Stratford - Westfield - Ryan Review
This Nando's is in the huge Westfield shopping Centre in Stratford (City) right by the Olympic Village. There are hundreds of different shops and eateries within the centre and nearby, with a Vue Cinema, All Star Lanes bowling alley and an Asper Casino all within The Westfield.
The Westfield also offers cheap parking at £2.50 for the first 2 hours and then £5 for 2-24 hours and is connected by an array of transport options. All within a few minutes walk are Stratford and Stratford International railway stations, Stratford Overground station, Stratford and Stratford Internal DLR stops and Stratford Tube stop (Jubilee and Central lines).
Having run in the Run To The Beat half marathon earlier... the fact this was my second Nando's of the day could be justified! I arrived here at about 6pm and there was a queue with about 10 parties ahead of me, but this lasted for just over five minutes when I was then seated. I bet this is the only Nando's with an actual queueing system rather than people just amassing around the entrance.
My table was right over towards the back by the big glass windows, so it gave me a real sense of just how big this branch is. It's supposed to be the biggest in the UK... but I still think Liverpool ONE seemed bigger :)
The decor is nice with what space is available, but seeing as probably half this branch is glass fronted, there's only so much that can be done. At the front by the queueing ropes is a tiled wall with each one painted as though they are their own little canvas and then above the tillpoints/grills is a big curved wall covered in hundreds of small canvas paintings. There are a few large round pillars in the restaurant decorated in bottle caps or stones - and then the ceiling is one very big wicker pattern, with lots of different size and shape glass lights dangling from it, along with some long grey concial coming right down to the tables.
There are plenty of tables in here and, if separated, would come to over 100 - all different shapes and sizes... but - and this is the only thing that lets it down... because it is so busy, tables are cramped in against each other and in a lot of cases, there isn't much room at all. Otherwise, all in all, this is a very nice branch.
Despite the queue and a further 10 minute wait to order food, it still came in under 10 minutes - and wasn't rushed at all. The half chicken was a very generous size and cooked superbly: hot and moist throughout, well marinaded and a nice bit of charring. The chips were plentiful and were nice (maybe a little soggy) and the rice was hot and moist.
Staff were run off their feet so could only really do the bear minimum.