Streatham - Ryan Review
My second Nando's of the evening took me to Streatham Hill... which is bit of a run down place compared to Clapham Junction. This Nando's is just a few minutes walk down the High Street out of the station (turn right), so easily found. There is an Odeon a few minutes further walk in the same direction and then Tooting Bec Common/Lido a few more minutes walk.
Walking up to this Nando's, there were two grillers outside smoking, so I had very high hopes. This is a small Nando's. There are a couple of larger booths on the left-hand side as you enter (round by the toilets), with the main bulk of the seating on slightly lower ground within a slightly vaulted ceiling area.
There are about 12 tables all crammed into this lower section with chairs backing onto each other - a poor layout indeed. There are some patio doors too which probably do open... but eating out on the street of Streatham Hill would surely be a low point in your dining experiences.
When I went to order a chap was cashing the till up, so he called over to somebody to come serve me who shouted back "I'm drinking". Not sure what she was drinking, but I'll have some please - so he called over to someone else who shouted "get David to do it". Davide (with an e), it was, was not pleased with this so shouted back something in French. I heard "putain merde" which from primary school French I know means, "yes, I'll serve him". During the whole time serving he kept shouting to someone, somewhere... I only wish I know who.......
There is almost no artwork at all on the walls. Really, only the window blinds have any colour on them, if they are pulled down. If they are not - it's a sparse restaurant. Overall, it also seemed generally a very unkempt restaurant, which is epitomised by the stairwell down to the toilets - and how it reminds you of a grotty pub basement from the 70s. There are large chunks out of the wall showing the bare brick and even plaster in clumps on the steps.
The toilets were actually okay, spacious and clean, with nice old fashioned faucets at the sink.
The food came in 17 minutes and was terrible. The chicken must have been left in an oven on a low heat since the morning as it was dry. So, so dry - easily the driest piece of meat I have been served in a Nando's. And, for only the second time at a Nando's, I had to remove the skin. Not because it was burnt, it just tasted very strange... and I can't quite put my finger on what it tasted like - I just know it wasn't good.
I was hoping for someone to come over, but I was never checked on once during the meal...