Manchester - Printworks - Marc Joss Review
On a busy Saturday night after a trip up north to see a disastrous Arsenal match, a trip to Nando's was in store and this was set to be an eventful one.
Our party of 5 was told there would be a 20 minute wait which turned out to be a good estimate, such a wait was to be expected at peak time. This gave me time to speak to the manager about the website although she seemed overly surprised and possibly even suspicious! The Nandoca at the door had previously worked at a different branch (as my instincts told me) but it was slightly disappointing not to be recognised as Birmingham Broad Street, her previous location, was a regular for me during my university degree. The table we were seated at was fine although there was not much space and to get to my seat (against the wall), my friend had to stand up as there was not enough room to squeeze behind him (and I'm rather thin!). The chairs were of different sizes too which brought a disjointed feel to the table which would later be complemented by the abysmal service.
The queue to order was minimal and I then presented by voucher for 2 starters, 2 combo meals and 2 desserts which was mockingly met with "of course you have a voucher" from the Nandoca at the till in good spirits. He was less impressed with the request for Halloumi on the side which I ended up paying for, fair enough. We were not informed that the water/ice dispenser was only dispensing ice even though we had ordered 3 tap waters, surely this is the sort of information customers should be given rather than have to find out for themselves! I figured the starters and desserts would do nicely for a group of 5 and I was right. The huge problem was that 10 minutes had passed since ordering and there was no sign of any starters. Incredibly, all 5 main courses arrived before the 2 starters which is simply unforgivable in my book. I made the Nandoca serving us aware of this and she looked bemused before quickly going off to fetch our 2 plates of houmous with peri drizzle. The concept of the 'appeteaser' was completely lost as we had to manage our half chickens with pitta bread together which somehow didn't go as well.
Luckily my food was fine but another member of my party felt compelled to send his wings back as they were completely burnt. Portion sizes were ok but nothing exceptional. After a starter, half a chicken, 2 peri chips and halloumi, I am usually on the brim of bursting but I had more than enough room for dessert.
No one came over to check up on us during the meal and efficiency did not seem top of the list as it took quite a while for any of the dirty plates to be removed when other branches can be too keen to clear away before everyone has even finished eating.
Once the plates were cleared, we made the foolish assumption that dessert would arrive straight away but 15 minutes passed and there was no sign of it. I had to actually get up to go to the till to get the attention of a Nandoca as they were not even walking around near where we were sitting at that time. "We haven't been served dessert yet", I explained to which a Nandoca gruntled "Oh, was it the 2 chocolate cheesecakes?" So you knew about it already! Shocking!
I did enjoy the chocolate cheesecake when it finally came although we were unable to identify the purpose of the white blob on the side, was it cream? It tasted of nothing!
It typified the experience to see the 'Spill the Beans' leaflet on our table had been filled out by someone who had clearly had a similarly negative experience saying he/she wouldn't recommend Nando's nor would he/she be coming back. Aren't management supposed to collect those in rather than leave them out for others to read anyway? There were no dessert menus on our table either. Quite disappointing all round but at least it only cost me £1.05!