Camberley - Ryan Review

Ryan's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
A few tables occupied
Date of Last Visit: 
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
3.13 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
3 (Not bad. Did everything I asked of them)
Speed of Service: 
4 (5 - 10 mins - Some conversation had begun)
Quality of Food: 
1.5 (Very disappointing - cold, flavourless, burnt)
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?: 

So as it turns out... this was my 150th Nando's branch and the 149th UK branch, so a little bit of me was extra excited for this particular peri-peri fix! Being in the Guildford area for a couple days, the branch of choice was Camberley.

This branch is located within The Atrium complex and is well sign-posted from a little way out by road. There are some 700 car parking spaces at The Atrium with a cheap evening (after 6:30pm) and Sunday rate of only £1.50 - and reasonable daily rate too (£1.50/2hrs, £1.80/3hrs, £3.00/4hrs etc). The car park is open between 6am and 1am as well. Camberley Train Station is also only a quarter mile walk away, so very accessible.

Within the Atrium are various shops (Next, H&M), a cinema (Vue), bowling alley (Bowlplex) and a whole host of other eateries (Frankie & Benny's, Prezzo, Wagamama etc) - and also a Magic Castle for kids, so plenty to do here. It's in the town centre as well, so close to everything else including a gym and Premier Inn within a quarter mile walk.

I arrived at this branch at about 9:15pm and it was very quiet with only a few tables in use. This meant no wait to order and the food came in 8 minutes. The staff were all pleasant enough but doing as you'd expect.

The first thing that strikes you about this branch is the ceiling! It covers the entire length of the restaurant. It's made up of squares alternating between wood panelling and a canvas painting each square with a spotlight or back lighting - it was very eye-catching! The walls were a little sparse with colour, but did have rows of long tree branches hanging from them. In the front seating by the windows are some nice spiral shell-like lampshades.

There is plenty of seating too. With the 6 tables or so "outside", there could be up to 40 tables at any one time. A lot of these are circular tables to seat 4 people as well. With the benhc/tables/chair seating running along the right side wall - and the two booths right at the very back behind the drinks machine, this seems like a branch that will easily cater for multiple larger groups.

The toilets are through the door at the back and up the stairs. It was a colourful stairwell too - as there were at least 7 canvas/mosaic pictures along with plenty of pots/plants and the toilets were also very clean and fresh. I think, overall, it comes to a 4.

Sadly though, the food on this occasion was lacking. The olives, chips and rice were all big portions and the chips were hot and crispy and the rice hot and moist... but oh the chicken. Oh my word. OH MY WORD! I know that I've become a bit more bony and skinny recently with all the running I've been doing - and my skin has also become a bit dry and cracks a lot... but I think this chicken had also just run a marathon! The leg had barely any meat on it at all. I thought it was a cheap wing, but it was definitely a leg... and then the breast piece. Gulp... Again, a very small amount of meat and at first glance and taste, I thought it had been deep-fried in batter. It was very crispy and gave a loud crunch as I bit into it and then uhhhhhh... the meat was so dry! I mean really dry. I ended up eating a few Jacobs Cream Crackers for hydration (lol)... *cough*, *splutter*, *cough*... water... need water... The crunchy skin also tatsed of lemon. I don't know what happened here. I can only assume this had been left out on the side for quite some time... *cough*, need more water... At least I can say it wasn't undercooked :-)

Anyway! A nicely decorated branch in a good modern leisure complex - which was badly let down by the centrepiece in this instance. Hopefully I'll be back here in the future to test it out again.

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