Friday, 6 November 2009

Nando's at Canary Wharf Jubilee Place - sizzling lunchtime crowds with its flame grilled chicken doused in peri peri sauce

I normally refrain from writing about chain stores but thought otherwise as I have been dining in this one on a rather frequent basis. In fact, this is a hot favourite among some people I know. Perhaps it's because of the spiciness - the 'sweating it out' is a curiously liberating experience, or the comparatively generous reward program - one free quarter chicken after only the third purchase. How many cups of coffee do you have to down before getting a free one at Starbucks?

Nando's at Canary Wharf Jubilee Place is packed to the till during lunchtimes

If you have somehow missed the title, I am referring to Nando's that seems to have filled in the gap between full service restaurant and the fried chicken takeaway counter just round the corner of each block. Nando's, which specialises in flame grilled chicken, has come a long way from being a small Portuguese styled outlet in Johannesburg.

Its branch at Canary Wharf's Jubilee Place (one of the many in London), plays host to the hungry hordes that descend upon it at lunchtime. Be prepared to stand in line for up to 20min despite Nando's having an enormous sitting capacity. After you are shown to your table, ordering requires you queue up at the counter (thus no service charge) with your table number.

A quarter flame grilled chicken with chips and macho peas on the side... sizzling hot!

Unlike most flame grilled chicken, the ones served at Nando's remained tender and juicy and I suspect that had to do with the kitchen staff constant flipping of the chicken chunks over an open flame stove. Not to mention that the chicken is probably partially precooked.

Obviously, what made Nando's flame grilled chicken special is its peri-peri sauce, which comes in a variety of flavours with Garlic as my personal favourite though my lunch mate swore by the Wild Herb. Apparently, Nando's peri-peri sauce is one of those sauces that goes well with anything; other than appearing on supermarkets' shelves, the peri-peri sauce is even marketed as a gourmet dip sauce on Amazon.

Anyway, if you plan to grab some lunch at Nando's at Canary Wharf Jubilee Place, try going down 15min before the official lunchtime to beat the queues. For a more filling meal, go for 5 chicken wings and two sides (chips and mucho peas recommended) - £7.20. For a lighter meal, opt for the quarter chicken and two sides - £6.10.

If you are on a tight schedule and can't afford the time to stand in line, there's always Wagamama, which is just mere metres away.

Address: Unit 24-26, Jubilee Place, London, E14 5NY
Tel: 020 7513 2864
Nearest Tube station: Canary Wharf

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £10 pp
Service charge: N/A
Taste: ***
Service: ***
Ambience: *
Suitable for: a hearty (and messy) lunch or a fuss free dinner, be sure to douse your chicken in the peri peri sauce!

Nando's on Urbanspoon

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