Southend - Archive Review
Prior to visiting this Nandos we had been looking at the Rate YOUR Nando's site, and this Southend branch had received 2.5. We had been a handful of times before, and once they had run out of chicken completely before 9pm, but other times the meals had been above average, so a varying quality in meals could be why there is mixed reviews.
The location of this Nando's is on a road just off of the top of the highstreet. Its situated in the same road as lots of other restaurants, (ASK, Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Salsa and numerous others, including a 'piri piri chicken restaurant which looks shocking from the outside), also just down the road from the Odeon. If you were to walk down the highstreet there is also the Southend Seaside, so lots going on surrounding it.
The parking can be frustrating. Theres a few spots of road parking outside, but these are almost always taken, and a small carpark that is always full too. However, there is a larger parking area below the university accomodation and we paid just a £1 for the hour. It can go up to £10 however if you spend over 6 hours there, but you'd probably be in Southend for the day anyway rather than just Nando's...
The staff here greeted us friendly, asked the customary 'Have you been to Nandos before?' and seemed generally pleasant and willing to help.
The seating here is pretty good. There are a couple of seats over toward the counter side of the restaurant that seem a bit awkward, but the booths are the best I have seen at any Nando's. Raised on a platform and extremely cosy, with good lighting and decoration. Theres also a few drinks machines dotted around so theres not a far walk to any in particular.
Onto the food! We got a 'red pepper dip' starter, which pretty much came as soon as we sat down. The main meal itself was generally quite good. The chicken and peas were noticably tastier and larger than usual, however the chips in peri salt seemed noticeably less tasty. The peri salt looked a bit different and there wasn't a large amount, more a sprinkling then the usual covering.
I do think this Nando's is generally okay. The time where we arrived and there was no chicken however was a bit unacceptable. Its a bit hit and miss, and varying quality, it just depends on what it is like the day you arrive. I have yet to meet a Nando's that I would never go back to completely!