Cambridge - Leisure Park - BaronSamedi1980 Review

BaronSamedi1980's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
Date of Last Visit: 
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Time of Day: 
Weekend Lunch
Rating: 
4.25 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
5 (Wow, I feel incredibly welcome! Recognised if a frequent visitor)
Speed of Service: 
4 (5 - 10 mins - Some conversation had begun)
Quality of Food: 
4 (Above average - noticeably tastier than normal)
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?: 

Cambridge Leisure is a situated a short 15 minute walk from the centre of Cambridge. It is home to "the junction" which is an arts venue that attracts top national and international acts in the areas of live music, club events, comedy, theatre and dance. It is a venue I have been to many times before, mostly for the stand-up comics.

Cambridge Leisure is also the home to two small supermarket stores (a Sainsbury's and a Tesco extra), a cinema, a ten pin bowling alley and a vast range of eateries (5 guys, Frankie and Benny's, Bella Italia and of course our favourite chicken based retailer - Nandos).

Cambridge Leisure is well sign posted and easy to get to. It is a 5 min walk from the main Cambridge train station and the is a large multi-storey car park on site with discounted parking for those who use any of the businesses at Cambridge Leisure, for example I paid just £1 for a 2 hour stay here after validation my parking voucher while ordering my chicken.

The Nandos here has a modern and vibrant feel. It is a large Nandos with tables both inside and out, and when I visited the partition between the two had been removed so you could easily walk between the two areas almost as if the wall for the side of the building had simply been taken away and on such a nice sunny 31 degrees day like today the option to sit outside was very popular. Indoors the restaurant feature large chandeliers and what I can only describe as a giant wooden shelving unit upon which sits an array of plants, jugs and statues.

I was here just after 3pm for a late lunch and when I arrived the restaurant was pretty quiet which surprised me given it was a Saturday. As the restaurant wasn't busy I was greeted straight away upon entering and given my choice of any of the available tables - I chose table number 3.

I had already decided what I would order as I was pretty hungry having not eaten anything so far today so I headed straight up to the tills to place my order. Fortunately the was no queue at the tills and I placed my order right away. I used a green loyalty reward on my Nandos card for a free hummus and pitta bread starter. I also order a butterfly chicken (medium) with garlic bread and peri-peri chips, a soft drink and a nata for desert.

After paying and returning to my table I decided to make two trips to the sauce, cutlery and drinks station - because the is only so much Nandos goodness a person can carry in just one trip - and when I was making my way back to my table from the second trip a male manager who was wearing a white Nandos shirt told me that my starter was waiting for me on my table - very impressive speed of service!

The starter was indeed waiting for me and I enjoyed mixing the peri-peri drizzle into the hummus pot before dipping in the pitta and enjoying the combination flavours. A very enjoyable starter.

After a very short wait after finishing my starter my butterfly chicken and sides turned up. it was at this point I realised I had forgotten to order any halloumi so seeing that the was still no queue at the tills I decided to quickly place an extra order for one portion of halloumi before getting stuck into my main meal.

My butterfly chicken was large, well cooked and visibly covered in sauce, the chips were crispy with a good amount of peri-peri seasoning and the halloumi - which turned up quickly after a couple of minutes - was lightly grilled, just how I like it. But it wasn't all good news. The garlic bread was hard and dry and if I hadn't have doused it in a variety of the Nandos table sauces and used plenty of sprite to wash it down with then I would have found it inedible.

After finishing my meal a waitress came and cleared my plates, she asked if I wanted a desert and I pointed out that the nata already on the table was for my desert. The nata went down well in a couple of mouthfuls and was a nice small and light way to finish off my meal.

Now I wanted to say a quick word about the male manager in the white Nandos shirt as he did a great job of being a great host - friendly - in control - helpful - visible on the restaurant floor without getting in the way and he even wished me goodbye when I left. Very impressed.

Before leaving I used the restrooms which were clean and well maintained.

So would I return to the Cambridge Leisure Nandos? Yes. I had a very enjoyable visit here and enjoy the modern feel the restaurant has. The staff here were helpful, friendly and didn't put a foot wrong and the restaurant and gents were very clean. With the exception of the dry and hard garlic bread the food was spot on too. I imagine I'll be back here again, quite possibly before going to see a stand-up comic next door in the junction.

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