Romford - Ryan Review
In Thurrock and the QE2 bridge was closed... so no Bluewater for me - so a little detour up to Romford for a trip to The Brewery retail/leisure park. The Brewery has over a thousand cheap parking spaces, free on Sunday. I was there for 1 hour 15 minutes and paid £1.50. Nando's is upstairs, so head for the Upper Level parking. The Brewery Parking is well signposted from 2 miles out - so easy to find too. DOn't follow Sat Nav to this post code, follow the road signs instead.
Arrived just after 9pm and only a handful of tables in use - so no wait at all, including the food which came in 3 minutes! It was really good too. The portion of olives was the biggest I've had for quite a while, so much that I hadn't finished them by the time the chicken came. The rice and chips were both hot and moist/crispy - and the chicken was delicious. I was claiming a free quarter chicken, so I asked for two breasts and indeed got them. Very juicy and piping hot, smothered in marinade. 8 XXHot sauce bottles too - and a huge slice of white raspberry cheesecake - suitably stuffed! Really can't complain about this food at all.
The staff were fine. Just as you would expect and nothing more or less than the standard.
The decor though, is perhaps the only bit that I feel lets this branch down a bit. The branch has very high ceilings and it's generally bright enough, with the exception of the corner under the stairs (where I was sat). It was quite dark there! No lights on it at all really, with many of the theatre style lighting having bulbs gone and in need of replacing. Nice layout though - tables/chairs seating in the front windows and on the slightly raised area, with booths right down the (narrow) back past the till/food counters. There's Upstairs seating too - looking out over the rest of the restaurant, which was a nice touch. There's only one or two canvas paintings across all of the high walls sadly. A large shelving unit with pots just above the entrance - but generally very plain, and quite dirty/dusty all on the top parts of the walls. Toliets (which were also upstairs) were also very plain - and probably a little dirty. I know London water isn't as nice/soft as other areas t'up North, but the sink was horrible. Ice cold, tiny trickle from only one working tap, with lots of mildew/limescale all in the sink, a bit off-putting really. Overall a nice layout, but the decor needs sprucing up... and I guess it borders between 2 and 3...