Covent Garden - BaronSamedi1980 Review
I was in London very early for an evening meeting and after doing some shopping in the Regent street and Covent Garden area I arraigned to meet a friend who lived nearby for a late lunch and some drinks at a nearby Nandos and today it would be the Covent Garden location.
Covent Garden Nandos is a short 5 minute walk from both Leicester Square tube station and Covent Garden tube station. The restaurant is based in Chandos Place (which when written down looks a lot like Nandos Place!) and the is no parking for either cars or bicycles no this street.
As you enter this Nandos the are handful of tables and a sauce station on the ground floor level and a winding, metallic staircase down to the basement level which is the main part of the restaurant. I was warmly greeted and shown downstairs to table 26 by a most welcoming and friendly young man working here. The tills and toilets are located on this lower floor.
After a quick look at the menu I went over to the tills area, only one of four was in operation, and after a short wait in the queue I placed my order of:
One bottle of Pink Elephant Rose wine (to share with my friend, it wasn't all for me!).
A Hummus and pitta bread starter.
A Churrasco thigh burger (medium) with sweet potato wedges seasoned with peri-peri salt.
The hummus was on the table by the time I had returned from collecting some cutlery, napkins and filling my soft drink although I did spot the waitress trying to give it to a different table first. Unfortunately my main course was served to me only a couple of minutes after I had been given my starter which was disappointing that they weren't able to get the timing right and so my food sat of the table waiting for me while I ate my starter. I wasn't getting to be rushed into eating too fast but this had an unfortunate knock on effect of my food cooling substantially as it was sitting on my table and before I was able to enjoy it.
This was most noticeable with the sweet potato wedges that were very tasty but having cooled were not as nice as I have had elsewhere. Now the sweet potato wedges are my favourite menu item so naturally I found this very disappointing.
My Churrasco thigh burger was overflowing with chicken and fino coleslaw as picked it up. Although I soon discovered that unfortunately the chicken had also suffered from cooling and I also found the burger bun was unusually dry and a little tough. Now I have to confess the I was a little messy while I was enjoying the burger as substantial amounts of the coleslaw fell from my burger to my plat on each occasion I took a bite. They sure pack a lot into these burgers. I had a small amount of pitta left over from my starter and after finishing my burger I used this to mop up my plate of all this spillage and enjoy all the wonderful Nandos flavour all over again.
My friend and I both enjoyed the Pink Elephant Rose which is crisp and has a very fruity taste, in fact it has a hint of strawberries and although neither of us had enjoyed the Pink Elephant Rose before we both found it went very well with our Nandos meal. I am a Rose drinker and this is one that I would defiantly order again and recommend to others.
A quality check was not carried out while we ate our main meals so an opportunity for feedback was lost here which was disappointing.
The waitress who had tried to give my starter to a different table eventually returned to our table to clear away our empty plates and at this point I asked her if I could have the Nata I order now. I showed her my receipt so that there could be no confusion. The waitress replied that it was her first day on the job (so the mistake of taking my food to the wrong table is VERY understandable and easily forgiven) and that she did not know what a nata was so she took my receipt to ask her manager. I imagine that the manager was able to assist here as the waitress returned 5 minutes latter with both my receipt and a tiny nata which she server on a huge plate - it was pretty comical.
After eating our desert my friend and I polished off the rest of our wine which we both really enjoyed before visiting the toilets. I found the gents to be clean and well maintained with no problems to report and my friend to me she had the same experience in the ladies room.
So would I return to Covent garden Nandos? I'm on the fence here as it’s not a decisive “Yes” or ”No” from me. The food wasn't anything special and suffered from everything being served all at once which felt rushed. The waitress was new and made a few newbie errors but these can be forgiven. The best part of our meal we both felt was the wine which required no preparation on site. On the positive side the restaurant is handily located in the heart of London only a short distance from places much as, Covent garden, Leicester square, Charing cross and the Thames. Everything was clean and the restaurant decor and unique lay out was defiantly a plus points. On balance I suppose I would give it another try if I was in the area again but the was nothing terrible but also nothing outstanding about my visit here on this occasion. All a bit average really.