Islington - Ryan Review
Onto my second Nando's of the night and this took me to Islington, which was a bustling place even at 10pm. It's about a ten minute walk up from Angel tube station or from Essex Road train station. There's plenty of parking around, especially on-street bays, but it is very expensive during the day - scandalous infact, but from 6:30pm-8am all on-street bays are free to park in, or £1.30/hr (6pm-8am) in the Business Design Centre car park.
There is plenty of seating spread over three (sort of) levels in this Nando's. There are a couple of booths as soon as you walk in by the till and a couple more behind the drinks machine, with tables/chair sets making up the other 10 tables at the front. There is a larger section slightly downstairs towards the back and a further couple of tables tucked away by the toilets downstairs from this (about 20 tables in total downstairs).
It had gone 10pm when I arrived, so the two downstairs sections towards the back were closed off for cleaning - so upstairs at the front it was completely full with people waiting for these 14 tables or so.
Sadly it was all a bit of a shambles as there didn't seem to be any staff. I had a six minute wait at the entrance, by which time I picked my own table. This happened a few times while I was eating as well where people just walked to their own table, only for people ordering at the till to come back an re-claim their table. On top of this, other than bringing my meal, nobody checked on me either and I had my cock in my hands at the end :-(
This Nando's is quite well decorated... On the left hand wall from the entrance are 20 or so canvas paintings of all different sizes and the lighting is mainly upside metal colanders with a layer of Perspex and mesh on the bottom (which does stop a bit of light coming through). There are then also plenty of canvas paintings on the walls in the middle level and then downstairs by the toilets giving a lot of colour - and the floor in the restaurant areas is all blue and white tiles with triangles... which really could do with a once over with a mop... but, sadly, where this Nando's is let down badly is in the toilets. They were filthy. The same tiled/pattern floor was in here but it was barely blue and white and mainly black and brown... ewww! The rest of the toilets (the sink, the toilets, urinals) were all rank too. Overall, as the toilets were disgusting, this does lose marks...
The food came in 12 minutes and this time I had a half chicken, rice and ratatouille. The rice had gone a bit cold and was lumped together and chewy. Ratatouille was very nice - hot and saucy, but under three forkfuls meant a lean portion. Chicken was a measly size too sadly, with lots of very black bits on the ends and was pretty dry. A below average meal indeed...