Watford - High Street - Damien Review
Due to the impending roadblock that is Nando's 85: Middlesbrough, we've taken our merry time to get to 84. Being London(ish), we decided to visit Watford High Street Nando's during an actual Sunday among the gulf of Sunday-like days between Christmas and New Year.
Watford isn't too difficult to get to from Central London. Even with various transport links down, it didn't take us too long to get there on the Overground. Some of us also drove and had to pay to park in the nearby shopping centre. Said shopping centre is closer to a newer, plusher-looking Nando's, but we were here for the original Watford Nando's, another 5 minutes away, past a whole load of shops and in the New Watford Market area.
When our group of 8 arrived, we were told there'd be a 15 minute wait for a table. We were given an empty offer to wait in the restaurant. It was cold outside, so most of us agreed that we didn't mind. When I said we'd wait, the guy with the clipboard told us that it'd be crammed and we probably shouldn't. I got the feeling he wanted us to give up and try their sister restaurant instead. We left for 15 minutes, spending it mainly in the local charity shops.
Back in the Nando's we were seated on a long table in a very hot and smoky area at the back of the building, towards the toilets. The décor in general was pretty standard, with no amazing light fittings or anything particularly new or unique that I noticed. The arch that we were sitting under was the only feature I'd say the place had. That and a sign on the toilet door telling you that you're on CCTV.
There was a little confusion with the queueing system, but the till staff were quick enough. Soon, our food started arriving. It didn't arrive in the same order that we'd ordered it in, though. There were in fact huge gaps between plates arriving, with the staff having to be reminded a couple of times for the last couple of dishes (which included a cursed veggie option). My own food arrived about third or fourth, enough time for me to tuck into my whole chicken. I'd redeemed this, as I knew that the chicken would be small, being in a Halal restaurant. My prejudices were confirmed when I received a well-manageable whole chicken along with some spicy rice and a pretty small and dry portion of Peri chips.
Beside the wait for food, the relentless smoke and the usual Nando's elevated noise levels, this was a pretty good visit. The chicken, while not the plumpest I've had, was moist and spicy. Nobody among us seemed to have any major issues. I think a redesigned entrance/queue system and a working grill extractor is all this place needs to compete with the best.