Goodge Street - Damien Review
The twenty ninth RateYourNando’s reviewer meal marked my third or fourth visit to Goodge Street Nando’s, my first time back there since about 2010. From my sketchy memory, not much has changed. It’s still a bit old-looking and cramped, and the staff still seem thoroughly flustered. I arrived with three others, after a swift drink in the pub over the road, and we were seated on a round table near the long tables occupied by the other RYNers. I was surprised to not be greeted at the door by any member of, staff, but guess they must have been busy elsewhere (despite the place not being all that packed).
For the first time, I won a prize in the Nando’s raffle (okay, it was just a bottle, and my victory was stolen by my girlfriend, but it’s a start!), added to the £60 worth of RYN competition winnings Marc handed me on arrival, I was stacking up quite a mean stash. We were first to order, and I think my food our food was also first to arrive. The chicken was very large and plump. I think my leg piece was the biggest I’ve ever had at Nando’s! The garlic bread was a bit thin and undercooked. The halloumi was crispy and salty, different from usual, but exactly the way I love it. The sweet potato mash is what let it all down, it arrived lukewarm and looking like somebody had either dug their thumb in it, or had started eating the thing. When Gerry’s order also arrived with cold sweet potato mash, she sent it back (and was told that their microwave is temperamental), I kinda’ wished that I’d rejected mine when I saw it. Her portion was a lot larger!
Cutlery was another issue here. There were only two knives available at the station, and the bottom of the pot containing them was pretty damn grimy. When I eventually got some cutlery, I washed it off under the tap before using it. I tucked in as soon as my food arrived, but Jackie was waiting until after I’d finished my meal. Counting the minutes since ordering, she eventually queried it, and was told it was halloumi that was holding it up (confusing, as the other three of us on the table also had halloumi and got our food fine), a couple of minutes before it arrived.
We were sat near the frozen yogurt machine and, before the quiz, I eventually folded and went up to the counter to order some. Nobody was working at the till. The guy in front who I thought was being served was also just being ignored by the member of staff who was standing there doing something else. This realisation came about a minute later, when another member of staff appeared and finally opened a till. When it got to my turn, I asked for froyo and was told they weren't doing it now, in a tone of voice that suggested I should already know this. I went dessertless.
The evening finished with the quiz. There were some tough questions, but our team of four pulled through, and I took home another sauce bottle when we won!
After being to some very good Nando’s restaurants, the Goodge Street branch reminds me what most London ones tend to be like. A bit lacking in character, cleanliness and run by mostly apathetic staff. It’s a shame, as the place does some pretty mean peri peri chicken. Plenty of the other ten year+ old restaurants have had makeovers, maybe this one should be next? Somebody needs to get them a new microwave, at the very least!