Nando's is effectively a fast food chain that originated in Portugal and now has chains throughout England. They are hard to miss in London with chains on many high streets. The way it works is simple. You take a seat and get a menu. You take note of your table number. You choose what you want and go up to the counter and order and pay. Take your seat again and your food will be bought to you. In most instances, Nando's works very efficiently and this branch was no exception. Located in a busy part of London it gets alot of through traffic. I went on a weekend lunchtime so perhaps not at it's peak of business but the place was still hectic. There was a small queue to get a table but we only waited 10 minutes as turnover is pretty sharp here. We were efficiently shown our seat and clearly had the Nando's routine explained to us.
Nando's is not glamorous and if you don't like chicken, don't bother... cos that's pretty much the nuts and bolts of what they do. Hot chicken, medium chicken, herby chicken or fruity chicken served in a variety of different ways. Peri-Peri is their famed sauce and it packs a punch. My preference would always be a medium Peri-Peri in pitta but it's horses for courses.
Nando's never let's you down. The chicken is always tasty and they somehow manage to never mess it up - it's never dry or over cooked. It comes with a limited selection of sides that serve as handsome accompaniments. If your a chip/fries lover, these are great. Portions are good value but not disgusting in size. The real highlight probably comes with their rice and their peas. I still don't know what they put in them but they never fail to taste fresh and flavorsome.
Chicken plus a couple of sides will come in just under £10 so quite expensive given it's technically 'fast food'. That said, it's much better than it's competition and worth paying the extra for. Also, if you have a coke or similar soft drink these are available in unlimited refills. Nando's also offers a range of alcoholic drinks which again sets it apart from other fast food chains. Wines and beers are limited and lean towards Portuguese brands but are all of good quality and a fairly standard £3-£5 depending on what you go for.
Service I've found doesn't tend to vary much from location to location although here they did seem a little more hurried than elsewhere. Never rude nor over zealous in their pleasantries but my only criticism and it's probably not fair would be staff are very formulaic in their approach... but I guess from a global chain this is to be expected.
The final thing I'd like to comment on is the overwhelming cleanliness of the place. I know Nando's won an award for their hygiene and this branch was no exception. Lavatories were immaculate and tables always clean despite the high turnover.
Overall, Nando's won't set your world on fire but if you want tried and tested... and like chicken, you'll be in very safe hands and will never leave disappointed.