Stratford - Romford Road - Damien Review
Where to start....
Nando's 61 was on the other side of town, in Stratford, under a hotel. It was certainly fancier looking and more spacious than the previous two on the trail (Worcester and South Harrow), but that's where the complimentary comparisons end. The first sign that something was up here it when we were just casually described what our table looked like and pointed in the general direction. The restaurant was less than half full, so it was a bit strange that we weren't being showed to our table. The guy that served me at the till seemed pretty enthusiastic, to the point where he told me that he'd give me a second stamp if I bought a pitta and hummus. A bit strange, but it was an amusing enough proposition for me to go for. I was less amused when my corn came out entirely black, less so when I heard how rude Jewel's server had been to her.
In the next few minutes I witnessed a member of staff being sarcastic when we asked for salt, two members of staff just replying with a straight "no" when asked if there was any balsamic vinegar and the server replacing the aforementioned burnt corn with another ear of blackened corn.
"Is that alright?" he said in a put-out way.
"Erm... is this the least burnt they can make it?"
"We ain't got no more ready"
"Can I have a refund then please?"
It was only when I asked if I could speak to the manager that £2-something was brought to my table (though no manager in sight). Meanwhile, Susannah has been short-changed on her serving of wine and Char had been brought out his chicken salad without any chicken on it. Finally tucking into my food, the chicken breast I had on my plate was the stringiest, toughest sorry excuse for a bird that I'd ever been served in all my visits to Nando's.
The cherry on the cake was when a member of staff wandered past and Susannah heard him say "F*ck you guys innit". With all the (understandable) complaints we had, we were never rude about it. Stratford Nando's is not only an absolute shambles, it brings shame to the brand name and almost makes me not want to go back. I will be going onwards to #62 in Norwich though, just never back to this catastrophic dive.