This sit down restaurant approach is more in keeping with its branches all over South Africa, its country of origin, and worldwide too. Nando’s is evidently a very successful operation and is found right across the globe these days! All my previous visits to the establishment had utilised the fast food form of service.
However, here I was sitting at a table taking in the scenes around me. As the restaurant is right in the centre of Bulawayo, I have to admit that I was a little concerned about vehicle safety. The security guard at the door appeared more interested in vetting clientèle than looking after vehicles parked outside. Only by a stroke of luck did I manage to park directly outside the doors, as the centre of town was buzzing with activity, albeit on a Friday evening after work.
Utilising my existing restaurant experience, I asked a waiter if I could sit and he said, anywhere we liked, and so we seated ourselves at a table for three. The establishment was humming with people, giving a very clear indication that it was a popular eating place, although most clientèle appeared to be taking advantage of the fast food service. We did wait a while before I caught the eye of a waiter and asked if it was possible to see a menu. It was only later that I realised that the more common format was to select your choice at the fast food counter and then take a table number and find a seat. As I had juniors with me, the waiter obliged with three menus.
Nando’s is a Speciality Restaurant famous for its Afro-Portuguese style chicken, in keeping with this African venue. Given this important piece of information, as you would expect, nearly every food item on the menu was some variation on a chicken theme! We duly ordered various forms of chicken, including two Portuguese salads as starters. The salads came very quickly, out of the fridge, complete with cling wrap — but this presentation aside, were not bad. Our main courses arrived, all accompanied by chips. We all devoured our various forms of chicken with enthusiasm and appreciation.
Having hit rush hour, the waiters seemed more accustomed to serving the fast food clients waiting for their orders, than waiting on the sitting clients.
Rather disappointingly, there was no dessert on offer, having, we were told, sold out on the previous day, so I settled on a coffee. Admitting that I am not a coffee connoisseur, I was impressed with the Cappuccino that came out of a fancy-cooking multi-coffee-making machine.
Speciality Restaurant — Afro Portuguese, 2 Plates
Expect to spend US$8 to US$15 per head
Jason Moyo Ave, Central Bulawayo.