Whilst the chicken-based restaurant has many branches across the country, the Burnley branch is only one of a handful that offers Halal. On a windy autumnal afternoon, I decided to experience the new restaurant.
First impressions were very impressive. We were greeted by a member of staff who was very pleasant, welcoming, and made it appeared like she was very happy to be working there. I have been to many a restaurant where the staff give the impression that they would rather be elsewhere, but that was not the case here! Interestingly, the restaurant has employed 42 local people – 70% of whom were previously out of work or on zero contract hours.
The design of the restaurant is a warm one with South African paintings hung on the walls, the colour scheme is a combination of brown hues, and a warm atmosphere prevailed taking inspiration from the Savanna Woodlands with a forest green and earthy terracotta palette. There is even bespoke plaster that has an elephant skin effect and bark-like cork – it certainly felt like the warm African vibes had arrived in East Lancashire!
Glasses of water were offered as soon as we were seated at our table – it was pleasing too that branded bottled water was not pushed, instead tap water was available. As well as a selection of red, white, and rose wines along with beer and cider, you can opt for bottomless soft drinks for just £3.50.
We started with trying the sweet potato wedges with garlic perinaise (£4.50) – a moorish temptation that introduced us slowly to the Nando’s experience.
My main of the butterfly burger with two sides of chips and garlic bread (£16.50) came with succulent chicken breasts with crispy skin, packed in a Portuguese roll with lemon and herb mayo, lettuce, tomato, and Peri-Ketchup. Yes, it was very big, and tasty. It might seem quite expensive for what is basically chicken and chips, though you do get a big serving.
My sister chose one of the vegetarian options – the Beanie (£13.00 with two sides), made with cheddar cheese, chickpeas, sweetcorn, lentils, peas, and pumpkin seeds served as a burger, though it also can be served in a Pitta or a Wrap. Describing it as a wholesome and filling meal, this was something she said she would order again.
All dishes are served with your preference of how spicy you would like your meal served – extra mild right up to extra hot – which probably explains why they offer bottomless drinks as you will need to quench your thirst and cool down, especially if you are daring enough to opt for your food extra hot!
Our fellow diners seemed to be opting for the famous Peri Peri Chicken dishes such as boneless chicken thighs, a quarter of chicken or chicken wings.
The last time I sampled pastel de natas (a sweet savoury dessert) was in Portugal. Thankfully Nando’s offer this delectable delight as part of their dessert menu. Costing £2.40 for one or £8.50 for a box of four, these custardy, flaky, and buttery offering are freshly baked in the restaurant every day – though sometimes you must be quick as in some instances, they can sell out quick! A gooey and sweet guilty pleasure which could also compliment a nice coffee.
The Burnley Nando’s is somewhere we would visit again – not just for the food (which is excellent) but also for the feeling of being valued and looked after by the friendly and attentive (though not obtrusive) staff. Parking is easy too with the adjacent car park.
Definitely a hot temptation that I can recommend for eat in, collection or delivery. The heat is definitely on!
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