Location: Nandos, St Stephens Shopping Centre, Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LN.
Nandos is a chain of restaurants that is most known for its chicken dishes, although there are other foods available, such as burgers, salads and pittas. This branch is located in the food court of St Stephens Shopping Centre in Hull. As well as inside the restaurant itself, there are also some tables outside, although this is still inside the shopping centre.
The restaurant was visited on a weekday, in the late afternoon to early evening. About half the tables were occupied when entered, but this rapidly increased to nearly all of them.
At Nandos, you are greeted at the door, then shown to a table and given a menu. After deciding what to order, you then make your way to the tills, where you order and pay for your food. You can then collect soft drinks, napkins, cutlery and condiments – a large portion of which was bottles of the sauces Nandos add to their chicken dishes – then return to the table to await your food.
The drink ordered was a bottomless Coca-Cola. For several soft drinks, you could have unlimited refills of the drinks, which could work out very good value for money. Three refills were had. The Coke was draught, so not as good as bottled or canned, but with free refills that can’t be complained about.
With the chicken dishes, you had a choice of two regular sides, which cost slightly more than one, or one fino (“posh”) side for the same price of £2.90 extra on top of the dish price. This was not a bad deal. There were also a variety of peri-peri sauces you could have added to the chicken, from the mild lemon and herb or mango and lime, through to the extra hot. If you are used to spicy foods, these probably aren’t as hot as you might expect. You could also have it plain.
The meal ordered was flame-grilled butterfly chicken breast, which was two chicken breasts in spicy skin, with two sides; a portion of chips with peri-peri salt and garlic bread.
The food was unfortunately not served as fast as expected. A 10-15 minute wait was advised, but it actually took nearly 30 minutes, although the server did apologise for the wait when the food was brought.
The meal was not as good as it could have been. It showed promise of being very nice, but just didn’t live up to it. The chips were fine, hot and not over cooked. The chicken, although nice, was not piping hot. It wasn’t cold, but it was at a temperature that suggested that it had been stood for some minutes. The garlic bread was unfortunately mostly cold and hard. The overall impression, given that the chips were hot and fresh, was that the rest of the dish was ready before the chips, and had been stood waiting for them to be cooked.
The unlimited soft drink was good value. The meal itself could have been better, and may well be next time. The total paid was £12.25 including soft drink. The restaurant itself looked very popular, and the place was clean and tidy. The greeter was enthusiastic about the menu, and explained everything fully when informed it was a first visit. It could be that it was just bad luck that the food wasn’t as good as it seemed it should have been.
Although not the best experience, the food was not unpleasant, and another visit would be considered in the hope that the next time that everything would be as good as it seemed it could be. Overall, 2/5. Nice taste, just not quite up to scratch. A change from all the fast food venues and sandwich bars nearby.