Cambridge - St. Andrew Street - Ryan Review
After another fun day being stuck on the A14... what better way to unwind than destroying a half chicken?? :-) This led me to stopping in at Cambridge and heading to St Andrews Street. If you follow the clearly labelled signs to the Grand Arcade, then you get parking within a couple minutes walk from St Andrews Street and the rest of the city centre, including The Corn Exchange.
During the day, Grand Arcade is pretty expensive - £2/hr which after 3 hours, increases to £3 and £4 per hour. However, in the evening (after 5pm), it is only £1 parking all night, which is great value. Very tight parking for larger vehicles, so be careful!
From the outside, you might miss it's a Nando's! All black wooden exterior but the Nando's signs are not illuminated. Inside the restaurant is kinda split into two. The front has a dozen or so tables/chairs crammed into a smallish space (to the right as you go in) with the door upstairs to the toilets immediately to your left and the check-out also on your left. After this, towards the back of the restaurant there is a bit more space. Maybe 25 or 30 tables spread nicely, including some in a very back room (which was a bit dark).
Above the back half is a sky-light, which may let in loads of light during the day, but being in the evening I couldn't tell! The general decor of the place was okay - canvas paintings dotted around but not much of anything else. I am sure it's a listed building so probably not much can be done to it, so because the ceilings are all generally quite low, not much fancy lighting can be put in place.
Watch out on your way up to the toilets though. The doors and ceilings are about only 6ft 1 high! Toilets were narrow, but very clean.
I arrived at about 6:40pm and had a 10 minute wait as the restaurant was full. However, even with it being full, there was no queue to order and the food came in 9 minutes - so good job.
The food was really good too. Hot piping, moist chicken smothered in sauce, with hot crispy chips and hot moist rice. Maybe slightly smaller than average portion sizes though - especially the olives (only 11 olives in my portion!).
The staff did everything that was expected. It was so busy they were concentrating on turning the tables round, so nothign more than the bear minimum.
Overall - a good visit.