13 restaurants in Walton-on-Thames
Restaurants in Walton-on-Thames:
The Heart, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1GH [Map]
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Your peri-peri chicken, when the chips are down so to speak, is a fresh A grade chicken that has never seen the inside of a freezer, but having made the supreme sacrifice is butterfly-cut, marinated for 24 hours in a secret brew called - you've guessed - peri-peri, and is then cooked to your choice over an open flame.
There are, of course, many variations on this broad theme, numerous plays on words such as Nando's experi-perience, peri-peri good reasons why you should eat at a Nando's, and all one hopes is that for their sake chicken never goes out of fashion. New Nando's are opening all the time, peri-peri quickly in fact, the spicy bastes become hotter and more daring, and the full platter offers a whole chicken, large chips or spicy rice and Nando's salad or coleslaw.
Since chickens are vegetarian it seems logical you can order veggie or bean burgers and patties, and still feel the heat from the peppers. All in all, Nando's is hotly recommended for those occasions when you have a large following of permanently hungry children, or adults even, to keep happy - the only thing taken really seriously is the quality of those peri-peri good chickens.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
For the location of your nearest Nando's restaurant and a host of details about menus, parties and drinks, a click on their Website will reveal a Pandora's box of information.
8b The Heart (opposite Homebase), Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1ET [Map]
When you enter a chain restaurant there is always a sense of déjà vu, yet with the twelve outlets of Giraffe, this may not really be true. Russel and Juliette Joffe and Andrew Jacobs' philosophy behind this group of restaurants is sustaining the driving force of healthy, happy eating, while retaining the difference each location brings. This includes minor variations in the menu too, and explains why the restaurant does not like to be called a chain, but prefers being referred to as a herd. The origin of its quaint name too, is interesting. The giraffe has the largest heart in the animal kingdom, and with its magnificent height is able to perceive things differently. These two features of being different and large hearted sum up the restaurant's proclamation of 'love, eat, live'.
Giraffe offers world food and adds an unusual twist to some familiar dishes. Their breakfast menu has stacked pancakes with bananas and blueberries, warm waffles, ranch styles tostadas and healthy veggie options. Some great starters are a mezze plate with warm naans that offer the best of many cuisines - grilled halloumi, hummus, tzatiki, ratatouille and falafel. Japanese king fried prawns are a hit, while another bright spot on the menu, is the colourful sunshine antipasti bruschetta, a clever combination of artichokes, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, roasted peppers, red onion and rocket on pesto foccacia. If this long list of ingredients is intriguing, just wait until your palate takes over.
The house's special salad, cheekily called 'more than love', is colourful and has crunchy appeal. The Thai chicken and vermicelli noodle version is an equally enticing starter. For mains, there are plenty of options like roasted corn and chilli bran burritos, tangy turkey enchiladas and the much loved sweet potatoes, asparagus, green beans and broccoli served with organic brown basmati rice. One can also settle for a good old burger and wash it down with interesting smoothies. They also offer world wines and unusual cocktails with catchy names like Bombay flower and pomegranate caipirinha.
The dessert section comprises of not just fruit based healthy desserts, but brilliant stars like Swiss mountain chocolate cheesecake, banana waffle split and rocky road ice cream sundaes, which transport the diner to a state of bliss. The friendly staff, who are carefully hired for their sunny disposition, and children's activities help make these restaurants a very special, happy and healthy treat indeed.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
Unit 6, The Heart, New Zealand Avenue, Walton on Thames, KT12 1GH [Map]
The Heart, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1GH [Map]
Things seem to move fast at Wagamama - the Asian inspired, noodle restaurant chain that was started in 1992. As soon as you decide what you want to eat, your order is taken via a PDA, and wirelessly networked to the kitchen, so it can be made fresh and served right after. The restaurant chain does not believe in taking reservations, and all customers are seated on a first come, first serve basis. In fact, be aware that most of the tables are long ones and you will often be asked to share them.
The restaurants are modelled on traditional Japanese ramen bars that have been popular for hundreds of years - ramen are Japanese style noodles, served in a meat-based broth, topped with pork, dried seaweed or even corn. Chilli beef ramen, made of noodles in a spicy pork and chicken soup topped with a marinated and grilled sirloin steak and fresh vegetables, is hearty and satisfying.
Apart from ramen, you could opt for the coconut soup based kare noodles or teppan, cooked on a hot, flat griddle. They also offer many rice dishes like katsu curry, chicken fillet deep-fried in panko breadcrumbs, served with a lightly spiced curry sauce and sticky white rice. Vegetarians are definitely not ignored, as they can opt for saien soba, made using whole-wheat noodles in a soup topped with stir-fried vegetables, seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil and garnished with sliced spring onion.
