Newport - Friars Walk - Ryan Review
Onto the second Nando's of the evening and it took me over the Severn Crossing (at a cost of £6.60) and a 50 mile detour or so... Needless to say I had high expectations!
This Nando's is part of the Friars Walk development, which is home to a Cineworld, a large Debenhams and other eateries such as GBK and Frankie & Benny's. The various post codes for Friars Walk, such as NP20 1DR, NP20 1DS and NP20 1EA - are not yet recognised by sat navs, so use NP20 2BP which will get your there. Friars Walk does have its own car park, but it only holds 350 vehicles which is not very big for everything on offer. The car park charges Mon-Sun and is free for the first hour, then priced at £1.20/hr up to 4hrs, 4-6hrs/£6.00, 6-10hrs/£8 and 10-24hrs/£15.00. There is also an evening rate charged from 6pm-6am at only £1.50. Newport train station is also only half a mile walk away.
Arrived at this Nando's around 8:30pm. It's a real curved restaurant, so there are lots of full length windows. It's also underneath the cinema which has lots of neon lights in the wall, so Nando's is really lit up as you walk up to it. Inside, there are a few booths in the walkway as soon as you enter Nando's. On the wall in-between these booths are some colourful full wall height block work pieces of artwork. As you walk to the till area and into the main seating, you see there's lots of bright colours. Yellow leather on the banquette seating, yellow cord backs on some of the chairs and yellow metal separators on the backs of the bench/banquette seating. There are lots of orange wicker shades above the tables in the windows. In the front part of the restaurant is mainly tables/chair sets with coloured glass orbs above for lighting and then towards the back are a couple more booths, with some paintings above them.
The whole ceiling is clad in reclaimed wood and then at the very front of the restaurant are a couple of very large canvas paintings. Toilets are at the back and were very clean with lots of mustard coloured tiling.
The food came in 17 minutes. I was claiming a free half chicken and had sides of chips, rice and chargrilled veg and it was a real mixed bag. The chicken portion looked big and cooked well with some nice charring on the outside, but once I started digging into it, it was not good. I think the chick must have had big bones as there wasn't much meat on it at all... Also, once I started cutting it up it was sliding all over the plate sending my chips flying as it was swimming in grease. Once I started getting near to the bone there was quite a lot of red and purple bits and it was a bit cold. The chips and rice were both good size portions - both hot and crispy and moist, but the chargrilled veg was burnt quite badly and also the little bowl it is served in was completely filled with cold tomato/salsa juice/sauce. A bit odd.
Staff were friendly enough but doing as expected.