Newcastle - Eldon Square - Ryan Review
After a day in Newcastle (and a lunch in Nando's already!), I stopped at Eldon Square at about 6pm on Friday evening. As with The Gate, this is one of a few shopping centres around Newcastle City Centre - so plenty of stuff to see and do if you're in the area. Also, as with The Gate, Eldon Square has its own car park priced very reasonably and as with most car parks is free after 5pm! I caught the Metro in anyway and Monument station leaves you a couple minutes walk away.
At about 6pm there 7 sets of people in front and in all it took about 15 minutes to be seated. The only problem with the waiting area downstairs is there's room for about 6 people, so everyone was just lurking in the doorway blocking the exit. There was so much more room upstairs, I'm surprised the staff didn't direct everybody upstairs to wait.
The layout and decor of this branch was very good (other than the waiting area). A large seating area outside on the ground floor with about 12 tables. Inside on the ground floor there's about 10 high tables/chairs with some striking fluffy lampshades! Upstairs there's 20+ tables. Right at the back upstairs is the booth style seating with the rest being tables/chairs. More funky lampshades and quite a few canvas paintings makes for nice decor. Being upstairs you can also gaze out onto Eldon Square - which I imagine is nice in the summer. At around 6:15 all the lights are dimmed and the blinds go up, which was a bit weird but a nice touch. Toilets very clean too.
Staff were friendly enough, but nothing more than the bear minimum. I had a couple of half chickens to claim free and the girl serving me had to go and get the discount card from the manager - which took a few minutes each time. Along with the wait to order and to be seated, it was nearly 30 minutes - with a futher 11 minutes for the food to come.
I'm glad it was worth the wait though. Two huge half chickens, rice and chips. Chicken was hot, moist and dripping in sauce - white meat throughout. Really tasty chicken, rice and chips.
Overall, a nice meal in a nicely decorated restaurant... just so long for the food (in total).