Stafford - Ryan Review
Well opening day of a new Nando's serving two new Xmas dishes? It'd be rude not to give it a whirl. The newest Nando's to open was in Stafford. It's located in a new Riverside complex and looks out on the River Sow. Parking is by way of two new car parks in the complex - Waterfront Multi-Storey and Riverside Undercroft. Waterfront is open Mon-Sat 6:30am-11:30pm, Sun 9am-6:30pm and Riverside is open Mon-Sat 7am-10pm, Sun 9am-6pm. Both charge 1hr/£1, 2hrs/£2, 3hrs/£3, 4hrs/£3.50, 5hrs/£4, 6hrs/£5, 7hrs/£6, 8hrs+/£8 Mon-Sat Mon-Sat open-6pm, Mon-Sat after 6pm it is £1 until close. Sun all day is £1. Stafford train station is less than half a mile walk away. The Stafford Cinema (Apollo) is just outside the new complex. Stafford Castle is 1.5 miles away.
Arrived around 7:30pm and it was bustling with loads of chatty and friendly staff on and only a few tables not occupied. Our party of four were seated straight away and, although we were advised the food would take 25 minutes to come... it took less than 5! :o)
I went for the two new Xmas items - the PERi-Berry Burger with chips and rice and five PERi-Orange wings. The burger was absolutely delicious. You get a chicken breast fillet and a thigh topped with a "glittery" PERi-berry sauce (berry chutney with cranberries, raspberries and blueberries, infused with peri peri chillies), with baby spinach and creamy mayonnaise - all served in a Portuguese roll. It was sticky and messy to eat, but the fruit sweet taste with the flame grilled chicken skin and Extra Hot sauce worked really well. The chicken portion was ample in size and the meat was piping hot and juicy. The cip portion was large and were piping hot and the rice was a huge mound int he bowl and moist.
Sadly, the orange-glazed wings didn't live up to the same standard. The wings are meant to come with a "sticky orange glaze", but what I got were regular wings with a blob of orange marmalade on them. It'd have been much better if the whole wing was dipped or brushed, grilled and then dipped or brushed again. The chicken was nicely cooked, but the glaze was just lacking in any depth of flavour. Overall though, the PERi-berry burger more than made up for it.
The restaurant itself is very nicely decorated. There are six or so tables outside each with a sort of curved two-seater booth. Inside it's bright and colourful. Lots of different styles of tables and tables with lots of different colours for the upholstery. The ceiling is covered in a large bundle of sticks with different coloured metal cones for lighting hanging down. There are also a couple of green cactus like shades for lighting. The most striking piece of colour by far is the large mural painted directly on the wall to the left of the entrance. It's very bright, very colourful and very cool. Toilets are are the back and were spick and span - black and white with an odd colourful circular mirror surround.
Overall, a cracking visit.