Food & Drink’s Sophie Rashley headed down to Selly Oak’s Nando’s to try and test their new summer sides and salads, and was somewhat disappointed
Nando’s have just released their new Summer Salads and Sides, just in time for the end of term. So, a couple of friends and I hit up Selly Oak’s finest Nando’s establishment and sampled the goods. Although Nando’s is basically a glorified chicken shop, their veggie menu is worth trying. Their vegetarian main meals are filling and delicious. In saying that, on the whole, their new veggies sides and salads are just what you’d expect; they were fine.
There were a few stand-outs for me. the ‘Grains ‘n Greens salad’ was surprisingly really tasty; consisting of beans, peas, corn, spinach, broccoli, avocado and buttermilk dressing, this salad was varied and well-seasoned. As well, ‘The House Salad’ had a Mediterranean vibe with olives, cherry tomatoes, grilled peppers and lettuce, with a generous amount of dressing. So, if you love olives, this will be perfect for you.
In comparison, the ‘Watermelon and Feta salad’ was lacklustre. It was really just some spinach topped with two slices of watermelon and a tiny bit of feta, with no discernible dressing or seasoning. Now, if that sounds ground-breaking to you, I recommend you just go to Aldi and make it yourself. It will probably be about half the price.
Sides-wise, the ‘Grain ‘n Greens’ pulled through again. This was pretty much the same as the salad, but it was just the grains, peas, beans and corn without the added veg. This was way better than I thought it would be and is something I would definitely order again. The dressing is absolutely delicious. Another favourite was the ‘Saucy Spinach’ – baby spinach and chickpeas in a tomato and coconut milk sauce. It was really juicy, and not too sweet, as some tomato sauces can be. The chickpeas worked really well, as they balanced out the otherwise very wet texture.
The not-so-good included the ‘Long-Stem Broccoli’ and the ‘Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash.’ The broccoli really was just broccoli. I am a huge roasted broc fan, so I was very disappointed that it tasted as though it had been boiled or steamed, unseasoned, until it was soft and sad-looking. Similarly, the ‘Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash’ didn’t seem roasted or, at least, seemed as though it had been boiled for a good while first. It was, again, bland and wet. Not even the small sprinkling of feta on top could save it.
All in all, I would definitely get the ‘Grains ‘n Greens’ again, and maybe the spinach if I was feeling particularly saucy that day, but other than that I was a little underwhelmed by what could have been a really inclusive addition to Nando’s Summer Menu. The salads were very hit or miss, but if the summer salad vibes are calling your name next time you visit Nando’s, make sure you either try the Grains or ‘House Salad.’ As much as Watermelon and Feta together sounds sophisticated, it is not worth your money.