Basingstoke - Pompey Ranger Review
On a cold bleak December day I dragged 2 of my fellow Nando’s fans away from their regular haunt in Portsmouth in search of stores a new. After about an hours drive we arrived at Basingstoke which to the uninformed is the southern version of Milton Keynes or Bracknell being a new town but lacking the charisma of its more famous counter parts.
The store is based in Festival place a large shopping centre with a confusing and complex car park above the centre. After spending quite some time trying to find a parking space and ending up it turns out miles away from the store we embarked in getting across one of the worst signposted centres in Britain. After asking directions several times (an activity with insults my macho psyche) we arrived on the strip containing the store which is close to the Vue cinema and culinary delights such as burger king, la tasca, gourmet burger company, giraffe and pizza express. There is a canopy covering the stretch of street where Nandos is and there was a good degree of outside seating which obviously no one is using as it’s winter but all the tables were still laid out.
The front has double doors with a waiting area placed to the right and on the left is sliding doors. We were told we would have a 20 minute wait at which we baulked but since we had come this far to get this store ticked off we waited. The store has the cooking / serving area open on the right with only the wash up sectioned off. There is a good mix of booths, tables and comfy bench seating and there is an abundance of art and is an attractive store.
We queued up to order which took remarkably long time as whilst they had 3 tills only one was open in all the time I was there despite long queues and staff standing around. This did enable me to watch them cooking (please note pitas are far easier to cut if you toast them first as this store must have a ridiculous wastage as I kept seeing them attempt to cut the cold pitas open and then throw away their failed attempts)
We were told the student discount was stopped in September this despite my friend having phoned the night before to confirm they still did and being assured they did. The manager showed us the little framed notice which made it clear it was stopped. We then had the wait for food.
When it arrived the portion size seemed good and chicken was well cooked... however the wing was completely missing from my half chicken (a guy on the neighbouring table was tucking into 10 wings just to rub salt in!!) which I find suspect and my mate hadn’t got his humous cheese that he had asked for so we checked his receipt which had plus cheese on the wrap, we inspected the wrap and it also had no cheese. We waved down a staff member whom we informed of our dilemma and he checked the receipt and then went and got a slice of cheese on a separate plate and told my mate to add it himself to his wrap (it didn’t melt and its not the same and my mate thought the wrap was measily portioned with chicken). My other mate was less than impressed with his chicken. The chips were a good size and had plenty of peri salt but tasted a bit weird like if twice cooked.
Once finished we waited a good 15 minutes for someone to come and ask if we wanted dessert to no avail as we were hoping to avoid the long queue. I then went up and queued and watched them microwave the corn on the cob until I could order. Caramel cheesecake was really tasty but how small do they cut the portions!!!!
There is a disabled toilet at back of store and the normal toilets were up stairs which were lavished with carved wood carvings on route and were spacious and clean and tidy.
Eventually found car in car park and parking was £2.80 for about 2 hours. Despite the picturesque store and well cooked chicken and portion size I doubt I will return based on the service and messed up order and missing wing and my freinds are determined to stick with their regular store too.