Milton Keynes - The Centre - 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, May 22, 2013
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
3.5 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
3 (Not bad. Did everything I asked of them)
Speed of Service: 
4 (5 - 10 mins - Some conversation had begun)
Quality of Food: 
5 (Nando's fit for a King - The very best (Please tell us why)!
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
2 (An old Nando's, needs some investment)
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

I don't know, the more I pass through Milton Keynes, the more I like it. The American grid system is the way to go! Anyway, this restaurant is located in The Centre MK, which is in the Central Shopping area of Milton Keynes - so head for the parking signposts towards Central Shopping.

The parking around here (and certainly those spaces immediately outside/around The Centre MK) are mostly Premium Rate. This means it's £1.20/hr, Mon-Sun 7am-6pm. As I was arriving around 7:30pm, there was no charge to me.

Since this is also just a few minutes walk from The Hub, it also means Milton Keynes Central train station is about one mile away and the Xscape, Hollywood Bowl and Cineworld at the Xscape complex are just a 5 minute walk away too. Immediately around The Centre are mainly shops and restaurants - and just about most shops and eatery brands you will ever need. It really would be a good place to go and shop. Oh and there's currently a Jurassic Mini Golf in Queens Square in The Centre MK (right outside Nando's).

Arriving around 7:30pm on a Wednesday evening meant there were only a few tables occupied across the restaurant, so no wait for food or to order and the food came in 8 minutes. Staff were doing everything as expected.

The food was fantastic as well. I was claiming a free quarter chicken (so it came on a separate plate) - and it was just as big a piece of breast as the one I was paying for! They were both huge. Really, really succulent and piping hot throughout, covered in sauce and grilled to perfection. Oh my mouth is watering now just thinking about it again! The portion of rice was huge too - hot and moist, and the portion of chips was equally as impressive! Hot and crispy. This was a superb meal!

The restaurant itself - although a very small amount of seating "inside" then had 3 separate "outside" seating areas.

There is an "outside" section (no roof) in Queens Square of around 10 tables/chairs. You then walk through sets of doors to get into the actual The Centre MK where there are then a further 15 tables (still outside, but there is a glass roof high up). These 15 tables are of all shapes and sizes. The little greeting desk is also here. Inside are then only 15 tables or so - a couple of booths but then the rest is tables/chairs seating as the inside space is quite narrow. Lastly, upstairs is another "outside" area, enclosed by glass of another 10 tables. So, overall, about 50 tables in this Nando's.

As for decor, there's a nice colourful wall inside to the right of the tills (7 or 8 canvas paintings) and then some nice red/pink/orange orbs for lighting inside. As most of this branch is "outside", during the daylight it's so bright and spacious - but it does mean there aren't anymore more walls/ceilings for decoration and lighting etc. The walls leading to the toilets (upstairs) are coloured a patterned red/pink. So, so far I would say this is perhaps a 3... but then ewwwww.... The toilets were unbelievable. They smelled like I was in New Street Station in the 70's - as in it absolutely stank of urine and excrement. I went to use the urinal, but there was so much water on the floor I didn't want to step in it. There was also a yellow warning triangle for "Caution Cleaning in progress", but this had actually broken and was floating in the liquid on the floor. So, I went to use the toilet and this was even worse. Stuffed full of paper and caked in poo all around the basin. I think I'll hold onto it and go elsewhere! This was obviously a bad day, but it has to be a 2... it would have been a 1 but the rest of the restaurant was clean enough.

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