Chester - Ryan Review
After a 26-mile run in the Chester Marathon - some chicken and chips were definitely on the menu!!
This Nando's is in the city centre and was only half a mile walk away from the Racecourse (which is where the marathon finished), so it would have been rude not to go. There is also a Cineworld about 1.5 miles away on Greyhound Retail Park (next to the actual Greyhound Park) - although that may actually be closing this month (October 2013). There's also a Tenpin Bowling alley at this site. Chester Zoo is 3 miles away on the outskirts of the city centre and Chester Cathedral is 1/4 mile away as are some of the fantastic Walls.
There are several car parks dotted around the city centre - all just a few minutes walk from Nando's - but all priced for the tourist market. Places like Market Car Park, Cuppin Street, Pepper Street and Newgate Street vary slightly, but on average will cost you around £4-£5 for 2 hours, £6-£7 3-4 hours and anything from £8-£10 over 4 hours. Chester Train Station is also just under a mile walk away.
Arrived at this Nando's around 2:30pm on a glorious Sunday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to have no wait to be seated nor to order. The branch was only 3/4 full even with all the extra runners in the city - so hopefully the food was going to come quickly as well.
Sadly it didn't... 51 minutes after ordering the food finally turned up, which was a real shame. However, I'm pleased to say the food was worthy of a wait. The chicken was sumptuous - really juicy and piping hot, caked in sauce and cooked superbly! A nice hot and moist bowl of rice with a (small) portion of hot and crispy chips.
As you enter this Nando's, it is more open at the front and then narrows towards the back, down a few steps under the lovely low vaulted ceiling. In the vaulted section are (up to) 12 2-seater tables running along bench seating (or 6 4-seater tables) - with 5 mini 2-seater booths on the other side of this section. At the very back here is a very large booth for up to 10 people - with an equally large canvas painting above this booth too. Each mini booth has its own desk-style lamp and a strip of spotlighting running down the middle of the arc lights the whole section nicely. Back at the front of the restaurant are a few 6-seater tables with a further 8 2-seater tables (4 of which were put together immediately to your left as you go in for a big group who had just run!). The walls here are bare brick (not sure if they are the original) with a few bright canvas paintings on. A nice mixture of metal conical and other shaped lampshades for the lighting as well.
Staff were pleasant enough.