Roosters Piri Piri – A ReviewPosted: August 16, 2011
The words ‘Fast food’ and ‘healthy’ rarely appear together in the same sentence. And when they do, it’s normally a lie. Fast food isn’t normally healthy. But ever since Super Size Me shocked Mcdonald’s eaters throughout the US and Europe, times have been changing.
For example much of Subway’s branding promotes a healthy message, and we’ve grown used to the idea of Mcdonald’s selling salads (a concept unthinkable just a few years ago).
But the fast food outlets I have mentioned so far are massive corporations, the choice in the UK is either massive corporation or dodgy looking independent kebab shop – that most only stumble into whilst under the influence of alcohol. The reason for that final point is simple, tape worms are the most disgusting creatures in the universe. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up and I promise you, you’ll never visit a cheap kebab house again!
So as we all shun those ‘evil corporations’ (despite visiting Starbucks way too regularly) and refrain from walking within 100 yards of KFC rip off “Mr Tucky Ken Chicken”, what are we left with?
The answer to that question could quite possibly be “Roosters Piri Piri” – a chain which claims to be “changing fast food for good”. Is that just clever rhetoric (and a great strap line), or is Roosters as good as it claims? I went to its newest restaurant in Portswood, Southampton yesterday to find out.
The first thing that strikes you is the restaurant’s branding, design and cleanliness. All are top notch. 10/10 for appearance.
It feels like a modern, cutting edge…rip off of Nandos. It’s not just the name “piri piri”, but the grill the meat is cooked on, the ordering process, and the decor. I’m kind of surprised Nandos hasn’t filed a law suit yet.
The menu was easy to navigate and the prices were excellent. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was able to order half a chicken, chips and coke for £5.49. That’s a significant discount on Nando’s £9.65.
The question was, would it taste as good? Before I could find out I had a 15 minute wait. That’s not ‘fast’ food at all. And thinking about it, neither is it healthy. Coke? Chips? Chicken? Sure, it may not be fried, but it’s not exactly lettuce is it?
It turns out it’s the little things that makes Roosters Piri Piri ‘healthy’. There’s no salt on the chips, and they don’t use GM products. They offer freshly squeezed orange juice…woop. Oh, I almost forgot the mayonnaise they use is ‘Hellmann’s light‘. Revolutionary, isn’t it?
Back to the taste. Yeah, it was brilliant. It had its similarities with Nandos, but still retained its own unique flavour. I was impressed.
In conducting my research for this post, I have discovered all the chicken they use is Halal certified. That explains opening the first restaurant outside of London and the Home Counties in Portswood – a very Muslim area of Southampton. Eating Halal meat is something I tend to avoid, for reasons I won’t go into here (partly cause I’m still trying to figure out whether I need to avoid it or not). The discovery is sadly, somewhat of a turn off and I’d like to see the chain giving consumers the option of Halal or non Halal. It would also be courteous to point out the meat is Halal on the menu, and not hide the fact away on the website!
Overall I think Roosters is a great alternative to Nandos. It’s not ‘healthy’, and neither is it (in my admittedly limited experience) ‘fast’. But it’s definitely the best place to go for cheap and good quality food on the high street. After demolishing my tasty meal in a matter of minutes, it didn’t surprise me to learn the chain has a very high percentage of repeat business.
In fact, I think it’s dinner time. Goodbye.