Meat and vegetable dumplings, skewered chicken, deep-fried prawns and raw salads double as both sides and starters. Steamed green soya-beans, called edamame, go well with drinks - hold them up to your mouth and squeeze the succulent beans from the pod. If you've noticed, Wagamama is more about eating healthy food fast and less about the order. Don't be surprised if you're served the main course before the side dish - order isn't important, the aim is, don't wait - just tuck in and share.
Wash down your meal with sake, plum wine or even a Japanese beer. Wind up your meal with coconut reika - three scoops of dairy coconut ice cream topped with a fresh, tangy mango sauce and toasted coconut flakes or the tamarind and chilli Pavlova, with a crunchy meringue base served with a raspberry and tamarind sauce.
At Wagamama, you can also shop for cookbooks, sauces, ramen bowls and t-shirts. The restaurant is all about enjoying genuine, reasonably priced, Pan-Asian cuisine in a sleek but informal setting.
Fast Food, Japanese
The Heart, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1GH [Map]
Carluccio's was started by Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio as a small café and shop stocking Italian food and ingredients in 1991, and grew into a restaurant serving authentic cuisine at sensible prices in 1999. Antonio is an expert on food and has been a wine merchant, restaurant manager and owner, cookery expert on television and author of twelve cookery books. It is therefore not surprising, that today Carluccio's has over fourty-nine outlets across the UK.
Antonio believes Italian cookery involves minimum fuss and maximum flavour. This is exactly what his restaurants try to do by using fresh produce, and working largely with families who make things the traditional way - with care. Their passion also translates into special events like hands-on cookery classes and recipe sharing, Antonio and his team regularly organise for interested guests. They also offer takeaways and a catering service.
The breakfast menu offers croissants and breads served with butter and preserves or honey and free range eggs, either scrambled or fried and served with pancetta or ciabatta. They also have long cured Parma ham and healthier options like muesli and fruits. These are best had with coffee, tea or freshly squeezed juice. Carluccio's offers an impressive list of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines which complement your meal.
The restaurants offer a range of soup and salads which give your meal a nutritious start before moving on to the mains. If you like pasta, enjoy the small filled parcels served in a ham and cream sauce, or sample the Neapolitana spaghetti with whole fresh clams, garlic, herbs and chilli. The branzino con salsa e patate, fillet of pan fried sea bass served with tomato salsa and sautéed potatoes and Somerset rib-eye steak with rosemary potatoes, called bistecca di bue con patate, are good options too. If you are looking for something lighter, you could opt for the numerous sides called contorni and panini.
In the Tuscany region of Italy, meals end simply with almond biscuits dipped in a sweet local wine, Vin Santo and eaten. You can enjoy that experience at Carluccio's, or settle for a more conventional dolci of tiramisu, warm chocolate and kahlua pudding, your choice of Italian cheeses or gelatos in different flavours.
111-115 New Zealand Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1QA [Map]
Pizza Express remains a hugely popular bedrock of casual eating. Its popularity is testimony to the fact that across the country, they have restaurants where you will always be guaranteed a good nosh, with children's tastes being well catered for.
Pizza Express has gone even more Roman, and following the success of that particular example of listening to their public have introduced Romana pizzas, including the scorching Etna and the hearty Siciliana.
These pizzas are now thinner, bigger and crispier, and if that sounds like a marketing line, it is. However, unlike many such lines, this one is true, and their quality is always consistent, though cleverly they have still managed to retain a homemade feel to their pizzas.
As an alternative to pizza, try their pollo pesto - cavatappi pasta with torn chicken breast, mushrooms, red onions and mozzarella in a creamy gruyere, parmesan and pesto sauce and finished with grana padano - or the niçoise salad with mixed leaves, yellowfin tuna, free range egg, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes with olives, anchovies, capers and house dressing.
Many of the big chains have come a long way, and Pizza Express is certainly amongst them. One of the first to be quoted on the Stock Exchange - in 1993 - Pizza Express is not a franchise operation and retains tight control through its own staff.
Their wine list - though short - contains some surprisingly good offerings, especially their intense Australian Chardonnay, and a big, full-bodied Merlot from Cusumano, Sicilia.
Pizza & Pasta
More restaurants in Walton-on-Thames:
Featured Restaurant Group
Should you feel an American moment coming on, get straight into the mood at a TGI Friday's. First thought of in New York in 1965, introduced to Birmingham, UK in 1986, they now, like so many other American concepts, are to be found on a global basis and have 45 outlets in the UK alone.
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