Ashton Moss - Damien Review
Nando’s 101 took us back up to Manchester. I had no idea where Ashton Moss was and had previously thought it would possibly be in the notorious Moss Side, but it’s actually a retail park to the East of the city, towards Ashton Under Lyme. A 25-ish minute tram journey got us there from the city centre. There were several large retail parks located in this area, containing the likes of Sainsbury’s and Ikea. The section that’s home to the Nando’s is actually a lot closer to the Ashton West tram stop than the Ashton Moss one, and also contains a cinema, bowling alley, and a bunch of other chain restaurants.
Five of us arrived for a late lunch on Saturday and were seated on a round table at the front of the restaurant, beneath a pretty loud speaker. Looking at the décor, it was clear that the place had had a recent refit. Everything looked clean and fresh, a lot fresher than an 11 year old interior would appear. The place has an open, airy feel to it, with high ceilings and a wooden panelling motif going on. Despite it being Saturday, the retail park itself wasn’t very busy, and neither was Nando’s, which was just under half full at best. I went to order my Churrasco thigh burger, and was informed that I could have it as a pitta or wrap instead, if I wanted. Though this is a menu option, I’d never actually considered it before. After a couple of seconds deliberation, I asked to go with the Churrasco thigh pitta. The food wasn’t the quickest to arrive, but it didn’t take too too long (I had finished my beer before my plate turned up, though). The corn on the cob was disappointingly dry and the contents of the pitta had gone a little lukewarm, but it was still lovely. Having it as a pitta is a bit less messy than eating the burger. I’ll be ordering the thigh pitta again!
The gents toilets here are confusingly small, with just one door between the restaurant and the urinals. The door also jams quite widely open, and with no handle outside, the only way the door can be closed is by somebody entering the toilets and closing it behind them. While this isn’t an issue for me, I can imagine some guys will not bother pulling the door shut behind them, probably to the dismay of random diners that will then be able to glimpse/smell everything that happens from the discomfort of their table.
Overall, Ashton Moss Nando’s is a pretty great restaurant. Though some of my food was less than perfect, I can tell that the place is well managed, well run and employs top-notch staff. Were it a little closer to the city, I’d come back for sure. I’d definitely recommend it to anybody thinking of going out to the Cineworld/Ikea.