Colchester - Tollgate - Ryan Review

Ryan's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
25+ minute wait - come on Nando's!
Date of Last Visit: 
Friday, November 9, 2018
Time of Day: 
Weekend Dinner (Inc Friday)
2.25 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
2 (Quite rude, ignored me as they walked past)
Speed of Service: 
1 (>25 mins - Asked repeatedly. I need my Nando's)
Quality of Food: 
2 (Quite disappointing - seems rushed, may have some parts 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?: 

Visited the newest Nando's on it's first weekend of opening... and my word it was busy...

This is on the new Stane Park development of Stanway Leisure Park and Tollgate Shopping Park. There's currently no signs up about parking, but if it goes the same way as Tollgate then it'll be 4 hours free parking. Across all of the retail park areas are shopping outlets and eateries, all anchored by a large Sainsbury's. The nearest train stations are Marks Tey (2.5 mile walk) and Colchester (3 mile walk).

Decided on ordering a takeaway, so called up at 7:15pm and was advised it'd be ready by 8pm. I turned up at 7:50pm and had to ask a couple of times where the food was as by 8:30pm there was still no sign of it and other people waiting and lots of tables had all been waiting for over 30 minutes. By 8:45pm after asking again, somebody realised "my ticket hadn't been put on a box" so it had apparently been missed...

Anyway, the long wait gave me chance to check out the place. There is a good mix of seating with three large square yellow-leather booths nearest to the entrance/till area. A further three circular booths run alongside these with then a good mix of two/four seater tables in the front windows and over against the back-left wall. There are some canvas paintings above the sauce/drinks area at the back. The lighting is mainly made up of metal dome shapes in green, yellow and orange, with the green ones acting as a mini lamppost over the yellow booths.

There was an abundance of staff on and by the welcome desk at the entrance there was always one, normally two - but often three or four staff stood at the desk. Seeing as though I was standing there for over an hour and having asked two times already about my food, not once did any of them think "jeez, he's still waiting" - each time I asked it was as though I had just walked in through the door. There were always people coming up from their tables to ask them a question... just seemed odd that with all the staff, there was at least one person meandering around the tables...

Anyhoo - once I got the food home it was a bit disappointing. The full chicken was an average size, maybe even on the small side. I had hold of a breast piece and couldn't work out if it was the leg or breast... it had been hacked up a bit and didn't have much meat on... Maybe it was the 10 minutes drive home, but the chicken to me was rather dry too The chip portion was a good size and were still hot and crispy by the time they were home and the rice was still hot and moist and was a good size too.

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