In 1987, two friends visited a barbecue chicken spot in Johannesburg, South Africa and were so blown away by what they had, they bought the restaurant for a little more than $30,000 and renamed it Nando’s. Today, Nando’s has locations on five different continents and it’s one of the most popular restaurant chains in the United Kingdom.
While we don’t have a Nando’s location here in Western New York just yet, Mother Cluckers is bringing its own version of the popular chain’s barbecue chicken, which is slathered in a spicy sauce called peri-peri. Mothers Cluckers currently has a food truck, a trailer on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls and a new food stall at the new Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World (former Fantasy Island).
Mother Cluckers is the brainchild of co-owners Sham Ahad and his wife Janel. Sham grew up in London and the couple saw an opportunity to bring the wildly-popular flavors of peri-peri chicken to Western New York. Even though this style of barbecue might be a bit foreign, Janel says the chicken is starting to win over fans on this side of the Atlantic.
“It is a little different than the typical American barbecue,” she says. “But I think it is catching on in Texas, based on what I’ve been reading, and that’s like barbecue central for America.”
Every location has the same small menu that is primarily focused on featuring the flavor of peri-peri sauce. The crown jewel, naturally, is the peri-peri chicken, which comes with yellow rice and fresh coleslaw. If you’ve never had peri-peri chicken before, just know that is has the same spicy-savory appeal as chicken wings. Think of it simply as the African cousin of our iconic food export.
The menu at Mother Cluckers also includes garlic-cilantro chicken wings that are grilled and served with French fries topped with parmesan cheese and white peri-peri sauce. A rice bowl features chopped chicken, grilled corn, red peppers, grated parmesan and coleslaw on yellow rice. Side dishes include loaded fries, grilled pineapple, and a spin on Mexican street corn topped with peri-peri sauce.
Given that Mother Cluckers is inspired by a popular British chain that’s based in South Africa and serving Portuguese chicken, it’s a perfect fit for the international tourist area around Niagara Falls. It’s also a welcome addition to all the different food truck events around Western New York, where it’s important to stand out from the crowd. But we can’t help but wonder what’s next for Mother Cluckers and hope that its future involves a British-style pub, where you can watch soccer and pair a pint with some peri-peri chicken.
Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Friday to Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
2 Old Falls St Niagara Falls, NY 14303 • $$$$$
The freshest local ingredients packed into amazing dishes that will light up your taste buds like never before! Peri Peri Chicken!!! If ...
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