Nando’s at The Star Vista: this one time


Nando’s is supposedly famed for its chicken dishes with a range of marinades that are of Portuguese and Mozambique influence. So together with Mgdn, Mmy and DramaQueen, we decided to try it out when we were at the Star Vista over the weekend.


I can’t say I was impressed with the food, much less the service and even lesser the experience. We had chicken with a range of sauces of varying levels of spiciness and sides. The only thing that was nice was the potato wedges sprinkled with ‘peri-peri’ powder.

Nando’s Peri Peri Fries
Peri-peri fries
Other than that, all other ordered food items were nothing out of the ordinary: chicken was just chicken (a little on the tough side for the pita) and the sauce that accompanied was really nothing to shout about - it was interesting, but not enough to want to make me want to go back again or even try the other items.

Chicken with corn and potato wedges as a side and sauce that is supposedly hot.
Chicken with coleslaw and potato wedges as sides, and sauce that is of the milder variety.
The pita was a little soggy and the chicken strips a little dry. The coleslaw was nice though.

Water is supposedly complimentary, but getting a refill was a painful process. It seems that the allocation of staff was lacking as waiters/waitresses were most of the time busy scurrying about the other (sometimes same) tables with menus, water, and ordered dishes. The other half of the time, not a single waiter/waitress was in sight (they were busying themselves over the patrons seated inside, there was only one waiter/waitress stationed in the outdoor seating area, but it was to usher in patrons who were queuing up) when we wanted a refill of water or when it came to ordering and payment; giving the impression that you are paying just to get ignored.

Given the relatively large size of the restaurant, you would think they have appropriate crowd management measures in place to enhance the dining experience as much as possible for patrons, but they don’t, making it that less efficient and painfully unnecessarily slow. In addition, the food took a really long time and it seemed that they almost forgot to return with the bill/credit card when it was requested. We even had to get the bottles of condiments (e.g. chili sauces etc..) ourselves. It was a pity that we were unable to refill the water ourselves.

It may have been the peak period and/or the fact that we were seated outside, but I believe that a restaurant that cannot keep up with its patrons during such a time and at least provide adequate service is a disappointment (to me at least). Especially for the price, the service should be up to par. Slow service is one thing, but being ignored and tying to get the attention of waiters/waitresses is another. Lackluster service aside, it was nothing spectacular food-wise (like I said, the sauces were interesting, but not the kind that makes me want more). When slow, almost non-existent service is coupled with non-spectacular food (that did not leave me feeling happy after the meal), it is not worth the money (with the average meal costing about S$20++ per person) and time.

On a side note, this is the same restaurant franchise whose staff had clapped when a local actress walked out of a chain in Tanglin after being appalled for its poor service and ridiculous charge for a cup of hot water. That incident happened about 2 years ago when Nando’s did not serve any water, they serve water now but the service is apparently not very much improved (even at a new chain) or maybe I was there at a wrong time. Was the actress simply really being a diva or was the service really that appalling?
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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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