St Andrews - Ryan Review
While up this way, it would have been silly not to venture to the glorious town of St Andrews seeing as I have never been - and also visit the newest Nando's in the UK, which officially opened this week!
I did fancy a nice coastal train journey from Edinburgh to St Andrews, but found out that there is NO train station in St Andrews!! So I had to drive in the end. Leuchars train station is 5 miles away and you have to get a bus from there, so I sacked that off.
The post code of KY16 6NU on Nando's' website is pretty inaccurate and a postcode of KY16 9PE will take you directly to Market Street. There are hundreds of street parking spaces all around the Central area (signposted as Central P) and they charge £1/1hr and £2/2hrs with a maximum stay of 2 hours, Mon-Sun 24/7. There is also parking (sign-posted as long stay parking) which will let you park for £2/4hr and over 4hr it's £3.60max a bit further out - but still less than a mile walk into the town centre. HOWEVER, I was lucky enough to stumble on Murray Place car park, which IS in the town centre, has only 55 spaces and is free for the whole day (post code KY16 9HU will take you here).
Being in the town centre too, you are just a few minutes walk away from the Castle ruins, the Cathedral ruins and the University. There is a New Picture House cinema in the town centre too, which is a nice old school theatre.
Arrived at Nando's at about 1pm and didn't have anytime to wait for a table in this very good sized restaurant. As you enter, just back around to your right are plenty of small/large tables/chairs and the highly decorated counter is then in front of you. From here, the branch narrows slightly past the drinks/cutlery and 3 or 4 large curved booths take you right to the back where the restaurant then opens up again, with plenty of bench/tables/chairs tucked away underneath some bright red girders. Oh and there are two tables outside too with bright yellow metal chairs.
The decor throughout is fantastic. Really, really good. Just in this hidden away section the walls are of multi-coloured mosaic brickwork with several canvas paintings also on these walls. In the middle of the restaurant are four large red rope lanterns - and other lighting includes smaller multi-coloured string lanterns, chrome conical lampshades, dark green spotlights in the wall. There is generally something going on in every space on the walls and the ceiling - including in the toilets where old liquid drums are being used for the sink basin stands. All this, together with a big glass atrium style roof letting in plenty of daylight, makes this an outstandingly decorated restaurant.
Being a lunchtime, I opted for a chicken fillet burger and chips and, after a 10 minute wait at the till, the food came in under five minutes. I will let the team off with the wait at the till though! The till rolls ran out on both the credit card machines and also the till and nobody knew where the spares were, seeing as they had only been open for less than a week!
The food was superb as well. After having received a few small chicken breast fillets on some of my recent burgers, this burger was chocked full. The slice of tomato was too big for the bun (nice!), there was loads of lettuce - and then the fillet was creeping out over the sides. It was smothered in sauce and piping hot. The chips had just come out the frier too so were piping hot and crispy. A delicious meal.
Staff were also chattier than average, with extra conversation being made at the till with most people.