Derby - Market Place - Damien Review
Nando’s 106 opened in central Derby’s Market Place in 2005. A couple of years before that, I briefly worked in the city. A lot has changed and been demolished/rebuilt since then, so it was quite difficult for me to get my bearings. It also means I’ve never seen either of Derby’s Nando’s! We visited on a Wednesday afternoon between Christmas and New Year, parking up in a pretty grotty but dirt cheap multistorey, about 5 minutes walk away. The restaurant is pretty small and was quite busy, so we expected a wait. Thankfully, this wait was just two or three minutes, before they had a table ready for the four of us.
The place is rectangular. Window on one side, tills and grills on the other, with a large planter (containing real life plants) and two phallic, rope-wrapped pillars in the centre. We were seated on the window side of this divider, two tables along from a group of families with several hyperactive children.
The till service was great. The staff members that served us let each of us know the expiry date of our current chilli rewards, and one even divulged details on his recent sexual endeavours to one of us. I decided to try the Perry Berry Burger and orange wings, as it was my last chance to do so. Despite us ordering separately, the food pretty much all arrived at the same time, about ten minutes later. Nothing was missed and everything was hot, fresh and tasty. While I think there was a bit too much of the jam stuff in my Christmas burger, the chicken itself was top-notch (very moist and flavoursome). The chips and corn were also done to perfection… something that isn’t as common as it really should be. A couple of the group that usually shun Nando’s chicken for the steak options ordered Sunset Burgers and both loved them. The orange wings were the only let-down, but only because I couldn’t really taste the orange on them.
My only complaints about the place are that it is small, the music was cranked up a bit too high, and lots of the punters during our visit were a bit too rowdy (especially the aforementioned children), making this place really loud. The layout leaves little walking around space, and there was a lot of ducking and dodging to do each time I visited the drinks fountain on the other side of the divider. While Derby itself is far from my favourite place in the country, this Nando’s of theirs is up there with the best, as far as food and staff are concerned. One added perk was that we were able to grab a fistful of vouchers for a free half chicken in January. It’s a shame that we won’t be around to use them at this Nando’s!