Review of 'Navio Lounge'

20231125_133314.jpg It was with great excitement that we greeted the arrival of Navio Lounge into the old Barclays Bank building in the Nantwich Town Square. Losing the bank was not all that great but it was good to see the space being used again. Not only that, it was replaced with a casual-style restaurant that promises great things: Tapas, flatbreads, burgers, salads…brunch! My companion had visited a month or so ago with my mother and had reported their breakfast was very good, thank you, so it was only a matter of time before I was able to pay it a visit myself.

Visiting on a market Saturday this new restaurant was quite busy. They do not accept reservations but we only had to wait a few minutes before being shown to a table near the kitchen. Ordering is as you might expect at a pub: You go to the bar to order, giving your table number and a short time later your meal and/or drinks are delivered to your table. The menu is your placemat with one half devoted to drinks and the other to food, where it was nice to see that there are a few lunch time or daily specials available (there is also a small 4 item seasonal special menu on the table). I was also particularly pleased to see a few interesting non-alcoholic drinks on offer, drinks that are not necessarily fizzy, overly sweet, or meant for children. Prices throughout are generally quite reasonable with no dish costing more than £20 (the most expensive is the “Steak Frites” at £19.75).


“Navio Lounge” is one of the informal cafés in the “Lounges” chain which all feature a fairly kitche design as their trademark. The interior of Navio I found is trying a bit too hard to be trendy - Clusters of frilly lamp shaded lights hanging above the tables at the front of the restaurant and an overly eclectic mix of pictures and ephemera on the walls. It looks a bit like a film set or a disorganized antique shop. A bar runs along the back of the room with the rest of the space filled with tables which are all quite tightly packed together with the hard furnishings meaning that it can be quite noisy (as it was when we visited).

Bang Bang Chicken

Always on the look out for something a bit different I ordered the “Bang Bang Chicken” (£14.50; “Buttermilk fried chicken with noodles, pak choi, tenderstem broccoli, mushrooms and sugar snap peas topped with bang bang coconut sauce, sesame seeds and chilli”) which, disappointingly, did not come with the coconut sauce and the sole flavour really being of soy sauce. The chicken had no flavour at all but did add a nice crunch to the dish while the noodles and such quite lacklustre.

Chicken Souvlaki

My companion tried the “Chicken Souvlaki” (£9.75; “Grilled herby chicken with tomato & red pepper salsa, red onion and tzatziki”) which was nicely plated on a large, soft, flat bread with chunks of cold (?) chicken and an overpowering tomato salsa. “It was ok”. She ordered a side of fries (£3.10) - sides seem to always be extra here - which were quite adequate but not going to grace the pages of Michelin any time soon.

Even the drinks were a bit of a disappointment, my companion's “Peachy Keen” (£3.75; “Orange juice, cranberry juice and peach purée, topped with lemonade”), from the “Homemade Drinks” tasted decidedly more like soda water than peach. Weird considering she had the same drink a few weeks earlier and found it full of flavour. I have to say my “Sherbet Lemonade” (£3.75; “Lemon, sugar, sherbet and soda”) tasted quite good with just the right balance between sour and sweet.

The service was very polite and we did not wait very long for our food which was great considering how busy the place was. The price was reasonable for the two of us but it was just the food that we really found disappointing. Unfortunate as we had been looking forward to our visit.

An update: Having reported our poor food experience to restaurant management we were sent a polite email indicating that the restaurant would be informed and we were given a gift voucher. So, we will have to wait a few weeks or so to visit again to see if they have made any changes or whether we just picked the wrong food…

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2023-11-25

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 11 Churchyardside, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DH ENGLAND

Location: Cheshire (England) - Nantwich



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1270 303196