Nantgarw - Ryan Review
Had lunch at this Nando's on the very wet May Bank Holiday - so was certainly hoping to be warmed up by the food! :-)
It's located on a retail park with a Showcase Cinema, a Bowplex and other eateries (like Frankie and Bennys/McDonald's), so there's other stuff to do around here. Easy to find - and hundreds of free parking spaces, so all good there.
Initial reaction of this Nando's was that it looked identical on the outside to that of the "Coventry Showcase" one - a kind of circular building... and this similarity continued inside: stone brick walls, the wooden carvings and tusks/ribcage on the sides of the booths and plenty of pots and plants on the booths and inset into the walls - and the same style of lightshades... it even had the same amount of dust on these pots, plants and lightshades! Somebody get a feather duster!
The layout was also the same in that there were big circular booths by the entrance that followed round the curved restaurant where it opened up to lots of tables/chairs seating... maybe EVERY Nando's is actually that unique after all... :-) Maybe this is just a "Showcase Cinema" template...
The staff weren't unfriendly, they did everything expected of them - but nothing more... and sadly, that's where the plus points to this visit stop.
It was a Bank Holiday, so I'd expect it to be a little busy (which it was), but we were advised there'd be a 25-30 minute wait for a table, which ended up being 20 minutes - which, is fine... BUT, there were plenty of free tables and I was second on the list. Whether the host had had a directive to keep 20% of tables free, I don't know, but at one point there were maybe 6 parties waiting and there were more than enough tables to seat us all straight away. The waiting/seating area could only accommodate 6-8 people, so, because it was raining, the other 20+ people just gathered around the till point meaning no control at all. Every time somebody joined the queue all you could here was "are you in the queue"?
Anyway, once we were actually seated there was a further 15 minute wait to order. It was odd as there were plenty of people in the queue, but only one person on the till. Maybe they were low on staff, but this should have been handled better. Once I was served I asked how long dishes were taking to get out and was told 15 minutes, so not too bad...
...Sadly, she was wrong. Just over 25 minutes later, our two burgers, chips and garlic bread arrived. Although there were no complaints with this wait from us, we were sat next to two tables who had waited 40 minutes for their food!
Even more disappointingly, the food was not worth the wait at all. A small chicken breast on the burger which was cold and lacking in sauce - and added weight to the smaller portion sizes! There was then no tomato slice on either of the burgers and the buns they came in were very soggy, so much so that when picking them up the bottom just gave way like a wet cardboard box does! The garlic bread was cold, flavourless and very chewy - and the chips were cold and soggy. A terrible, terrible meal.
Toilets were spick and span though - albeit no soap in the dispenser, nor in the dispenser at the sink on the restaurant floor.
On this occasion, one to forget.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that this was such a poor experi-perience, I complained to Nando's who did send a chicken cheque for two combination meals, so well done and thank you to Nando's!