Nando’s Hove restaurant décor is a mixture of copper lighting fixtures and exposed wooden mosaic walls. The company bring their brand of warm Mediterranean colours and contemporary design wherever they are. They specialise in flame-grilled chicken with peri-peri flavouring – a recipe with Portuguese influence, but actually originating in Mozambique. Other distinctly Portuguese specialities on the menu include the Prego steak roll and espetadas and cataplana. But if I’m totally honest it’s always chicken and chips for me.
The last time I was in Nando’s, I was on the Southbank, and the warehouse-size branch was quiet, but only for about thirty minutes. We picked it as an alternative to the gastro-pub and Italians that abound in every cityscape. Nando’s Hove is a little away from the centre of Brighton and Hove’s restaurant overload and it’s the location and the convenience that brings that makes the place such an excellent addition to the area. We were sat in one of the American Diner-style booths. The place has a queue outside, and it’s a very rainy Wednesday. You know what you’re getting here, and it usually involves as much extra hot sauce as you want. Nando’s Hove has frozen yoghurt on tap, to help combat the effects from those of us that go wild with the peri-peri and it also adds to the array of soft drinks and condiments that are serve-yourself, this makes the place feel a little more American.
Despite being extremely busy (with all age ranges), you still manage to feel like you’re in your own little world – so I think you still get a restaurant experience although it has some of the attributes of fast food. I’m probably preaching to the converted but it works – whether you’re looking for a cheeky Nandos or a place to feed the kids. The restaurant is beautifully designed, the staff were great – and there is probably something in the fact that the employment that the store has brought, is also very much needed. If Nando’s did late night takeaway they’d easily take the place of the kebab on my wander home.
By Lou Clement
Nando’s Hove is located at Old Shoreham Road, Goldstone Retail Park, BN3 7PN, and is now open for business.