I Lost My Nando's Virginity...

I thought that I was the last person left on Earth that hadn't gone to Nando's and who wasn't interested in doing so. I have a good mixture of friends, some that love it and some that detest it. I've also had mixed reviews that it was: 'a decent tea out' and: 'an overpriced KFC." Then I met Jamie and he said that he hadn't bothered with Nando's either. 

For Christmas, Jamie's Mama gave him some vouchers to go out for food.  We decided that we would lose our Nando's virginity together! Cute, right? 

So, 5 months after Jamie received these vouchers, we finally investigated Nando's Darlington.

Our nearest Nando's before that was Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is quite a distance just for some food and whenever we plan things with friends, it's usually things like; bowling, cinema, karting...Nando's never really became a popular suggestion.

 We thought that since it was local and that Jamie had these vouchers, it wouldn't hurt to try it out.

So, the first thing I did was walk into the glass door. It was already open but I guess I wasn't paying attention, it curves off to the right and I decided to close it and then attempt to walk through the glass to the left of it.

I was the butt of all of Jamie's jokes all night due to that.

The atmosphere of the place was the first thing we picked up on. It was different to anything we have ever experienced in Darlington. It was lively, student friendly (not that we're students), upbeat and fresh compared to the rest of the market town.

Darlington has this...lull to it. I've seen the same sights and the same people since I was 6 so it was nice to experience something new. Not that the lull is a bad thing. Darlington has everything you need and it's familiar but it's building this new complex (or as I call it, bringing Middlesbrough to Darlington) and so there will be more to do in the town for adults, teenagers and children alike.

The decor was beautiful. It had oranges, reds, yellows and was well lit and modern compared to the other pubs in the town that went with the historical aspect. (Which is cool in itself, William Stead is our starter point for a night out. The guy behind the pub, which is appropriately located opposite the town's Newspaper, is that he was an investigative journalist well known for his reportage on child welfare (such as the Eliza Armstrong case) and he died on the infamous Titanic.) 

Although the space wasn't particularly large, it wasn't cramped either. They did away with regular seats and tables and had a different design for each so that people could sit alone or with their friends/family/colleagues with plenty of room to maneuver to the bar, the refill station or the toilet without interfering with other people out to dine. 

I fell in love with a bathroom for the second time in my life. I have a thing about public rest rooms. If the bathroom is disgusting or run down, chances are that I won't return to that establishment again.

Nando's rocked the outdoors/caveman bathroom. I want it in my future home!

It sort of reminded me of FatFace a bit.

All of the walls were covered in incredibly bold, flowing, dramatic art work.

True to the caveman vibes, this is the only place I have ever eaten like an actual caveman. Jamie and I shared a full platter which consisted of a full chicken, large chips and large garlic bread. He opted for the medium heat and I'm an absolute chicken (excuse the pun) and so opted for a mild Mango and Lime. 

I ate with my fingers because it was easier than pinging chicken at every passer by. The food was delicious. You could really taste the seasoning and the sharpness of the mango and lime. Jamie said that he was impressed as sometimes food that claims to be hot and spicy, ends up having little to no flavour for him.

I ended up feeling so full. I looked 6 months pregnant and got the meat sweats. It was glorious. Luckily, they opened up a car park near by because I struggled to breathe and walk soon after eating.

All together, the meal cost us £26.30. We had 20 pounds worth of vouchers though so really, we got all of this food for £6.30.

That included many glasses of coke for Jamie at the refill station and I purchased two beers because I like to enjoy a pint with food sometimes...and I can because I'm an adult.
Credit: 9gag

The staff were lovely and really helpful. They were down to Earth and didn't pester you every five seconds but were always ready to aid you when you needed it. 

I still feel that Nando's is slightly over-hyped. I don't get what's cheeky about £30 chicken. At first I thought, shit, that's really expensive but I did some research into it and they choose local farmers, free range chicken and marinate it in a 'secret peri-peri recipe' for 24 hours before serving.

(Before you say it, I know there's some controversy about where exactly restaurants like Nando's get their chickens from. I am simply quoting what I read from this particular establishment.) 

It's also nice that although they are famed for their chicken dinners, they cater for vegetarians, gluten free, dairy free and even people with egg allergies. 

Overall, we rated Nando's Darlington a 3.8/5.

The atmosphere and food was great but when the newness of it wears off and it become part of the Darlo lull, it will become quite a pricey place for a bit of chicken. I would go there with my friends, family and maybe for another date with Jamie but it's not quite in my price range to become a regular part of my life. Especially when you can get a chicken burger and a pint for £6.00 around the corner.

What are you thoughts on Nando's? Link me to your reviews so I can check them out! 

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