Last year we played an April Fools in which many fell for, if only for a short while, where we added a poorly designed Nando’s logo on to the side of the once empty unit at Ely’s Leisure Village.
Well now that logo exists and Nando’s is opening to the excitement of many residents in Ely. Spotted in Ely got early access to the new restaurant and taste some of what it has to offer during the soft launch.
Nando’s is a worldwide organisation started by 2 Portuguese brothers who were living in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1987 they opened their first store. They now have over 1,000 outlets in 35 countries and all based on the Portuguese sauce, Peri-Peri.
When Ely Leisure Village was announced, many residents hoped for Nando’s and from tomorrow, Wednesday 24th April, their wish has come true.
There was seating for approximately 100. What immediately struck us was that you could manoeuvre about as the seating was not squeezed in for maximum numbers.
We met Tiego and some of the team, all excited to get the doors open for real and eager to serve. Training has been underway for some time and although the store was due to open last week, the team decided to let Easter pass before what will be a very busy few weeks.
In all, the restaurant is currently employing more than 70 new staff and have recruited from all over the UK, including one of their experienced chefs who hails from Wales. Something which made Alison very happy indeed.
An interesting way of ordering, choose your food and head up to the till unlike conventional restaurants. Having spent time in South Africa, I could see how this approach has been passed from country to country as the restaurant chain has grown.
We decided to start with the Wings Roulette, a combination of chickens wings with various flavours and degrees of spice and on round one I got the hot one but was very tasty as were the remaining portions.
For mains I went for the Sunset Burger smothered in cheese, chutney and spinach and Alison for the Chicken Butterfly (cue the obvious food pictures below). We were both very happy with our choices and the bottomless soft drinks is a welcoming choice.
Sadly, both to full for desserts but overall a pleasant experience and speedy service.
Currently you cannot book, instead it is a turn up and eat venue with take-away facilities. Booking seats will only be available in a few months time so you may experience queues over the next week or 2 especially at weekends.