Nando’s @ AEON Station 18, Ipoh
Finally Nando’s is in Ipoh. Totally unexpected. I mean, Ipoh has been a dead town for a very long time and to see a well known brand to invest and open a store/restaurant here is practically none. But since AEON Station 18 has opened, Ipoh has finally been revived from the dead and we’ve started seeing fresh, well known brands in Ipoh and one of them is Nando’s!
I have only eaten Nando’s once in KL when I was studying in Japanese school. Since my school was only 7 minutes walk from Midvalley Megamall, we all decided to eat there once during our long Friday break (we had break time from 12 pm – 3 pm every Friday!) Back then I had, if I remember correctly, the grilled chicken breast burger and since then I’ve fallen in love with Nando’s and its peri-peri sauce. Unfortunately it was my first and last time at Nando’s. After that somehow I’ve never invited nor been invited to eat at Nando’s.
Few days ago, I decided to try Nando’s again at their new outlet in Ipoh. They’ve been opened for a while now – if I’m not mistaken it was early April.
The decor is cool, calm and inviting. Very South-African influenced. The interior is nice and comfy. The place is not that big, and when it gets packed at peak hours, it can feel a bit crowded and cramped. And it’s always packed during peak hours.
The staff was friendly, albeit a bit busy because it was the lunch hour and people started flocking to Nando’s after we walked in.
For the drink, I decided to order ‘Citrus Bliss‘ which cost RM7.90. It’s a combination of mint syrup, grapefruit juice and sprite coupled with fresh mint leaves and lemon & orange slices. I just LOVE drinks that has sprite and mint syrup combined. Citrus Bliss is a very refreshing drink and if you order a meal with the extra hot peri-peri sauce, then you’d need this drink to cool down the hotness.
It came in a tall glass, and I shared this with my mom and it was enough for two so it was worth the RM7.90. LOVE the flavor.
For the meal, since my mom is quite the fussy eater and don’t eat that much, I decided to try their new ‘Cataplana Porto‘ and share it with my mom. It comes in this nice ‘bowl’ or a copper clam-shell which is a nice touch but for me it’s quite costly at RM26.90 for one person but I thought the portion would be enough for two.
Unfortunately when I opened the bowl, I was surprised at the portion. The portion was smaller than expected and it was enough for one person. But it’s a good thing there was enough chicken in there to make you feel full but certainly smaller portion than depicted in the picture. It might not be a small portion to those who are not a big eater.
The rice comes with a mix of olives, mushrooms and nando’s delicious marinated chicken and I chose it with extra hot peri-peri sauce forgetting that my mom would be sharing it with me. So she was complaining at how hot it was but I loved it. Be warned that they put a lot of sauce on the rice, so if you ordered the extra hot, it will be EXTRA HOT.. like FIRE BURNING HOT.. it almost made me spit fire like an angry dragon… my stomach had burning sensations each time I swallowed the rice. That’s awesome. The flavor that you get in cataplana porto, with the chicken and sauce and mushrooms, you’d forget how small the portion is and enjoy the flavorful bite. My mom however didn’t like it due to not being familiar with South African/Portuguese type of food.
My only complaint is the olives. It was quite hard and the first bite of olive I had did not have any seed in it, so didn’t expect the rest would have the seeds.
You can also choose ‘Cataplana Originale‘ which has grilled veggies.
Somehow I’m craving it again now. I’d eat it again but without sharing it. The flavor burst that you have in your mouth, with all the herbs and spices mixed with marinated succulent chicken thighs and the hot and sour peri-peri sauce… it’s not something you’d forget. Overall, it was a good experience, nice, friendly and welcoming staff and I left feeling full even though my stomach was burning badly from the extra hot sauce but it was a good meal. Just that next time, no sharing.
NANDO’S @ AEON STATION 18
Lot G-57, AEON Ipoh Station 18,
No 2, Susuran Stesen 18,
Stesen 18, 31650 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Tel: 05 – 323 5655