So Nandos have come to Dublin. We've heard some positive feedback from other people, both vegan and non-vegan, about this chain of restaurants so decided to give the one on Mary Street a shot. It predominantly serves chicken, but also has a lot of vegan dishes on its menu. I don't normally like to go to a place which is associated so widely with serving meat, but as they seem to cater so well for vegetarians and vegans and use separate cooking areas and utensils for vegetarian food, I thought this time I would give it a go.
We were greeted by a really friendly guy who explained how to order food and which sauces to choose. When we mentioned we were vegan he brought over a big booklet explaining what ingredients was in everything, which was great, but I would have preferred if he could have explained to us in person briefly what was/was not vegan, otherwise that booklet would have taken us ages to flick through if we hadn't already done some research prior to our visit.
I went for the Veggie Burger in a wrap with chilli jam (minus the mayo) cooked in mango and lime sauce with peri-peri salted fries on the side. My boyfriend had the same only in a pitta and cooked with a medium heat sauce, with an extra corn on the cob on the side. Our meals fell within the €10-12 range and were very filling, but we had to wait a long time to be served. It could have been because they had only just opened, but I noticed that people who ordered chicken after us got their food served a lot quicker.
Both my boyfriend and I were quite disappointed with the peri-peri fries, we thought they would have been cooked in the spices, but the flavouring was just sprinkled on top. I really enjoyed my wrap and the soya and tomato burger had a great texture. I think my boyfriend regretted getting it medium heat as he found it a bit too hot and lacking in any other kind of flavour. I normally love spicy food but decided to deviate from the norm as the mango and lime really appealed to me and it went so well with the chilli jam, so I had no regrets there!
It's also great that you can refill your glass with soda as many times as you like and the prices overall are definitely reasonable, but I did think almost €5 for some pitta bread and hummus was a little steep so we avoided the "appeteasers". I'd like to try the mixed olives sometime though as they sound like something I'd love. Other vegan options on the menu as far as I can see are the cous cous salad, mixed leaf salad (both available with chicken at extra cost) and some of the sides like their macho peas, ratatouille and possibly their new black bean casserole type dish and spicy rice. I would have to check before saying so for sure though. Their other vegetarian burger, the bean burger, is not vegan as it contains cheese, which is such a pity as it sounds lovely and is stuffed full of pulses and seeds.
We will most surely be paying another visit when we are in town again sometime soon, as the prices and service were very good and the portions were large - the wrap and fries are all I have eaten all day and I am still not hungry and it's gone 7pm!! It's great that there's somewhere for vegans to go and get a decent burger, but I'm afraid that if I am out and about with my fellow vegans/vegetarians I'd be more likely go to Deli O'Delhi or Govindas than to Nandos, for more flavoursome healthy food at better value. However, it's a great option if you are with friends who are meat eaters, so I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot!