Gloucester Road - James Colom Review
My first visit to Gloucester Road branch, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect based on previous reviews. I arrived from Gloucester Road station, and the Nando's was very easy to find and looked very nice from the outside. This is of course one of the most affluent areas of London (possibly THE most), and I suppose it therefore cannot afford to not look the part. The high-quality decor was continued inside, and turned out to be the only thing this Nando's had going for it.
The doorman was polite and attentive, but impressions dropped significantly when I ordered. The man on the till simply did not seem happy to see me, and he certainly wasn't happy with my mixed-sauce order. He even tried to tell me I couldn't have it. He also tried to challenge my free whole chicken by first studying the card long and hard, before asking me where some of the stamps were from. I don't appreciate being tested when ordering my dinner thanks!
Next came the wait. The chicken arrived almost straight away...fantastic!...right?! Well not if the sides don't arrive for another 15 minutes. And that's no exaggeration; knowing I would be writing this review, I chose not to complain, but instead kept a careful eye on my watch. It seemed that this branch was inundated with takeaway orders, and these took preference over the eat-in diners (of which there were very few). We were literally watching the takeaway receipts be dealt with and added to the queue, while our receipt was left dangling the whole time. I would strongly advise this branch to start preparing orders based on the time on the receipt, and not by order of takeaway, and then whatever happens to be noticed next!
As for the food itself, the temperature of the chicken was an obvious issue, while the chips first arrived without any peri-spice at all. This was corrected, but with nowhere near enough spice (I'm talking a very light dashing), so I had to ask for more. The lukewarm chicken was actually rather tender and of a decent size, though not particuarly spicy for Extra Hot & Mango and Lime. My girlfriend also mentioned that her garlic bread wasn't very good - such a shame!
On my way out the restaurant there was a bottleneck, and a Nandoca carrying some plates of food. I clearly had right of way, but she chose to brashly walk on; making the customer wait in the process - not impressed.
Overall, this was my third disappointing Nando's in a row (Hounslow and Stevenage). I'm off for another tonight so hopefully this string will end! Would I return to this branch? Well I'll have to decide that after trying out nearby Earl's Court. If it is better, then I doubt I'll have reason to return to Gloucester Road (and certainly wouldn't expect much if I did).