Bath - James Street - Damien Review
The 97th Nando’s to open in the UK lead me to Bath, a city I had never before visited, but had always been curious about. On a sunny Saturday morning, nine of us in total travelled to Bath from different locations, myself by car from Wales. Bath now have two Nando’s restaurants, this first one being in the town centre, about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the station on James Street (the newer Nando’s is pretty much in the station itself). We all met up at the Wetherspoons pub directly below the Nando’s. The pub was heaving with people eating late breakfasts/early lunches, so once we were all here, I ran up to the Nando’s to see how long the wait would be for a table for nine. I was met by a group of staff who seemed confused that I was even asking “no wait. whenever”. Clearly Saturday lunches aren't as manic in their restaurant as a Nando’s traveller like myself has come to expect. I ran back downstairs and eventually rounded up the troops and headed back up for some chicken.
Confusingly, despite the place being virtually empty, we were seated outside the restaurant, in an area between the Nando’s and the entrances to Frankie & Benny’s and a gym, an area that smelled an awful lot like both a cinema foyer and a swimming pool (two other things that this building houses). It did look like there was plenty of room inside for us, but being seated outside wasn't worth complaining about, it just meant that we wouldn't get a full look at the artwork/large lampshades and ornamental pots that I could see while waiting to order. Bar the music and chatter from the kitchen, the place was near on silent inside. One of the calmest Nando’s I've ever visited. The ordering process itself was pretty quick and friendly, and by the time I got back outside to our long table, food had already started coming out. My own order of a whole chicken with large peri chips, two portions of halloumi and some perinaise (to share) couldn't have taken five minutes from ordering to arrival. Even considering how quiet the place was, this was exceptionally quick! The quality of all of the food was good, though the hot chicken was hotter than I’d normally expect extra hot to be. Good if, like myself, you like it as spicy as possible, but not good if you have a limit and trust the advertised spice level ladder. Another member of my group was having Nando’s for the first time ever and ordered an extra hot butterfly chicken. Though he enjoyed it, he commented that it wasn't hot enough.
All-in-all this was a very straightforward Nando’s visit. Right out of the pub/meeting place and on to a table. The staff were great (they made a few mistakes, but nothing worth mentioning) and the food was all of a good quality and super-fast. It would have just maybe been nice to experience it from inside the restaurant. By the way, I checked out Bath later and it’s a lovely place!