Farringdon - Blaynos Review
The much-delayed latest Nando's in the capital opened this week, and I headed up to it after work on Friday for an early-ish dinner. It's extremely well located, almost next to Farringdon Station on the corner of Turnmill & Cowcross. Turn left if you're exiting the tube station (Met, Circle, H&C) and right if you're coming from the Thameslink entrance (there'll also be Crossrail from 2018/9). It's also just a few minutes away from the Holborn Viaduct, Old Bailey and Ludgate Circus.
The branch itself is much more like St Christopher's Place than Old Street (when comparing it to the other recent London branches). It's split level but pretty small. When you enter, there's a huge space on the left with exclusive window seating, probably for those who come at lunch and may be on their own(?), but it does seem like the space could be better utilised. Quite a narrow restaurant going down to the back of the ground floor level (tills by entrance, kitchen behind that). There didn't seem to be too many sauces out, but I guess it might reflect the branch size.
We sat in the basement, which is also pretty small (I'll try attach a photo or two) and poorly laid out. There's two large tables with half-booth seating on either side, with one set of tables in the middle. The last table, against the wall, is also up against the sauce/cutlery station (where we sat), which is a shockingly awkward position (plenty of sauces here though). Drinks machine is underneath the staircase on the other side. The whole branch smelt brand new, like a DT lesson in school. Both drinks machines are the new electric ones.
Staff were excellent, clearly on their toes being the opening couple of days, and I cannot fault them at all. Food was ok; butterfly burger was ok; decent-ish size and cooked ok enough, could've done with some more chips and more peri salt but not too fussed.
All in all, it's a decent branch, but probably more suited to processing quick lunches, like Lime Street. There's plenty of other bars, pubs and restaurants in the same stretch, which we used after, and which were significantly more busier too. A few glaring things can easily be fixed/rearranged and probably should (i.e. layout), but it's still difficult to give it more than a 3/5 given it's size.