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Lunch at the Nando's in Princes Quay in Kingston-Upon-Hull
Nando's, Unit CU5, Harbour Deck, Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 3UJ.
Nando's are a chain of Portuguese chicken restaurants, serving chicken as well as burgers, pittas, wraps and salads. This branch is located in the Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull on the Harbour Deck, overlooking the water outside the shopping centre, and has some exterior tables and seating. Nearby parking is paid parking in the shopping centre's car park or, alternatively, paid on-street parking, but the former can be cheaper for longer stays.
The restaurant was visited on a weekday lunchtime. Access to the restaurant is normally from inside the shopping centre but, when it was visited with the weather at the time being good, the exterior doors to the outside seating area were open as well. The place was comparatively quiet, with only a few tables occupied, although some diners were sitting outside. Much of the kitchen is visible from the restaurant.
On entering, how the order system works is explained if you haven't been there before, and you are then shown to a table. When ordering, you have to go to the tills and order and pay for your food. Soft drinks are self-serve, and are available with unlimited refills. Ice, cutlery, napkins and sauces and salad dressings, most of which are in Nando's branded bottles, are available from a separate counter and are self-serve too, as is the frozen yoghurt dessert which is in the same place. Salt and pepper are on the tables.
The drink ordered was an unlimited Coca-Cola, which was as good as can be expected from a draught soft drink. The price of the Coke was £2.45, which would be on the expensive side for one drink, but with unlimited refills being available, it quickly becomes good value for money. Three glasses were had of the Coke.
This was a Chicken Butterfly, which is a skin-on butterfly chicken breast This can come with a sauce, or not if desired, with the sauces ranging from mild to extra hot. The chicken comes with a small flag in it showing how hot it is; useful if several people are ordering the same dish with different sauces.
The chicken was ordered with two side dishes; chips, which can be had with peri-peri salt for an extra 10p, and garlic bread, which came with two pieces. The chicken and the sides were all served on one plate, which was a bit on the small side for the amount of food on it.
The extra hot sauce that came on the chicken isn't really as hot as the menu would suggest, but it is noticeably on the spicy side, so should probably be avoided and replaced with one of the milder sauces for those who do not enjoy spicy foods. The chips were fresh and hot, but the garlic bread, each piece of which seemed to be half of a bun that had been cut in half, was just a little overdone, but not by much; it wasn't hard or dry, but it did have a bit of a crust to the top of it when it should really have been more moist.
Nando's sell a number of different desserts; cakes, cheesecakes, gelado (a type of ice cream) and unlimited flavoured frozen yoghurt. A Gooey Caramel Cheesecake, which came with double cream to pour over it if desired, was the dessert ordered. This was a cheesecake with a thin biscuit base, then a layer of cheese, then one of caramel, which was quite thick, followed by another layer of cheese and topped with a thin layer marbled with more caramel. The piece was quite thin, but was also quite tall, due to the caramel layer, so it probably balanced out.
The cheesecake was quite filling, probably due to the caramel in it, even with how narrow the slice was. The amount of caramel was quite generous, not just a thin layer.
The total price of the meal came to £16.85. Having to go to the counter to order your food is a bit on the inconvenient side when visiting by yourself, but at least there is no problem with other people taking your table, as there is in some places. When the dessert was ordered, though, it was ordered from and paid for at the table, which was more convenient than going to the tills to order it would have been.
The service was fast and friendly, and the main course was brought out only a few minutes after it had been ordered. The dessert was a bit on the expensive side compared to the main course, but this is often the case with dessert dishes.
Overall, the Nando's in Princes Quay served an enjoyable meal at not too bad a price, which was slightly more expensive than a pub lunch would have been, but it was in some aspects better.