Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
IT’S been about three months since Nandos in Bulawayo closed shop abruptly after its building in the city centre collapsed, claiming one life.
Just like Haefelis, buying meals and eating at the Simbisa Holdings outlet had become a highlight for some people who enjoyed the establishment’s ambience and signature flame grilled Peri Peri chicken alongside their irresistible sauces.
Though Nandos’ sister outlets, Steers, Fish Inn and Chicken Inn are trying to fill the gap, foodies say they miss their Nandos.
“Nandos was a cool place to relax and chill for many people including me. I miss their asparagus and chicken. It’s unfortunate that the building collapsed,” said socialite Cyclone Ree.
She said the closure of the outlet had forced her to try and prepare some of the dishes.
“Whenever I want chicken flavoured like the ones served at Nandos, I buy a bird and their sauces to try and cook it like them.
“But still, it’s not the same because even if I have the same ingredients, there’s something that’ll be missing, which is their touch.”
Media personality Batsirai Donovan said: “Kanti koBulawayo kuthwa asisadli iNandos? (Are they saying we no longer eat Nandos in Bulawayo?).”
Another foodie, Meghan Dube said she missed Nandos as their meals, though seemingly simple, cannot be imitated.
“These days I’m forced to buy dinner from Steers when the kids don’t want home cooked food. The food at Steers is equally nice, but unfortunately the staff there is a bit slow with orders.
“We hope Nandos opens soon as my family was just warming up to their new mango and lime flavoured chicken that was introduced early this year,” said Dube.
It does not come as a surprise that this delicacy is missed by many inhabitants of the City of Kings especially considering that Nandos Bulawayo was the only one in the city and Matabeleland province. Those in Victoria Falls have also been affected by the Nandos Bulawayo closure as this was their closest branch.
Some die hard Nandos fans have gone to great lengths to get their chicken as they are asking loved ones to bring the food from Nandos outlets in Harare or South Africa.
Asked when Nandos would reopen, Simbisa Holdings remained mum over the issue preferring not to answer calls and questions fielded to them.