Headingly - Ryan Review
On my way up North, so stopped into Headingley to see one of the newest Nando's. This Nando's is just half a mile walk from Yorkshire's cricket ground and just over a mile walk away from Headingley train station. There doesn't seem to be a lot of parking locally, with many side streets all with bold resident only signs on display and plenty of private parking signs in the spaces outside Nando's... but, just a few hundred yards past Nando's (heading away from Leeds) is a Sainsbury's and Wilko which have a free car park (up to two hours) above them. This is accessed by going up the first right after them, Alma Road.
Arrived here late Friday afternoon and was surprised to see the restaurant almost empty. It picked up as I was leaving and was about half full - and my meal came in just under 10 minutes.
Impressions of this Nando's decor were a bit mixed. It was a nice sunny afternoon, so the outside seating on the patio looked appealing, but as it's only just off the main road, I headed inside... It's a long and narrow Nando's, with the banquette/chair seating running along the windows and then down the centre of the restaurant a mixture of booths (by the till at the front) and further tables/chairs in the back section. The ceiling is quite low and so the coloured vases that hang down for lights are also quite low. The lowest ceilings that are over the centre/booths are tiled in a green/yellow pattern - which is also within the table tops in the booths and similar tiling also exists in the toilets. The higher ceiling has a 'warehousey' feel as it's plastered, but then chipped off exposing the concrete. This bit just looks as though it's unfinished. The back right wall has 30+ small canvas paintings on it adding some nice colour.
I was claiming two free orange reward so took them both as chicken burgers - but at the same time wanted to get a couple of sides and a red pepper dip (to take it over the £7)... and the till system automatically assumed I wanted to claim the Green reward as well for the red pepper dip... anyway, it couldn't be figured out so the manager told me they would look into it. I knew I was heading to Boldon later on and would have the chance for another chilli, so wasn't too fussed, but seems like Nando's should update the till options. Staff did everything expected of them.
Anyway, sad to say that free or not, this meal was not up to a good standard. The chicken breast piece was very thin, very dry and had a dash of peri-peri sauce on top and was swimming in mayonnaise. The bun was hot and crispy though and the tomato/lettuce were large portions. Sadly the chips were not a big portion, but were also cold and soggy and also just tasted a bit funny, like they were off. On this occasion, a very promising and new Nando's was let down by the poor food.