My family and I have a well-deserved takeout night on the last Friday of each month. The food we get can range from Indian or Chinese to McDonalds. We aren’t used to changing our tastes or trying local foods, but when I had overheard numerous comments complimenting the tenderness of the chicken and crisp of the fries within the restaurant; I knew I had to coax my family into trying it out. Them being of black Caribbean descent, it was a short argument given on my behalf after I used the words ‘tender’ and ‘chicken’.
There are multiple things I could say about Peri Peri; beautiful and perfectly cooked food, immediate and substantial service, aesthetic seating areas; but I would be deceiving my fellow meat lovers. My most local branch of the soul destroying chain is based in the heart of Chesham. Being clogged with mismatched furniture and unsanitary tables, the supposed ‘restaurant’ is a disease outbreak waiting to happen, and that’s a severe understatement. With your starving body wrenching, urging you forward into the warm and delicious smelling restaurant, I urge you to smack your body out of its delusion and go get a Chinese from next door.
The outside of the restaurant looks very alluring, with its lively lights and the luminescent green sign advertising their contact details. A sign pokes out the right side of the slowly crumbling piece of rubble, with black writing in different languages. This should be an indication that it is a diverse, multicultural and an understanding restaurant, but this eatery is anything but. The steamy windows glowing warmly, give off a comfortable homely impression, and can easily distort your view, but this drastically changes once you step over the threshold. The stench of grease and hot air assault your every sense, your eyes watering from both the thick smoke clouding your view and from your weeping tears after realising you had made a ghastly mistake.
There are 4 large tables present, one in each corner of the restaurant. Each filth soaked plank of the sinisterly painted wood, is scarcely standing even with the support of the tarnished metal poles that had been shambolically shoved underneath them. Four dirty red leather chairs surround each one of the tables; each one with its own unique mark of perversion. Full of grease and dirt, the shabby tiled floor slides you all the way to the front desk where you will get some questionable serving attitudes. After you encounter the servers with strong accents, exasperatingly trying to take your order, you have to stand awkwardly and peer through the windows. It was strange. The glow that was given off created a homely impression on entrance, disappears worryingly, as if it was only supposed to lure you in with its bright lights and trap you like a mouse.
In my most recent visit, I placed a telephone order for collection in the hope I could eat straight away. I specifically asked for a giant chicken fillet burger meal with no mayonnaise and a Tango orange drink. When I came to collect, not only did it take over 45 minutes to get into my hungry mouth but it was slathered in the devilish white sauce. I went back to the counter and tried re-ordering but nobody was there to be seen. I shouted for assistance but nobody answered. As I peered through what I could only assume was the kitchen, although I’m not sure due to the layers of grime impeding my sight, I could see the few unkempt staff standing in the doorway, smoking. Disgusting. I yelled, but nobody turned around. I took my seat once more and tried my best to salvage my burger, which was now cold, by scraping off the offending sauce with a napkin, but I did not enjoy my burger. I’m not sure whether this service stays within the walls of the Chesham branch or if it extends into the whole company, but I am sure that I will not be eating there again.
With a range of burgers, wraps, kebabs, chicken pieces, desserts, drinks and other side orders,the food itself, when ordered and made correctly, is quite enjoyable. If have a lot of time to spare and have the patience of a saint, I would recommend you going to Peri Peri in Chesham. If you lack patience and refuse to be subjected to ill manners and ignorance, like myself, I advise you to run in the opposite direction. Fast!