Wembley - High Road - Damien Review
After the crowded messes that were Croydon and Finchley Nando’s, I must admit that the sight of number 104 on Wembley High Road seemed almost like a mirage. No crowds, no noise, and no hour+ wait for a table. Can this be real?
Five of us arrived after work on a Wednesday. The closest station (about five minutes away, along the High Street) is Wembley Central, but I came from Wembley Park station, which is either a 25 minute walk, or a 45 minute traffic jam away from the Nando’s. We walked in to the almost entirely empty restaurant and were soon greeted, and shown to two pushed-together tables in the far corner, near the toilets. Other than a cute elephant ornament by the door, there’s little to write home about, as far as interior is concerned. There are a couple of booths with art hung beside them, but these were (confusingly) both given to groups of two that turned up later (while our group of five were seated at regular tables).
Queuing to order, a member of staff came out the back and asked if we were waiting for a table. The person at the back of the queue then said exactly what food she was waiting to order. I was slightly astonished when the staff member then went and opened a till for the person at the back of the queue!
Once I finally got served, I gave over a gift card (that I’d won from RYN) to part pay for the meal. The guy at the till went to put it in the chip and pin reader, then looked back at me in confusion and asked “what is this?”. “It’s a Nando’s gift card”, I replied. “A what?”. “A gift card, it has money on it”. Without apology, he then called over somebody else who also admitted she wasn’t sure what it was. Eventually, the THIRD person to come over confirmed that Nando’s gift cards existed and showed the first two how to swipe them on the till. I can see that training is not very thorough here in Wembley.
Considering how quiet the restaurant was, we had to wait a long time for the food to start arriving. 20 minutes or more. When the food did arrive, we noticed that all of us had been given peri salt on our chips, whether we’d ordered it or not. Not only that, but it was just a little dusting. So little that those who didn’t want it weren’t too fussed, but those who did required more. My dry chips and half burnt corn was served with the new sunset burger, which I have to say is great. The sweet and savoury combination works a treat. Just like the churrasco thigh burger, it’s a sloppy mess, but it’s a delicious one and I’ll be ordering it again!
While Wembley Nando’s isn’t very organised, it’s nice that we were able to get a table at the time of our convenience, something that can’t be said for a lot of other London branches.