Milton Keynes - Xscape - BaronSamedi1980 Review

BaronSamedi1980's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Number of Visits: 
How Busy?: 
Half Full
Date of Last Visit: 
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
3.63 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
5 (Wow, I feel incredibly welcome! Recognised if a frequent visitor)
Speed of Service: 
2 (15 - 25 mins - Where's the food? Might have asked a staff member)
Quality of Food: 
3.5 (Average but with lots of peri-spice)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
4 (Very clean, newly furnished, impressive artwork and lighting)
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

This is the rate your Nandos review that I knew that I have needed to write for a long time but I have been dreading and so kept putting it off. You see I have eaten at this Nandos once a week for the last 18 months. Yes I visit this Nandos weekly every Tuesday at 5pm with four or five of my work friends for some Nandos before going to to watch a film in the cineworld cinema which is also located in the Xscape centre. Over this time I have developed a strong understanding of all this restaurant has to offer as well as a lot of the staff here, some of whom I have developed a familiarity and a friendly relationship with over this time. So this review is intended not to simply reflect my most recent visit here but more of a composite of my weekly visits over the last 18 months.

This Nandos is located inside the Xscape centre which is within Milton Keynes city centre. The Xscape centre is also home to many other restaurants including Ask, Coal, Pizza express, Frankie and Bennys, La Tasca, KFC, McDonalds and Subway on the ground floor as well as a Hollywood Bowl, a Starbucks and a multi-screen Cineworld cinema all located on the second floor of the Xscape centre. In a separate section towards the rear of ground floor the is a virgin active gym, an indoor ski slope as well as an indoor climbing wall. The is also a large casino housed in the Xscape centre which has its own separate entrance. The Xscape centre is located right next door to the vast Milton Keynes shopping centre, next to the theatre district and backs onto Campbell park.

The is plentiful parking at the Xscape centre with many outdoor spaces both directly in front and to the side of this glass fronted dome shaped building. These parking spaces are split into a red section which are the parking bays nearest to the Xscape centre and a blue section which is comprised of the parking bays that make up the outskirts of the parking area. The key to parking at Xscape is to park just past the blue line and thereby just in the blue section of the Xscape car park as this gives a free 3 hour stay, whereas the red bays are chargeable up until 6pm in the evening at which time all charges are dropped until 7am the following day. Despite Xscape hosting a number of popular restaurants and attractions I have never had any difficulty parking here and I visit and park here every week.

When entering the Xscape centre this Nandos is the first unit you come across on the right hand side as you enter though the main entrance and you can't really miss it. As a frequent visitor to this Nandos the staff here recognise me and are very friendly when I come to eat here - and even when I don't. Sometime I just pass by this restaurant to go to the cinema and the staff manning the door always say hello and chat for a minute asking how I am etc. when they see me passing by.

When visiting this Nandos as soon as we walk through the entrance we are always met by a member of staff with a friendly hello and often using our names to ask us how we are doing which is a very welcoming and nice touch. As already mentioned my small group of 4 or 5 weekly visitors here normally arrive about 5pm on a Tuesday straight after work and the restaurant is often still relatively empty at this time - we have never had to wait for a table arriving at this time for example as the restaurant is often only half full and our group is normally given a good choice of available tables. It seems the busy evening time for this restaurant begins at about 6pm (as my group is often leaving to see our film) until about 9:30pm.

Over the last 18 months I have enjoyed most of the menu here with the butterfly chicken (medium) with spicy rice and macho peas being my meal I enjoy most oftern here. Although I will say that the chicken is variable here as sometimes it will be a little dry while on other occasions it is perfectly prepared and cooked to plenty of sauce. It does seem to be random pot luck if you get the dry chicken or the perfectly cooked in plentiful amounts of sauce chicken. Over the 18 months I have been coming here I have never had a piece of obviously burnt chicken served to me.

Most of my group of regular cinema goers are Cineworld card holders and as such enjoy a 20% discount on their Nandos meals, which in effect normally means a free refillable soft drink. This cineworld discount is only available Mondays - Thursday inclusive but as we always visit here on a Tuesday this works for my group.

In term of speed of food preparation I have to be honest and say that this Nandos can be somewhat on the slow side at times with order to food on table times being between 10 minutes on a good day and 25 minutes on a bad day. However as I am here with my work friends we enjoy the time to talk and catch up and the slow speed of service, although noticeable, has never been a problem for any of us even when we have been on a tight time frame to make the start of an early film - we have never been late for a film due to Nandos delays yet, although on a couple of occasions we have had to eat in a rush to maintain this.

Over the 18 months we have come here the has been some very rare occasions when one of our groups food order has been brought out wrong (although it must be said they have never got my order wrong) and although mistakes are made the staff here are quick to correct these when brought to their attention. A good example of this was on one occasion that stands out in my mind the wrong meal was brought out for one of my friends. Unfortunately we didn't have time to wait for another meal to be cooked as we only had 15 minutes before the start time of our chosen film so the staff after seeing from his receipt that they had made a mistake in his meal let him eat the incorrect meal and to make up for this put a note in a book kept in the office that gave him a free meal when he visited with our group the following week. And sure enough they honoured this free meal for my friend when we returned the following week.

Another example would be when despite placing a qualifying order no chilli was added to my Nandos loyalty card, I pointed this out and the staff took my details and a copy of my receipt and 24 hours later I received a phone call from one of the store managers who had looked into the issue and corrected it for me by manually adding the missing chilli. The phone call to let me know was a nice touch and I supposed it helped that as a weekly visitor I was already known to the manager who phoned me.

Now I don't want to give a false impression here, these mistakes are rare - I think over the 18 months’ worth of weekly visits here we have probable only had about half a dozen such incidents - but the point I am trying to show is that when they are made the staff are quick to put them right and in my experience go above and beyond in doing so.

The toilets at this Nandos are located upstairs (by themselves - the are not any tables or anything else upstairs) and I have never seen them anything other than immaculately clean when I have visited here.

So would I visit Milton Keynes Xscape Nandos again? Yep, next Tuesday at 5pm - same as every week. Because although the food is sometime great and sometimes average and it can take a long time to come out the staff here really do care, go the extra mile and are a friendly good bunch so we will keep visiting for our weekly work outing pre-cinema chicken fix. See you on Tuesday!

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