Nando’s Chicken (Burnaby South location)
5761 Marine Way
It was out in my familiar Kerrisdale neighborhood where I first saw the sign for Nando’s Chicken. At the time, I was completely unaware that it was a chain of part dine-in, part take-out food enterprises. From the outside, that particular outlet on W 41st Ave. looked to me like a regular restaurant and so it wasn’t until I saw it later in a few other places that I began to wonder about its setup. As an aside, a visiting friend from the UK told me upon seeing the store front that they have these in the UK and he was surprised to see them here as well.
The south Burnaby franchise where I had my first ever Nando’s meal is in a shopping area along Marine Way, which bears a striking similarity to the commercial area known as South Edmonton Common in the provincial capital of Alberta. Kind of lost amid the big box stores and rows of business, it has set up shop in a smaller part of the strip malls in the area, with a Starbucks (surprise, surprise) nearby as well. Getting a quick meal while driving in the region, I got caught up in the obvious lunch hour rush of customers, and was surprised to see a decent crowd eating inside as well as those waiting for take away orders.
As I got in the cue,I quickly realized I had no idea what to order, other than that it would be chicken. The menu board featured what was called a Peri Plate that was comprised of 1/4 grilled chicken leg/thigh (or you can choose breast meat), a kebab, and 4 wings with 1 side (choice from Peri fries, classic fries, spiced rice, baked potato, coleslaw) for $11.99. A counter top panel featured the side of garlic bread ($1.89) from their Peritizers list, and I added that as well.
Suffice it to say, I didn’t really have much expectation for a satisfying meal, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The lemon/herb seasoning I asked for on my chicken (spicier versions readily available) was refreshing and light, while leaving the flavor of the chicken meat in its various forms intact. The kebab part though was a touch on the dry side, but the wings (with their soft skin intact) and leg/thigh quite moist and juicy. I didn’t catch onto what the Peri fries were as they didn’t really taste any different from regular chips, but were not over-fried and burnt. Garlic bread was soft with a thin crispy layer.
As a change from the deep fried stuff you can get on the go from places like Church’s or KFC, Nando’s was an appreciated change when it came to fast food chicken. Perhaps a few dollars more than a similar sized meal from those other places and perhaps a longer wait for it to be prepared, but all in all, I rather liked it and will go back.