointment with the obstetrician, we decided to have an early dinner.

Nandos Sauces

Extra hot for me please.

It can't have been the sauces .... they were still tangy, spicy and packed with that awesome indefinable peri-peri vibe.

Nandos Quarter Chicken set

My quarter-chicken set (done hot cos I 'chickened' out, hah!) with a side of mediterranean rice was only "okay". Somehow the magic was gone and it wasn't half as addictively moreish as those I had eaten at the London and Australian outlets. Was it that the quality of the chicken used was different? The marination time not as long? The grilling skills not as well-honed? Perhaps a combination of all three factors. I like my grilled chicken to be crispy and slightly burnt on the outside but moist on the inside, and the peri-peri flavour to be infused throughout the meat but this version just fell slightly short on these fronts.

Nandos Espetada Rustica

E's order of Espetada Rustica - 4 pieces of grilled chicken thigh stuffed with sundried tomatoes and skewered with red onion, with 2 sides (he opted for the grilled vegetables and peri-peri chips) was pretty decent but again nothing much to shout about, considering that it was fairly pricey at SGD23, double the price of my quarter-chicken set. Again, more char-grilled bits would have been nice and I couldn't quite taste the (small) sun-dried tomatoes either.

Nandos queue

What I did not like: The service left much to be desired, with lots of clueless and inexperienced wait staff milling around but not paying very much attention to customers. And I was rather miffed that the place does not serve tap water.

Oh well, Nando's Singapore will do well anyway, since Singaporeans love queues and da latest thang. See the queue that had already formed, on a Tuesday evening, at 6.15 pm! (Note: I read in the newspaper that a second Nando's outlet has just opened at Tanglin Mall. Hopefully it's better, though I am not sure if I would want to try it....)