St Albans - James Colom Review
Nando's St Albans isn't my local by any means (Edgware, Finchley Lido and Enfield share that honour) but each of those three have been so incredibly average lately I felt the need to venture further afield in order to be satisfied with my meal. As a result, I didn't have to get either irate at incompetent staff, put off by the average food, or frustrated by overly long queues while tables lie unoccupied (each branch you know who you are).
Let's start by celebrating the speed at which I was served - instantly! There was no queue for a table and no queue at the till.
Staff have to fall into two categories: the waitresses and the griller(s). The waitresses seemed like they needed cheering up and were distinctly a Nando's 3/5. The woman at the till also wouldn't initially put my three sides through separately in order to make my order over the £6 needed for my free quarter chicken; getting the manager involved quickly sorted it out. The griller on the other hand was the most accomodating griller I have ever encountered and would deserve a 5/5 in his own right. When I ordered my usual quarter breast with Extra Hot and Mango & Lime he came over and asked which I would like it cooked in. I had never been asked this before and quickly specified that the chicken be cooked in Extra Hot and have the Mango & Lime on top - this resulted in a guaranteed all round Extra Hot spice, but with the Mango & Lime to complement - perifect!
Speed of service could not have been quicker. We literally sat down and the food arrived - likely reflective of the restaurant not being very busy.
The food itself was delicious and the best Nando's I have had in a long time. The only reason it misses off a 5/5 is because my burger should have been very slightly bigger - perhaps harsh, but the branch should know where they can improve. The size of the burger was also a surprise given the huge quarter chicken breast, which was moist and succulent, with the excellent sauce as described above. As for the sides, the garlic bread was spot on, rice just right with no burnt bits, and each chip was fully peri(ed) and a prime example - I cannot remember the last time I ate every last chip on my plate (perhaps never?!).
Decor - average, average, average! A revamp could possibly make this one of the highest rated Nando's in the country.
Overall I will now be starting a personal boycott of my local Nando's, and sticking to St Albans branch. The pros far outweigh the cons, and I would much rather be this satisfied with my meal, than left wanting. Great job and I will see you soon!