Ashford - Trish-the-Dish Review
Today I need to get out of my funk... Have felt awful all week, so a dose of peri-peri will flush the lurgy right out of my system (I hope!). And I'm trying something different. I've never before strayed from the faultless formulae of a half chicken plus two sides. I mean, how can it get any better? Well, I'm about to find out.
Todays test will be on the Butterfly Chicken Breast with the Luso Beans as a side. "Luso Beans?" I hear you exclaim! Oh yes my friends, a new addition to the menu; Slow cooked black beans and cherry tomatoes with roasted red pepper, smoked paprika, red onion, olive and thyme. Sounds saucy, right?
I have come mid-afternoon on a Sunday, and it is a pleasant atmosphere. Not crazy like a friday or saturday; the place is probably half-full (cos I'm a glass half-full kinda girl) and thankfully for my pounding head, free from lots of screaming little people.
I'm already relaxed. And feeling positive. Our server asked where we'd like to sit, and I like that. The restaurant is split into three sections, light and bright by the window, full of action near the griller, and a darker more sedate ambience at the rear.
Something that stands out for me about this Nandos is their post-mix. It is always perfect, no diluted/cloured soda water, but the real flavour. I think that's important and thankfully they do too! My poison is Diet Coke, but occasionally I will stray and go for the Sprite.
Service is still a little slow at this Nandos. My Peri Peri receptors are starting to spasm in anticipation at 15 minutes wait time. At 20 minutes, they are getting impatient, and by 25 minutes they are aggressive, much like their owner. Needs me some chicken!!!
I think I understand why there is such a delay. This Nandos appears to have a large takeaway business. Still, can't they see my blood sugar dropping? I'm wasting away here! I can see 13 meals that are up but waiting for service. Finally our meal arrives at 37 minutes.
As lush as the Luso sounded, it's really just like chilli concarne without the meat. It's a really nice flavour, but not what I was expecting. It is only 116 calories though, so a great side if you are watching the waistline! The chicken breast is a bit dry, and the Halloumi side is like rubber. I think in both cases they have been cooked and waiting for too long. On the flip side, my husband's half chicken with two sides is perfect!
Unfortunately, this meal wasn't worth the wait for me. Straying hasn't been a revelation, I will probably go back to my half a chicken again, but maybe go the Luso on a cold winters day.
On a positive note, our server Steph came over towards the end of our meal (unsolicited!) to apologize for the wait. She gave us a chicken cheque which is always nice! We had a chat about their teething problems and there were no excuses, just an apology about a mix-up in the kitchen and they were working hard to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again.