Bradford - Centenary Square - Ryan Review
The night before a half marathon and what better way to fuel up than a trusty Nando's?? :-)
This Nando's is located on Centenary Square which is within City Park (which is most definitely not an actual park as shown on Google Maps). City Park is also home to a Thai eatery, a Lloyds Bar and a couple of galleries - along with the Mirror Pool, the UK's biggest man-made water feature! Just a stone's throw from the National Media Museum too.
Both Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Sqaure train stations are less than half a mile walk away - and there is also plenty of parking close by. The Leisure Exchange (where the other Nando's is located) is also less than half a mile walk away and is priced at £2.20/2hrs, £3/4hrs, with 24hrs/£4 (Mon-Sat) and Sunday a £3 flat fee. Just next to this is also George Street car park (which is where I parked) as this is only £2.50 for 24hrs. There are a number of reserved spaces Mon-Fri between 7am-9pm however so this may get busier during the week.
This Nando's is the newer of the two and it certainly shows inside. The decor is very nicely done, with several large wicker cut-outs in the ceiling to look like petals and then many multi-coloured lights suspended from these in old glass/tumblers shades. There are plenty of bright colourful canvases on the back wall. The layout is nicely done too: from the front entrance there are a few booths, with the sides of the booths making up the back of the bench/table style seating, which curves down to about half down the restaurant where the drinks machines are. Behind the drinks machines are a couple of areas where the tables seem to be grouped together for larger parties and also the toilets. Plenty of tables/chairs sets in the full length windows running right down the one side of the restaurant too looking out onto that lovely mirror pool! Quite a few table and red chair sets outside too but they certainly weren't in use on this blustery evening!
Arrived here at about 6pm and the restaurant was half full so no time to wait for a table or to order - and the food came in a little over 15 minutes. The staff seemed pleasant enough but were doing the minimum. I feel like I do need to point out that hygiene here was a cause for concern... a couple of incidents crept up while waiting for the food. Firstly - a corn on the cob fell off somebody's plate and rolled across the serving counter under the heatlamps which made me wonder what else had fallen onto there and what did it roll through? And secondly, a girl who was serving up various bits of food was doing so with her bare hands in between which she was smacking other members of staff on the bum. I won't knock any marks off on this occasion but eww......
Anyways, onto the food - and sadly there wasn't much to get excited about. The first thing that hit me was the chicken didn't look cooked. There was no charring on any of it and it was very pale as there wasn't much sauce on it. On biting into it I was right and I found the chicken was swimming in grease and was lukewarm. A couple of extra minutes on the grill would have sorted this out. The chips must have been taken out the fryers too early as well as they were soggy and lukewarm too. The rice was nice - but overall this was a little but of a disappointing meal.