Loughton - Ryan Review

Ryan's picture
How Helpful?: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
A few tables occupied
Date of Last Visit: 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
3.25 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
3 (Not bad. Did everything I asked of them)
Speed of Service: 
3 (10 - 15 mins - Nando's average)
Quality of Food: 
2 (Quite disappointing - seems rushed, may have some parts burnt)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
5 (An exceptional Nando's! (Please tell us why) )
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

Having not had enough Nando's the day before, I decided to stop into this new Nando's for another bite to eat... I'd also never been to Loughton before, but it seemed like a nice little Essex town!

This Nando's is just off the High Street on Station Road and is easily found. There are a number of street parking bays along the high street and several other larger car parks (such as Trap's Hill which is a few minutes walk away) which all charge around £0.10/30mins, £0.80/1hr, £1.60/2hrs, £3.20/3hrs and £10/3+hrs from 8am-6pm Monday-Fri day, and are then free outside this time. Otherwise Loughton tube station is just a five minute walk away (down Station Road).

Being a new Nando's, expectations were high and the decor certainly didn't disappoint. There is a lot of recycled/re-purposed material gone into this including all of the till/counter and sauces/drinks station being clad in old metal sheets and doors (from somewhere). The backs of various booths and fittings are from recycled wood and the tables are recycled wood/metal too. There are some very large wicker/wooden webs stretching across the ceiling in a big arch

The whole restaurant is in a circular shape and has a real good mix of seating - including lots of different colour on the bench/booth seating, as well as a few colourful tables outside. Also being in a circular shape there are lots of full length windows letting in the light - and then there are also lots of different styles of lighting: mini clear lampshades, chrome shades and big chrome discs.

Then there are plenty of bright canvasses too - especially a few very large ones on the walls by the toilets doors (which are behind all of the main seating). The toilets themselves are nicely decorated in particular the sinks which seem to again be recycled metal drums.

It was about 5:30pm and was pretty quiet with only a few tables in use and an absolute abundance of staff it seemed, most looked to still have trainee tops on - but all doing well and as expected.

Food came in 12 minutes and was perhaps the only little let down with this visit. I had a chicken fillet burger which didn't quite fill the ciabatta and didn't have too much sauce on it (mainly mayonnaise) and the ciabatta itself was very crunchy and either burnt or a bit stale. The chip portion was average size, but they were very soggy and didn't even get one crispy one.

I'm sure things will smooth out once everybody has been there for a while, but on this occasion the food didn't live up to the funky decor!

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