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Nando’s: The PERi-fect Dish Chicken Lovers Simply Adore

As a big fan of anything delicious, KajoMag was invited to Nando’s 20th celebration in Malaysia at Aeon Mall on June 7th.

Nando’s: The iconic Mozambican-Portuguese style chicken dish

Did you know that Nando’s first came to Malaysia 20 years ago?

Serving up their signature flame grilled chicken with its PERi-PERi sauces adored by chicken lovers all around, Nando’s first outlet to open in Malaysia was in Kuala Lumpur.

Today, Nando’s has 73 outlets nationwide, including three in Kuching (tHe Spring, Vivacity Megamall and Aeon Mall Kuching Central) and three in Kota Kinabalu (Imago Shopping Mall, 1 Borneo Hypermall and Oceanus Waterfront Mall).

“We are excited about reaching such a significant milestone here in Malaysia, We started in 1998 and 20 years on and we are still firing up the tastebuds of our amazing fans and hitting a few new-comers as well,” said CEO of Nando’s Malaysia, Stephen Chow. “Our magical little chilli called PERi-PERi is to thank for this as it is our heart and it is truly unique to Nando’s.”

The juicy and savoury chicken wings smothered in its PERi-PERi sauce

At Nando’s, we were served its usual iconic mouth-watering dishes such as their succulent chicken, savoury Portobello mushrooms, chicken wings, Mediterranean rice, coleslaw, grilled vegetables, potato wedges and sweet potato fries.

A must try: Nando’s sweet potato fries are simply addictive!

Later, we were served a plate of PERi-PERi chocolate brownies sprinkled with chilli flakes.

Assorted vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and cucumber with their smokey PERi-PERi drizzle. To eat, mix the PERi-PERi sauce with the drizzle before dipping your choice of food into the mix.

That night, Nando’s also provided raw ingredients for guests so that they could custom-make their own PERi-PERi sauces.

In conjunction with Nando’s 20th anniversary in Malaysia, here are some interesting facts every Nando’s fan should know about the iconic Mozambican-Portuguese style chicken dish.

How it all started

Nando’s began in a small town of Johannesburg in South Africa in 1987. The restaurant was founded when Portuguese born audio engineer Fernando Duarte introduced his friend, entrepreneur Robbie Brazin to a Portuguese takeaway called Chickenland. After tasting the chicken, cooked in piri piri, a Portuguese chilli sauce from a pepper found in Mozambique, they bought the restaurant and renamed it Nando’s.

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The restaurant was named after Fernando’s first born son.

After two years, the restaurant has four outlets, three in Johannesburg and one in Portugal.

Today, Nando’s has about 1,000 outlets in 30 countries.

The African bird eye chilli is the heart of Nando's great flavour and PERi-PERi sauces.
The African bird eye chilli is the heart of Nando’s great flavour and PERi-PERi sauces.

The Bird’s Eye Chilli

The iconic tiny red PERi-PERi chillies are unique to Nando’s.

They are grown in the rich soil and under the blistering hot sun in South Africa.

It takes 42, 000 chillies to fill one 14 kg bag and every year, they produce 25, 000 bags. That’s over a billion chillies!

Each chilli plant produces about 300 chillies which are hand-picked and plucked one at a time.

Hand sorted and naturally dried, the PERi-PERi chillies grow pointing up towards the hot sun.

The who, how and where of the PERi-PERi chillies

Nando’s grows its own PERi-PERi chillies with the help of 1,400 independent farmers in Southern Africa.

Nando’s sell PERi-PERi seedlings to the farmers and guarantees to purchase their crop at a pre-agreed fair price.

The chillies are grown on 494 acres of PERi Farms in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

What is in the sauce?

Every Nando’s lovers know that the chicken gets its awesome flavour from the marinating process. In Nando’s, the chickens are marinated for 24 hours before they are grilled to perfection.

And depending on one’s choice, you can smear the chicken with your choice of heat level.

Tailored for a variety of customers, Nando’s choice of sauces consist of Extra Hot, Hot, Mild, Mango & Lime, Lemon & Herb and Plain…ish.

And if you ever wonder how the got its mouth mind-blowing flavour, it contains the mixture of onions, oil, herbs, fresh lemons and a kick of garlic.

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The feel-good effect of PERi-PERi chillies

Eating spicy food gives a feel good effect for your body.

This would explain why you would feel happy after spending some time eating at Nando’s. The PERi-PERi chillies contain capsaicin which is responsible for the feel-good sensation causing your pupil to dilate and your metabolic rate to increase as you feel the rush of endorphins.

Apart from that, PERi-PERi is also rich in vitamins A, B and C.

To know more, check out their website at

Nando’s Malaysia CEO Stephen Chow (second left) at Nando’s 20th year in Malaysia celebration at Aeon Mall Kuching Central.
Terong Dayak
My mother loves to remind me that I used to hate eating vegetables growing up every dinner time. Please follow KajoMag on facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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