Newcastle - Eldon Square - Elliott Waters Review
A visit to Newcastle would not be complete without popping in to the Nando's, and after visiting both Metrocentre outlets to find a queue of at least an hour building, a short hop on the train to Newcastle, Eldon Square was to be the outlet worthy of my custom.
I entered the outlet, and was immediately seen by a Nandoca, who advised me of a 5-10 minute wait. Although I had a short wait for a table, a large number of people arrived immediately after. They looked to be starting their night out with a 'cheeky Nando's', so maybe this outlet is one to avoid on a Saturday afternoon/evening, if you don't plan on a cheeky Nando's before your night out in Newcastle. I was seated in the upper part of the restaurant, in a booth, roughly halfway down the outlet.
The outlet is split on two levels. There are five tables on the ground floor, mainly for large groups, with the remainder of the seating upstairs. The upstairs stretches across the entire length of the Eldon Square shopping centre building, making it long and narrow. However, the ground floor, only takes up a very small space in comparison. The grill is located on the first floor, with till points available on both floors. They are accessed by a small, but navigable staircase in the corner of the outlet.
After being seated, I pondered the menu for a little bit, and then went to order. I was seen fairly quickly, by a Nandoca who was very efficient, however this efficiency meant that some of the Nando's charm was lost. Nethertheless, a Nando's Beer and meal was ordered, and I returned to my table ready to sample the delicious delights of Brazilian beer (brewed in Luton!).
A meal came to the table after a short wait, however it transpired that it was in fact, not our meal. It was taken away, and re-delivered to a different table. We waited a further 20 minutes (come on guys!) for our meal, which arrived looking a little care-worn. I ordered a wrap lemon and herb, with chips and spicy rice. The wrap was tasty, and contained sufficient chilli jam to make it hot, but not enough to blow your brains out. There was sufficient chicken to lettuce ratio achieved, with a nice helping of mayonnaise to keep the wrap together. Good work. The rice was a little dry on top (and served in a bowl, rather than a dish?), but non-the-less, not bad. The chips were somewhat cold when I came to eat them, and didn't seem all that fresh, but still relatively tasty. Much to my dismay, no Lemon and Herb sauce was available. In fact, all they had was HOT and Garlic, so I was unable to add any wonderful sauce to my helping of chips. The Brazilian beer was supped, and was actually more of a Lager than a beer, but either way, it helped wash down the Peri-Peri fusion that had been taking place in my mouth.
The outlet had quite a variety of Nando's artwork, including a magnificent chandelier type piece hanging down between the stairs. Plenty of artwork on the walls, and a nice rugged effect of the walls. Three of the exterior walls are completely glass, which gives in lots of light, but also allows you to people watch whilst munching on your Peri-Peri prize.
This outlet is located in Eldon Square shopping centre, near the bus interchange, at the exit to the square. Other shops and coffee establishments surround this Nando's including Greggs, Starbucks, Pizza Express, and Waitrose. The outlet is right by the entrance to the square, and overlooks the main Eldon Square of Newcastle. It's easilly locatable in the shopping centre, just follow the signs for the bus interchange, you can't miss it. You can reach here by Metro, to Monument station, which is a short walk from Eldon Square, by bus to Eldon Square or Haymarket Bus Interchanges, or you can park in Eldon Square shopping centre itself.
Overall, not a bad trip. I'd avoid this one around dinner time on a Saturday, but purely for my own preference. There's nothing wrong, it just gets incredibly busy. Food was alright, staff were good, decoration and location top notch.