So sue me, I’m fast and loose.

by Katie on March 15, 2010

Now, it may come as a shock to you and I advise you to, perhaps, sit down: I’m outing myself…I love Nandos. Yes, that’s the one: The hybrid Portuguese/South African restaurant famous for chicken and mad queuing systems.

Have you picked yourself up off the floor yet? I know it may jar somewhat with fashion sensibilities and to those of you who are strictly organic, but believe me, my motto is the faster the better (food, men, cars) and also, ‘I love additives’. Actually, I’m thinking t-shirt of the Henry Holland variety, worn with a quiff and an ironic whiff? It would sell.

MSG in Chinese food? Bring it on. Late night kebab or chips? Well, I ‘have’ been known to partake in years past. And, as for the Colonel’s secret recipe or Pizza Express, err…Hello! (NB. Pizza Express, I love your 2 for 1 vouchers – don’t stop). I think it reeks of style (or just plain food desperation) if a girl can rock up to her favourite fast food restaurant in unironic designer heels and trailing Temperley while ordering up a Chinese Feast. (Those of you of the Scottish variety, will get this). It smacks of Joan Collins playing Helena Barnes being discovered by her arch nemesis, Karen Walker, in Taco Bell in that famous episode of ‘Will & Grace’.

But the reason I love Nandos is not only because of the yumiliscious chicken in pitta slathered in Nandos hot sauce, it’s due the inane stupid system that no one in a million years would ever dream as an ideal fast food system. It goes like this:-

Hungry girl queues up at cash desk. She is then ushered to a seat and given a green chicken on a stick for her table… but more of Mr Green chicken later. She then has to leave her bag, coat and various bits at her table (no doubt, often next to a notice that advises not to leave bags and property unattended) and make her way back to the same spot where she was 10 minutes ago to order her meal. She then goes through her order. Now, if, like me, you are an ‘aficioNando’, you have this order down pat. Despite this, the (well meaning) staff are advised to put you off your stride will sales pitches proffering pineapple and cheese mid sentence. Nooooo! Missy, I’d just like my order, my loyalty card stamped and to get out pronto post feed. Oh yes, the good bit is, ‘Points Mean Chicken!’. My Nandos loyalty stamp book is overflowing with stamps and squiggly writing, like a post modern chicken ration book.

As Nandos doesn’t serve, you then have to fight your way through the umpteen Australian/Filipino nannies and pushchairs (well, it is Notting Hill), get to the drinks area, equip yourself with cutlery, hot bottles of sauce and napkins and struggle back to the table juggling your wares, avoiding chairs, bags and buggies but mostly children.

Then we have the notorious green chicken debacle which doubly frustrates and amuses me no end. God, how I love those green chickens on a stick. They serve absolutely no purpose WHATSOEVER other than, around 20 minutes later, when mouth full, in mid peri chip bite and possibly dripping hot Nandos sauce, a waiter underling comes up, ‘asks you if everything is ok?, then clucking makes off with your green chicken barely before you’ve had time to murmur through your bitefuls. Now, that’s just plain rude. The chicken on my table made me ‘fit in’. I know after it’s whipped away, that my bell is tolling for my Nandos time and someone has their beady eye on my table. S’not fair.

So, all in all, it’s a bit of a mare and a masochistic pleasure is Nandos. Not a great experience save for the food and the well meaning staff. It is awfully popular though. Damn those green chickens.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

RedlegsinSoho March 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

I can only deal with fast food if it is buggy and mama free. This means really nasty fast food works well as in the South london kebabery it is just me and half a dozen hoodies waiting.
Guilty secret: my Christmas eve lunch was fried chicken at KFC in Brixton, thats how classy I am. x


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