One of the worst things about eating gluten free is feeling totally awkward when you go out for food with friends or family. I’m happy to go anywhere, if I can’t eat somewhere I’ll just eat beforehand/after and go along and be social. However, it really is a good feeling when you find somewhere where the gluten free options are awesome, and chances are, everyone else is happy to eat there. Nando’s is one of those places. Praise the chicken gods who brought us Nando’s – perfectly spiced chicken with awesome sides for a reasonable price – and practically all gluten free (yeah, you heard me.)
Obviously, the bread dishes aren’t gluten free – Nando’s hasn’t stretched to gluten free burger buns just yet, but all the sauces (except Perinaise) are free from gluten and the sides are not contaminated with the evils of flour-batter (onion rings, I’m looking at you.)
Everyone who visits Nando’s semi-regularly will know that sometimes it’s pretty good and sometimes it’s absolutely incredible. You never had a terrible Nando’s – well, I haven’t – but also those ‘absolutely incredible’ ones are a rare treat. Most of the time, Nando’s is just a place to go when you can’t agree on anywhere else and your feet are hurting from trailing Eldon Square/you don’t have much time before the cinema. For us gluten free-eaters, Nando’s is a great place to get filling and tasty food in a relaxed environment without having to be totally awkward for once. Those of you who has sat sifting through a giant ring binder of ‘allergen info’ will know what I’m talking about.
Generally my order at Nando’s stays the same – boneless chicken thighs in mango and lime marinade, spicy rice and peri peri chips with chilli jam on the side. We usually order water because we don’t drink soft drinks, but this time I treated myself to a Savanna Dry cider – the perfect chilled mid-week tea.
There’s not much to say about the food that you won’t already know, Nando’s portions are hit and miss but, as you can see, the grill chef was feeling particularly friendly on this day. Price-wise, it’s not bad. It’s about the same you’d pay at Wagamama or Handmade Burger Co – not as cheap as somewhere like Wetherspoons. But for great gluten free food, often the price is one of the lesser important things on your mind.
All in all, Nando’s is a great choice for any coeliac or gluten free-eater who is sick of being totally picky or awkward in front of friends/family and just wants a decent meal that they can trust.
Service: 3/5 (It is what it is)
Availability of GF food: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5