Sunday, June 8, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Nando's at Myaree
I'm a lucky person. Nando's seem to have an international following of fans who love Peri-Peri. For those who do not know what Peri-Peri is, Peri-Peri is the African name for the Bird's Eye Chilli. The African people had introduced the Portugese settlers to Peri-Peri and it became part of their everyday culinary life. The Portugese settlers experi-perimented with Peri-Peri in a variety of exotic dishes and of course with chicken, by blending it with other natural ingredients like herbs, spices, lemons and vinegar. Nando is famous for their servings of Portugese flame-grilled meats with their own recipe of Peri-Peri. It is sad that Singapore does not have a franchise of Nando's but lucky for me, there are Nando's outlets in Perth. I have been to several of Nando's franchised outlets and well, my numerous return visits speak for themselves.
As Nando's is a self-service restaurant, the concept is very much like Carl's Junior or Superdog in Singapore. We had to order at the counter before we got the Signature Nando's Rooster with our queue number 10. I think ornaments like that do add to the vibe of the restaurant. More in sync with the theme of the restaurant and the food.
Hot Peri-Peri & Mild Peri-Peri Sauce
Before heading to our tables, we had to get the bottles of sauces from the small table near the counter. The meal is not complete without the sauces! The sauces are so good that they are available for sale. They come in different degrees of spiciness; Mild, Hot and Extra Hot. For beginners or non-spicy eaters, they also have the Lemon & Herbs sauce which contains no Peri-Peri. The Perinaise (Peri-flavoured mayonaise) is also on sale. Challenge yourself or your companions to see how well you all fare at the Peri-o-meter!
Many restaurants in Perth do require diners to pay for sauces. Eg. McDonald's generally give out 2 packs of ketchup free but if diners want more or sauces of other flavours, they have to pay AD$0.50 per pack unless they are ordering the nuggets with come with free sauces. For the record, Nando's offer their diners free sauces. Though it means diners can consume as much sauces as they like, the bottles of sauces remain in the restaurant after the completion of the meal. Diners are not allowed to take the bottles of sauces home. That's why they are on sale.
Anyway, our order was for a Mild Sauce Basted Whole Chicken and a serving of Peri-Peri Chips (AD$20.95). Apparently, it is way cheaper in Malaysia but......I'm not going to take a flight to Malaysia! They flame-grill the chicken manually and put the basting sauces in accordance to the orders. I saw the staff flame-grilling the chicken behind the counter. The chicken was tasty, succulent and tender but areas like the wing and the drumstick got a tad too burnt at the ends. I don't mind slightly burnt bits of meat BUT I do not like my food tasting like charcoal. It's like biting into a piece of slightly burnt Char Siew versus a piece of charcoal-tasting Char Siew.
The Peri-Peri Chips came with the Peri-Peri salt (mixture of Peri-Peri powder and salt) added to it. Nando's do serve Original Chips (no Peri-Peri Salt) for the same price as the Peri-Peri Chips but generally, people order the Peri-Peri Chips 'cause that is what Nando is famous for. Nando's at Northbridge serve Original Chips along with the Peri-Peri Salt Shaker so that diners can choose how much Peri-Peri salt they like on their chips. I prefer adding salt on my own as you can tell from the picture, someone added heaps of salt onto the chips that it was too salty. Overlooking that fact, the fries were delicious as they were crisp on the outside and soft on the insides.
Food aside, the atmosphere of the restaurant makes it a good pick for a family or casual dinner setting. The service is deplorable as with the food and service trade, staff come and go so quickly that there is not much of a service standard to speak of. The cashier at NorthBridge was a Japanese whose command of English made ordering slow and erroroneous. At Myaree, we were given the wrong queue number for our order and wrong orders kept coming to our table which got the serving waitress annoyed at us for some reason. It was not our fault that we were given the wrong queue number and we did return the wrong orders back to the counter. Oh wells. At least I don't have to pay extra for service.