Nando’s confuses me because the first time I went there, I thought it was Portuguese (their egg custard natas tipped me off). Then Pie told me it was a South African chain. Today, I learned on Wikipedia that it’s a South African brand with a Portuguese/Mozambiquan theme. WT?
Supposedly they’re one of South Africa’s biggest exports and their first U.S. store is the Gallery Place location. (That’s right, NYC, we got ’em first.) They also have a Dupont location, and word is they’re opening one in Silver Spring.
We know they make good chicken and sandwiches (Pie, the vegetarian, likes the portobello-Halloumi sandwich), but how are the desserts? Let’s review.
Nata: You can find natas in part of Asia like Hong Kong and Macau, since the latter was a Portguese colony. As a kid, I was addicted to those Chinese egg tarts you get from Chinatown bakeries (not that there are any left in DC, *sound of teeth gnashing*) and the dim sum cart. So imagine how psyched I was to find a caramelized version. This would probably be even better with a piece of bacon on top, a la my friend Jyl.
Chocolate spoon cake: Holy F! One slice has 1, 019 calories! To put things into perspective, that’s nearly the equivalent of inhaling two Double Downs from KFC. No wonder it’s so rich, I can only eat 1/2 a piece at a time. It’s also so chocolatey that I get a caffeine buzz. Or is that a sugar buzz? (79 grams/slice)
Raspberry brulee cheesecake: I take issue with the description on the menu (“Hand-fired for a satisfying crunch”), which made me think there would be a nice, crispy brulee top. As you can see from the pic, the reality is bleaker. I’m underwhelmed. Maybe the Portuguese/Mozambiquans should leave the cheesecake thing to us Yanks.