Nandos, Unit CU5, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Hull, HU1 3UJ.
Unit CU5, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Hull, HU1 3UJ
Nandos is a nationwide chain of restaurants most widely known for their chicken dishes, although they do serve other foods such as burgers, pittas and salads. This location is in the bottom floor of the Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull, at the edge of the shopping centre with one side of the restaurant overlooking the water on the eastern side of Princes Quay next to the Pizza Express.
The restaurant was visited in the late afternoon to early evening on a weekday. The restaurant was very nearly empty when first entered, with only one table being occupied, and was only slightly busier when left, with only two other tables having guests.
A greeter meets you when you enter the restaurant, and asks if you have visited Nandos before. You are then taken to your table and given a menu. To order, you must go to the tills and place your order there and pay for it upfront. Condiments, soft drinks, napkins and cutlery can then be collected from a counter which holds them all. A majority of the sauces available in bottles are those used to season the food on the menu.
For some of the soft drinks on the menu, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, you can get them as a "bottomless" option, which meant they could be refilled as many times as wanted from the drink dispensers on the previously mentioned counter. Draught soft drinks may be of a poorer quality than bottled or canned, but the unlimited refills, in this case, three glasses of Coca-Cola, makes them good value for money, and better value the more you have.
Most of the main meals on the menu had the option of adding one regular side dish, or two normal side or one fino, "posh," side, with the exception of the salads and the platters (the latter being available with more). For the chicken dishes, this came to £2.90 extra for adding two sides to the meal, which was good value for two regular sides.
There were a number of strengths of peri-peri sauce that could be added to the chicken dishes, from the mild Lemon & Herb or Mango & Lime through to Extra Hot, or they could be had plain, with just the normal peri-peri marinade. If you are used to hot dishes, you will probably find the Extra Hot is not as hot as it is made out to be on the menu. If you aren't used to hot foods, it is probably best to exercise caution.
The dish ordered was a 1/2 chicken with two regular sides, one of chips with peri-peri spice and one of two pieces of garlic bread.
The meal was served quickly, well under ten minutes, which wasn't too surprising given how empty the restaurant was. The 1/2 chicken came in two pieces, which made it easier to eat than if it had come as one piece, especially as the plate was a bit cramped with the chicken, chips and garlic bread. Everything was cooked properly and was the right temperature; the chips were nice, the garlic bread was still moist and the chicken was nice, the Extra Hot sauce spicy, although not to the level expected from the menu.
The previous experience with Nandos in the St Stephens Shopping Centre promised more than was delivered. This time, the meal did live up to expectations. The food was served much faster, so everything was the correct temperature and the garlic bread hadn't dried out.
The unlimited soft drink refills are good value for money, as soft drink get expensive very quickly.
The venue itself wasn't that busy, but the shopping centre itself was very quiet, and quite a number of the nearby units were vacant. It is possible that the place does get busier later in the evening from people visiting the cinema in the shopping centre.
Overall, an enjoyable meal served very quickly. Nandos did live up to what I thought it could. The total cost, including a bottomless drink, came to £12.30, not too expensive for an evening meal.