Every time I drive East on the QEW towards Toronto, I always pass by Nando’s on Brant Street but never end up actually eating there. I found out about their Hamilton location when I was on my way to Pattie’s Burger Bar last month. Then a couple of weeks later, I received an email from Nando’s communication’s team inviting me to their blogger event!
I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews but I needed to try them out before I could form an opinion. Located in the booming area of the Stoney Creek mountain, Nando’s planted itself in a brand new plaza across from Silvercity. Inside every Nando’s, you’ll find an eclectic collection of decor, lighting fixtures, furniture, and artwork different from location to location. Each piece of work is hand-painted by locals in South Africa and purchased by Nando’s to support the community. If you’ve ever been to a Nando’s, then you’re familiar with their interesting way of ordering.
Each table has a designated number and that’s the number you need to remember when you’re ordering. Cashiers are located at the front of the restaurant for sit-down and take-out customers. You can also take a peek at the open kitchen and see some juicy chicken get grilled up! I brought Calvin along to the event and sat with my buds, Kristin from I Heart Hamilton and Thomas from Rebuild Hamilton. I wish we had space for Heather (Hamilton Small Fries) and Johnny but we were tragically separated and ended up sitting at opposite ends.
So, back to the food. I went with the Chicken & Halloumi Salad, like who am I… Ordering salads? Calvin ordered a half chicken with roasted veggies and spiced rice. We sipped away on Sangrias and Coronas as we waited for our meal. The sangria was a good balance of wine and fruity flavours, definitely right up my non-drinking alley. My salad was tossed with red peppers, corn, a shit-ton of chickpeas, topped with Peri-Peri chicken and cubes of halloumi cheese. The base consisted of a mixture of kale and leafy arugula greens.
We were advised to order one spice level below what we thought we could handle, so I went with medium. So, basically I lied because that’s what I usually order 😀 And honestly, I could’ve handled the spicy! I nommed on the half chicken as well and dayyyumm gurllll, it was bomb as fuck. I threw out those mixed reviews and rumours and dove right into the juicy grilled goodness.
These marinated, spatchcocked birds are grilled to order, then taken off to get sliced up at just the right time. Not over, not under, just right and tender. The events team also set up a make-your-own-Peri-Peri station too! I was super stoked to learn how to create these dope flavours. The main ingredients consisted of olive oil, South African bird’s eye chili, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and a mixture of spices. We smashed away in our little mortar and pestles until it was a saucy consistency. It was such a fun little interactive experience!
During my second visit, I had to get the half chicken again but this time, I tried new sides. The Peri-Peri fries came highly recommended and I was also feeling some crunchy veggies, so I went for the coleslaw. For a total of $19 including tax, tip, and a dipping sauce ($1), I was super impressed. I brought back half of the meal for Calvin, so having dinner for less than ten bucks per person is pretty good to me!
Now that Stoney Creek is booming like dandelions on a virgin lawn, I’ll probably make the drive over there more often. Like, I already go for bowling 2-3 times a month, I’ll grab dinner beforehand and make a night out of it!
The complimentary meal was provided by Nando’s, opinions expressed are my own.