Twickenham - Ryan Review
Stopped into this Nando's on my way home... and found out it is a Nino Nando's... which in other words means small. There are some subtle differences compared with a standard Nando's... there are no table numbers, largely because in true casual dining style, you are just seated at a spare chair at any table. You give your name to the till, give an approximate place where you're sitting and then the servers walk into the area shouting your name.
There is also no place to grab your cutlery - it's already at your table in pots. The menu is also smaller so not as much choice is on offer - although there are a couple of different alcoholic drinks added - a Brew Dog beer, a Five Points Brewing beer and two ciders - a Hoxton's and a Westons'. There is also only one toilet cubicle at the back for disabled/men/women collectively. Other than that, it's completely the same.
This Nando's is less than half a mile walk from Twickenham train station - and being Twickenham, right on the Thames and Eel Pie Island. Parking is plentiful. If you fancy a 10-15 minute walk, then there is a Tesco Extra up by the stadium which gives two hours free parking. If you want to park nearer, then Church Lane, York House and Arragon Road are all very close - all council run, so generally cost £1.25/1hr and £2.40/2hrs with a two-hour stay maximum (Arragon Road allows for longer stays at extra cost of £3.50/3hrs, £4.70/4hrs and upwards from there).
I arrived here at around 1:45pm and it was very busy - and I was seated at the only free seating section, right by the entrance on the breakfast bar seating. Excluding the brekfast bar where four people can squeeze onto, there are 8 tables - four six-seater tables and four large two-seater tables. It is very small. The walls are bare brick or clad in wood and the low ceiling is made of dark beams. There's a yellow painted pattern across the beams and walls. There are a couple of canvasses on the bare brick wall. It's very small, so not room to put anything and as the ceiling is low, not much space for big lightshades. It's all round very tight, so not a patch on the big bright colourful restaurants we have come to expect.
I believe the idea of Nino is to also offer a speedier service, but I found that my lunch came in just under 25 minutes. I had the chicken breast burger with one side of chips. The size of the chicke breast was rather small and left plenty of room in the bun. It was also a bit dry in that the chicken wasn't very moist but also a tiny dabbing of sauce was put on. I was also missing the slice of tomato... The chip portion was an average size and were cooked fine.
Staff were doing as expected.