Leicester - Meridian - James RYN Review
On a trip up North I couldn't resist a detour to the top rated Nando's in the UK!
Leicester Meridian Nando's almost has a mystical element to it after being at the top of our list for so long. Would I be struck speechless by the the decor? Would the staff offer me exciting new ways to enjoy my Nando's I had never imagined? Would the food leave me with a memory so hot and tempting, I would have no choice but to return? To cut the story short, none of the above, but this was a very good Nando's nonetheless.
Parking was very similar to how Pompey Ranger describes it. We arrived on a Friday night at 8pm, which is prime cinema hour, and we had to park a little further back. It wasn't an issue though, and we were soon being greeted at the door by a friendly and helpful Nandoca.
The advertised 10-15 minute wait ended up being little more than 5, and we were soon sat at our table. However, this was table 34 right in the middle between booths, so we had a decent element of people brushing past us the whole time. The restaurant is smaller than I had envisaged, and given how busy it was, I can't blame them for squeezing a couple of extra tables in; we were just a bit unlucky with this one.
When ordering my food I met Shane the manager on duty, who was very friendly, and shared a love for Nando's like myself. Ordering didn't take long, and the 5-10 minute wait results in a solid 4 for speed of service.
While waiting for the food to arrive, I had some time to take in the decoration of the restaurant. It was perfectly clean, so nothing to complain about there. The decor itself is very nice, and if this were Rate Your Nando's 1.0, and 4.5s were still possible, I would be awarding it that. However, it didn't strike me in the same way a restaurant like Clink Street or Vauxhall Arches does, so I have to stick with a 4. Probably the most intriguing aspects were some bottle lamps hanging from the ceiling (possibly a bit like at Great Portland Street?), and Nando's design pillars in the middle.
And the food...which was...very good actually. Why only a 4? Well my girlfriend's chicken leg was on the small side, and my double wrap had most of the extra hot sauce in only one half of it. It did have a huge helping of chilli jam though, so I really got to appreciate that flavour. Chips were good with a decent amount of peri, and rice was perfect with no dry clumps.
So overall, how did the supposed 'best Nando's in the UK' do? It was very good, and well deserving of a rating greater than 4/5. Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. The staff made me very welcome and the food was above average despite the restaurant being packed out. Will I be returning personally? Well there are too many unvisited restaurants, and 3 more in Leicester alone, so it will probably be a while...
Now on up to the Lake District, where Nando's Carlisle awaits...