Walthamstow - James Colom Review
A new Nando's in North East London? Nice and easy for a week night after work. Though unfortunately the visit was rather average.
First parking, which was very easy in one of the residential roads behind the Nando's. Free after 6pm, though looks considerably more difficult in working hours.
My first impression of this brand new Nando's is that it is huge - a whole block on the high street in fact. This immediately seemed like a wise move on Nando's part, since it was over half full on a quiet, rainy, Tuesday evening at 9.30pm. We were seated right away by the very friendly patrao, and I had some time to take in the pleasant new decor. There were some standard Nando's African artworks hanging around, and it was nice to be at a brand new wooden table, which hadn't yet become traditional Nando's-sticky. Overall a solid 4 for decoration, since no outstanding features, but obviously brand new furnishings.
Ordering was nice and easy with one of the restaurant managers, who was very friendly indeed, and the wait for the food began. Unfortunately this was where the so-far-pleasant visit took a bit of a turn, since 20 minutes later we were still without food (by this time it was almost 10pm, and not many people other than Nandocas were still receiving food). It eventually turned up after 25 minutes, just saving me having to ask after it, and preventing a drop to 1/5.
Given my veteran Nando's status, I have to admit a somewhat amateur mistake at this point: I ordered a butterfly breast solo, but NOT the burger form as desired! I explained my foolish error to the Nandoca, and she mentioned I could get an extra bun on the side for a small charge. However, she then asked the manager to confirm, and I was upgraded free of charge! A nice touch, so thank you.
Despite this excellent service, the food failed to impress in almost all areas. The butterfly piece was dry with very little Extra-Hot sauce, the chips were luke-warm and not very well cooked, and the rice portion was one of the smallest I have ever seen. There was quite a lot of cheese on top of the burger though, and it was well melted, so that was probably the highlight. I blame a combination of teething-troubles and it being late in the day, but it was still a shame, given the restaurant scores above average for staff and decoration (I can usually forgive slow service if the food is great).
Overall a decent Nando's, but room for improvement over its first few months in action.