The scourge of fearful fowl the world over, Nandos treats the peckish flocks at Euston station to a particularly good example of why it’s such a successful chain.
Located just outside Euston station where new ventures are popping up like wildfire, Nandos sits invitingly in the concourse’s corner, with swathes of glass offering an enticing glimpse of the bustling, lively interior. It boasts all the usual Nandos elements inside, with plenty of warm woods, mirrors, contemporary, signed paintings, faux-leather seating and helpfully disarming caricatures of what you’re about to tuck into. It’s the usual format too, with a large, well-staffed counter ready to take your order, a small waiting area for takeaways, and comfortable booth and table seating snaking round an L shaped design illuminated by soft lighting that bounces warmly off shiny surfaces.
Thanks to its location, this branch of Nandos enjoys passing trade by the train load, with a constant stream of diners heading through the door for their chicken fix. Consequently you can expect to be rubbing elbows with anyone and everyone, be they families enjoying a family-favourite before embarkation; after-work workers grabbing something before heading their separate ways; couples enjoying something affordable before heading elsewhere; or even the odd lone-diner passing some time, waiting patiently for that perpetually delayed train. This popularity means that it is one of the chain’s more animated incarnations, and it’s all the better for it, with the vibrant bustle suiting the informality of the brand’s ethos. It’s easy to hide amongst all the action, making it feel relaxing and familiar - just as this kind of place should be.
Again, it’s the usual format, with a host of chicken choices being offered with the hot or not Peri-Peri theme. So whether your palate can handle extra-hot levels that are apparently only fit for pyromaniacs, or is more suited to the gentle tickle of a lemon and herb or mango and lime dusting, there should be something for all. If you’ve got a while to while away and you fancy a starter, these are okay, yet cheap, so well worth it. The hummus is pretty standard but livened up nicely by a tiny little bottle of spicy Peri-Peri oil for you to add as you wish. The accompanying pitta is a little doughy and could do with a few more minutes in the oven but with the whole thing coming in a £2.95, you really can’t complain. Similarly, the red pepper dip features the same pitta, but the sweet, roasted pepper and chilli dip masks its inadequacies and, again, is worth a try at just £2.95.
When it comes to mains it’s not just chicken and chips, though they do seem to do a roaring trade, with the trademark dish coming in at a reasonable enough £6.10 for a quarter of a very succulent chicken that’s rotisserie cooked to perfection (well they really couldn’t get it wrong, could they?) and two sides of the diner’s choice. Spicy rice as one is a little bland and surprisingly not very spicy, but the chips are good chips – long, slender and with a hint of crisp, they’re even better when ordered with a dusting of the Peri-Peri salt. Just be careful though, distribution can be gaggingly uneven. The wraps, a relatively new addition to the already extensive Nandos menu, are really tasty. The chicken breast fillet option (£6.05) is perhaps the more appetising of the two, with the alternative of roasted portobello mushroom and halloumi cheese suggesting that Nandos doesn’t do vegetarian quite as well. The chicken version is a success however, served in a fluffy chilli and coriander wrap and stuffed full of soft chicken, lettuce, sweet chilli jam, light yoghurt mayonnaise and of course, Peri-Peri.
If you’re not too chickened-out to chicken out of dessert, then they’re worth a go too with the generous portion of rum and raisin ice cream at £2.65 being particularly good. The rum isn’t too overpowering and is offset nicely by an abundance of soft raisins and the tiniest hint of honey which keeps things nice and sweet. Also pretty good is the toffee cheesecake pudding at £3.40, which is sweet, rich, sickly and sticky – everything a toffee cheesecake should be.
As well as free refills (for just £1.95) on the type of carbonated favourites that you expect from this kind of establishment, Nandos diners can also enjoy tangy, fresh lemonade (£2.20), almost as tangy and every bit as fresh orange juice (£2.20), a wealth of decent enough coffees that aren’t too strong, and even a few teas. If you’re looking to have alcohol then Nandos is surprisingly accommodating. Bottles of Brahma, Super Bock and Sagres keep the beers suitably Portuguese, as well as reasonable at £2.95, whilst the wine list is a very pleasant surprise. Sticking with Portuguese and South African selections, there are some great bins, including a spicy Shiraz at £14.95 and an award-winning Pinotage at just £15.50. The pick though, is the South African merlot that’s fruity, very drinkable and a steal at only £12.35.
The Last Word
Whether you’re clucking for food after a long journey or fortifying yourself for one that lies ahead, Nandos have hatched what seems to be one of their very best branches. So if you’re in the area, poke your beak in and see what all the fuss is about.