Elephant and Castle - James Colom Review

James RYN's picture
How Helpful?: 
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Author: 
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
Half Full
Date of Last Visit: 
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
Rating: 
2.25 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
2 (Quite rude, ignored me as they walked past)
Speed of Service: 
3 (10 - 15 mins - Nando's average)
Quality of Food: 
2 (Quite disappointing - seems rushed, may have some parts burnt)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
2 (An old Nando's, needs some investment)
Comments - Stand out in our weekly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

My first time to the Elephant and Castle branch and its safe to say I won't be coming back - almost to the point where I would seek a different branch even if I was in the area. The area itself isn't great. The huge roundabout makes getting from the station to the Nando's unnecessarily difficult (I realise this isn't Nando's' fault), and there is nothing to speak of in the immediate area other than Ministry of Sound, which would be arrived at too late to make this Nando's practical.

Once seated I went up to order and had a free whole chicken. I wanted half lemon&herb for my girlfriend and half extra-hot with mango&lime on top for myself (my new regular sauce option which has so far been obliged to effortlessly whenever asked for - highly recommended for the slightly fruitier, yet spicy combination). The man at the till had a very limited grasp of English and I had to explain the order to him very slowly and carefully at least three times. Having thought he had grasped it I was satisfied and completed the rest of my order.

Shortly after, the whole chicken was brought and it was as such: half lemon&herb and mango&lime, quarter mango&lime and quarter extra hot. Clearly my careful explanation was not enough to ensure a successful order (which had gone through perfectly just days before at Birmingham Paradise Forum branch). I explained what I had actually ordered to the woman and she complained 'oh my god', and walked away with the chicken; very unprofessional! I then heard her explaining the order in an annoyed manner to the man who had served me at the till; again very unprofessional and not something I want to hear being talked about while I wait (now impatiently) for my food.

Around 5 minutes later the chicken was brought back and prepared correctly this time. My girlfriend could now tuck-in with her lukewarm chips. With that over, the wait began for my burger. It did not arrive for another 10 minutes! How can there be such a delay on meals for a party of two when ordered at the same time?! It wasn't even the usual reason of having to wait for a new batch of chips, since when the burger finally arrived, the accompanying chips were soggy and lukewarm. Overall the food was the most disappointing I have had in a while.

As for the decor, apart from an interesting bronze cock statue on the way to the toilets, it was unremarkable and average. We didn't have our table cleared for a good ten minutes after we had finished eating, and it was only then that we got asked if the meal was ok and the cock taken away. Low staff rating is mainly based on unprofessionalism and not being attentive to the table; I dare say they are polite enough people.

This branch needs to up its game!

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