Hornchurch - James Colom Review
Hornchurch Nando's hasn't been rated in a while so I decided to take the trip from North London and see what all the fuss is about (currently top 3 in the country and top in its region).
Parking was not initially obvious, with the Nando's being located on a rather narrow high street full of yellow lines. However, we eventually discovered that there is a very handy Sainsbury's right behind, complete with free parking not only for shoppers, but for town centre visitors as well. I'm guessing the carpark can get busy during the day, but on a Sunday night we got a space right next to the alleyway connecting it to the high street.
The area itself is a standard town centre, with local shops and a decent selection of restaurants. There are currently lots of roadworks which made driving a bit of a nuisance though.
As for the appearance of this branch, first impressions were lacking since the red Nando's sign out the front wasn't working! This meant you could barely tell it was a Nando's, and was the first time I've ever seen a broken sign. The decoration inside is actually very nice, and this Nando's fits in well with the 4/5 mould I have seen elsewhere around the country. It is quite a small branch, and I'm guessing it can take a long time to get a table on Friday or Saturday nights.
Rachel was the Nandoca who showed me to my table and served me at the till. She was very pleasant and made me feel welcome in the restaurant. It was also good to see the manager (whose name I didn't catch) out in the restaurant, as opposed to holed up in the back. He was showing people to their tables and not afraid to get involved as some can be.
Most importantly, the food came very quickly (less than 5 minutes for mine and just over 5 minutes for my girlfriend), and was of a high standard. My burger was a good bun-filling size, and only slightly let down by not seeming very spicy. Chips were great, hot and covered in peri. My girlfriend got a half chicken and it was succulent and a good size, though slightly burnt in places.
Overall this visit was a pleasant experience with no obvious downfalls, and I would recommend the branch to anyone who happens to be in the area.