High Wycombe - Rob Collyer Review
"The New Year's day disaster of 01/01/17"
Me and my friends "The fellowship of the sesh" have something of a tradition, once a month, night out Saturday and then hangover Nandos sunday.
It was New Year's Eve the night out before and had been exceptionally unkind to our souls, large volumes of alcohol were consumed, many moves were made and the taxi from Oxford back to the cesspit that is High Wycombe has a long and perilous taxi ride home, but we were not afraid, as we knew our sacred place of Nando's would be there the next day like an oasis in a desert of hungover pain to restore our health.
The next day we made the pilgrimage to our blessed holy land of Nando's, stomachs empty and wallets brused.
We were seated promptly and ordered our meals without even needing to so much as glance at the menu, (we are no mere rookies), gathered required condiments and cutlery, filled our glasses and sat down, unaware of what was about to unfold.
The food came in the expected time frame from the staff (I had a medium chicken butterfly with a side of chips, mash potato and halloumi cheese and a bottomless drink), all five meals come within a 1 minute window of each other, and as we began to tuck into our feasts the silence could make a pin drop.
While we had all been excited for this feast that lay before us, as we all took our first bite, waiting for the juices to make us purr with excitement we had not foreseen what was happening, the food was cold, cold as a lonely winters night, and burnt, like the scorched surface of a welders mask. And not just my meal, all five of us had been served with the same disgraceful culinary abomination that you would expect from a chicken shop at 4am in the "good end" of High Wycombe, not the peri peri powerhouse that is Nando's.
We moved onto our sides, they took were cold, almost like eating toy food, or food that had been cooked in a toy oven by an overly enthusiastic young niece of nephew on Christmas Day trying to impress the family with their culinary skills.
We were broken without the support of Nando's goodness within us we knew we would be ringing in the New Year with a hangover from hell, and broken peri heart we tried to eat what small parts of the food were edible and left. We retreated from Nando's faster than Usain Bolt and made haste for the safe haven of home. Not a word was spoken the entire journey.
And with just a single tear rolling down my face as I sat perched on the toilet with my head in my hands, I tried to make sense of what had just happened, how? How had this happened, the fortress of our hangover cure had fallen? Was it poor craft by the chefS? Were we being punished by the god's for our decisions the night before?
To this day we only speak of the New Year's day disaster in hushed tones, used as the car for ranking awful meals we have had.
Some say we may never recover from what happened that day, maybe we will, maybe not, but it is important we spready our message so mankind can learn from our mistakes and go forth, creating a new era of culinary peace and excellence, and hope our sacrifice was not in vain.