Southampton - Guildhall - Ryan Review
Heading back from the IOW allowed me to stop in on this newest of all Nando's, in the shiny new Arts Quarter development around the new O2 Guildhall. Parking in Southampton is plentiful, easily found/signposted and reasonably priced, but does differ between places. For example, your nearest to Nando's is the Civic Centre priced at 60p/30mins, £1.60/1hr and £3/2hrs (max 2-hour stay) and is a couple of minutes walk away. Other larger car parks include the Marlands (£1/1hr, £2/2hrs, £2.80/3hrs, £3.50/4hrs and £5/day), West Park (£2.50/2hrs, £3.30/3hrs, £4.50/4hrs and upwards from there) or Grosvenor Square (£1/1hr, £2.50/2hrs, £3.30/3hrs, £4.40/4hrs and upwards) - and are all within a short half mile walk away. Southampton Central train station is also a half mile walk away from this Nando's. There are roadworks going on outside at present (until the end of September 2015) which means you can only gain access to Nando's from one footpath, but it's very self-explanatory how to get there.
Being the newest Nando's expectations were high and they didn't disappoint. There was an abundance of staff (more staff than customers at times) and they were pleasant, but doing as expected, but it did mean there was no wait for the food at all and it came in just under five minutes. It was a good standard as well. I went for the single chicken fillet burger and chips. The chip portion was large and all the chips were piping hot and crispy. The chicken breast fillet was a tad on the samll side as it certainly didn't fill the cibatta, but was slightly thicker than average, juicy and very saucy indeed, with lots of tomato and lettuce.
This Nando's is decked out superbly though and it's so fresh and bright. From when you enter there are four larger square booths down the right side, three large yellow-leather circular booths (with green tiling on the outside) in the middle and then red-leather banquette seating down the left. Above the square booths are big orange domes for lightshades and the wall here is bound in beige ropes. Above the circular booths are large wicker baskets for shades and above the banquette seating on the left are angle posied lights, with green/white diamond patterned walls and little bird figurines also on the wall. At the very front of the banquettes is a large yellow Barci patterned into the walls. Towards the back is the till/serving area which is completely clad in bright red plastic and then a further seating section made up of a few 2-seater green leather booths and further banuqette seating. Toilets are also very clean and clad in blue on white square tiling.
Overall an above average meal, served speedily, in a beautiful Nando's.