Canary Wharf - Jubilee Place - Damien Review
The Nando’s Quest finally brought me to the first Nando’s that I ever ate at. Back in 2007, the restaurant was less than two years old and the chicken was pretty cheap. Almost a decade later, Nando’s #107 hasn’t changed that much aesthetically, but the price point is much higher. For several years, I lived a short walk from Canary Wharf, so Jubilee Place Nando’s was my local. I sometimes even ate here twice a day. Since moving away, I’ve been back a fair few times. The quick and on-point service and the quality of food have never let me down… until today.
Seven of us arrived to the open-plan foodcourt style restaurant at 7pm on a weekday evening and were given our choice of booths. The place was very quiet. Perhaps a quarter of tables were occupied and the music was turned right down to the point that we couldn’t actually hear it out at the front. We went up and started ordering, some of us presenting the free half chicken vouchers we got from the previous Nando’s in the trail. The staff (some of whom weren’t even wearing name badges) had problems with the vouchers, and a manager was called to assist. Service at the tills was very slow, especially considering the amount of staff behind the counter. The people I saw serving had a very stroppy demeanour about them. This is rather unusual for this place, which, as I’ve said before, is usually great when it comes to speed and customer service. Perhaps the regular staff have all gone away for a Long Christmas/New Year break?
Back at our table, it was quite a while before the food started coming out. We eventually started getting our meals (after about 20 minutes), but bits and pieces (as well as entire meals) were left forgotten, with no apologies when we pointed this out. One “grilled” pineapple ring came out fridge cold and ungrilled. On sending it back, it took almost ten minutes before a tepid replacement arrived. Disappointingly, the chicken was also really dry and lacked flavour. I was planning on asking for some mayonnaise to help perk it up a little, but the staff seemed to have little to no interest in walking all the way out to our table, which was entirely abandoned once the food was on the table. Nobody came to ask if everything was okay and the cock on a stick remained standing until after our departure. Half way though our meal, the manager that had helped process through our vouchers went home. I think his staff pretty much gave up at that point. We saw the staff of the conjoined Wasabi (ringing an annoying bell for half price sushi) more than the Nando’s staff.
We left a cluttered table about twenty minutes finishing our food. I wonder if/when they bothered taking away the plates? Overall, a very disappointing visit to a place that has in the past delivered. An almost ten year run of excellence ruined at the final furlong.