Gatwick Airport - South Terminal - Damien Review
Since hearing that a Nando’s with a breakfast menu had opened in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport, I had been waiting for this to align with one of my trips abroad. We had a 1pm flight to Stockholm, which meant getting to the airport a bit earlier than we would have done, so not to miss the 11am breakfast cut-off point.
The Nando’s is situated airside, under the terrible Frankie & Benny’s that’s been here for years. A couple of enthusiastic staff beckoned us inside and we were seated on one of the dozens of spare tables. The restaurant is spacious, the music is at exactly the right volume and there’s enough variation in the décor to make a walk-round worthwhile (of particular note are the tree pillars and the piñata lampshades). Above the food waiting area are a couple of departure screens, a possibly needed reminder that you are indeed at an airport and not down your local high street.
Though breakfast was being served, we were able to also order from the regular menu, if we so wished. The three of us obviously all ordered from the vast breakfast menu, giving us a good selection of the Gatwick exclusive food items. I had the a chicken and fresh herb omelette, spiced maple pancakes and a cup of tea (which I swiftly proceeded to ruin with XXH sauce). Also on the table were corny browns (potato and sweetcorn fritters with a dip), chicken sausage Portuguese rolls (spiced and plain), halloumi and other variations of what I’d ordered. Considering how well staffed the place was, the food did take a little while to come out, and something was forgotten, but letting a member of staff know was the extent of the fuss this caused. I’m not a massive fan of omelettes and I do think this Nando’s one was a pretty bad example. It was very dry and rather bland. Peri peri sauce doesn’t complement it all too well, so I ended up using ketchup at Nando’s for the first ever time. My breakfast dessert, however was pretty good. Three fluffy American-style pancakes with plenty of subtly-spiced syrup and some fruit. The others weren’t all too impressed with their own meals though, mainly siting stale bread and bland sausages as the issues.
Other than the breakfast menu, an interesting difference at Gatwick’s Nando’s is the silly-looking post-security cutlery. The knives look like somebody’s tried to turn a children’s spoon into a steak knife. The staff are also well versed in the “have you been to Nando’s before” rapport, being used to seeing visitors from all over the world on a daily basis. In fact, of the people I saw greeted and seated, none had dined at Nando’s before. A Japanese couple sat near us tried several things. The man got a plate and filled it up with dollops of various sauces, which they both tried with chips. Their mash, however, was left untouched. They’d obviously been expecting something else there.
Anyway, without rambling on too much, this is a good-sized Nando’s that’s great for an airport food spot. It’s got some interesting interior design, overlooks taxiing planes, and is well staffed. Next time I’m here, I’d probably not go with the breakfast menu again, hopefully that’ll be less disappointing.