Leeds - The Light - Adam Nicol Review
Now that I am living permanently in the North-East of England where we have a serious lack of Nando's, it's incredibly rare when I get to visit a new branch. I was surprised when my friend suggested that, as he was off work for the week, we should go for a drive to visit a new branch. The choice really had to be between branches in Newcastle or Leeds, when we set off we decided on Leeds, I have only been to one other branch there so I was really excited to try a new one, my phone refused to work so my friend got the list of branches up and decided on the Light.
We had no idea where the branch was in Leeds, we just drove into the city centre hoping that the Sat Nav would find it for us and after a while we spotted the big building with "The Light" on the side in big blue letters. There are lots of car parks around all with signs pointing to them, unfortunately it seems that they are all expensive, the one we found was in the Merrion and we ending up paying nearly £5 for just over an hour's stay! Maybe there are cheaper car parks around and hopefully next time we go to Leeds we will find one!
My friends were a bit disorientated when we left the car park but with my mind focused on Nando's they somehow trusted me to lead them. It was just out of the shopping centre and down the street in the Light Shopping Centre. It's easy to find inside, just walk until you come to some escalators going down and Nando's is on the right at the bottom of them. The branch is in the centre of Leeds so there is lots around to do, shopping, cinema and a gym in the Light.
When we arrived it was quite busy, we were given the choice to either wait for a table inside the main restaurant or sit on one of the tables outside the restaurant, I wanted to sit inside but my friends didn't seem that bothered so we ended up on an outside table.
Food - 3/5 - The food was really good, the chicken, the chips and the garlic bread all just how I like them, the only problem being that the chips were a bit cold when they arrived and the food got cold quickly as we were sat on the outside table, my friends also weren't happy about this but I managed to eat all of mine whilst it was still warm enough. I wanted some peri-nuts for the car journey home, but they didn't have any, this upset me.
Speed of Service - 3/5 - Though we got seated immediately when we arrived, it was outside, if we had wanted to sit inside we would have had to wait for a table which I don't think would have taken too long but we were really hungry. I was told my food would take about 20 minutes to arrive and it came in about 15, with the Nandoca coming over after I'd finished and whilst my friends were still eating to ask if we wanted anything else.
Friendliness of Staff - 4/5 - The staff were pretty friendly at this branch, they all seemed happy and cheery like most Nandocas are. We were also given the option to wait for a table inside or sit outside when we arrived.
Decor - 3/5 - This is an interesting branch, it has the main restaurant inside and lots of tables 'outside' This outside is actually inside the shopping centre but the shopping centre was extremely cold, so we may as well have been sitting outside. Other branches I've been to in shopping centres with tables 'outside' have never been as cold as this. To make this worse, the tables that were outside were all made of metal, as were the chairs so this made them even colder, however, the branch was providing blankets at each table to try and help keep people warm, I'm not sure whether this makes up for the cold because most people didn't' seem to be using them anyway, but it seems like a nice gesture.
As I was sat 'outside' I didn't get to see much of the inside of the branch, it was on two different levels with the comfier looking seats/tables up on the higher level which is where I would have liked to have sat. The outside tables are surrounded by a barrier of huge Nando's plant pots which are pretty cool.
The floor between the tills and the toilets was very wet and slippery, there was a warning sign up but I had to concentrate hard not to slip over.
The drinks machine in this branch was incredibly awkward, it was one of the ones with the buttons showing different sizes of glass and no matter which one I pressed, whether I held it down or pressed it once it just seemed to shoot out the Coke randomly and it took me a while to fill the glass. It was also awkward having to open the main door to get out to the table when I was carrying two glasses.
Overall I enjoyed this branch, mainly because it was new and different to my usual Middlesbrough branch. The food was decent, though a bit cold. The staff were friendly. The service was quick considering how busy it was and the decor was nice. I hope I get to visit another Leeds branch soon and eventually all of them so I can decide which one is the best in the city! 3.5/5 overall for this branch!