Notting Hill - James RYN Review

James RYN's picture
How Helpful?: 
No votes yet
Number of Visits: 
This was my first visit
How Busy?: 
A few tables occupied
Date of Last Visit: 
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Time of Day: 
Weekday Dinner
4.63 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
4 (Good stuff. Very polite)
Speed of Service: 
5 (Under 5 mins - I had only just got back with my cutlery and sauce)
Quality of Food: 
4.5 (Great - Very tender, piping hot, not at all burnt, dripping in sauce)
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
5 (An exceptional Nando's! (Please tell us why) )
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

This was my first visit to Notting Hill branch, and it was very easy to find given it's location just a minute away from Notting Hill Gate station. It's a very nice part of London, and features a bustling high road which should probably have been explored further. Parking is presumably free in the side roads in the evenings - no idea about during the day. The branch wasn't very busy since we went early in the evening, and as a result we were seated straight away.

The decoration is nice and new, but with no outstanding features which warrant a rating of more than the Nando's average. However, I have to drop the mark to a 2.5/5 since there was a horrible smell of damp in the main restaurant area. Nando's in Edgware has a similar problem and I'm not sure why it happens! I thought it might be to do with the toilets, but on visiting them it turned out the toilets smelt better than the seating area.

My main interactions (greet and ordering) were with the manager, and she was pleasant and polite. The food then came over in less than 5 minutes which was impressive even given how empty the branch was. I did two separate orders in order to get two card stamps, but both orders arrived at the same time - bravo!

As for the food, it was the best I have had in quite a while, though that wasn't too difficult after some recent bad experiences. The chips were literally straight out of the boiler - piping hot and difficult to even pick up! As a result, they were very tasty, and there were no issues with chips getting cold while I ate my burger. The burger itself was a decent size and dripping in sauce. The food would be near a 5/5 if the bun had been toasted, and if there had been a bit more peri on the chips.

Now to potentially the most unique aspect of this visit: the spice level of the sauce. I am a seasoned Extra Hot elite veteran, but this batch was spicier than I have ever had before. I was sweating, itchy, and drinking a lot of water; each bite was a challenge. I definitely enjoyed it, but if the sauce was consistently this hot I would potentially have to reconsider Extra Hot as an option.

Overall, impressive (except for the smell) and I would definitely return to this branch again.

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