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66 Hanover Place, Coleraine, County Londonderry BT52 1EB
028 7034 2222
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Chinese food at its best!
Belfast, United Kingdom
August 12, 2012
Best of IgoUgo
We recently made a visit to the Water Margin Restaurant in the town of Coleraine, near the North Coast of Northern Ireland for a meal and were extremely impressed with the quality of food and the prices! The Water Margin restaurant in Coleraine is ...
We recently made a visit to the Water Margin Restaurant in the town of Coleraine, near the North Coast of Northern Ireland for a meal and were extremely impressed with the quality of food and the prices!
The Water Margin restaurant in Coleraine is situated in a perfect location along the River Bann that flows through the town, converted into a restaurant from part of the old boat house, the bottom level of which still acts as the boat house for the Bann Rowing Club in the town. Most visitors into the town will most likely pass this restaurant as they travel around the one way traffic system.
Parking at the weekend is difficult. THere is free street parking nearby which helps, but the actual car park beside the restaurant is small and since this restaurant provides a take away service as well, it means some of the cars parked aren't actually restaurant eaters meaning spaces can be taken very easily.
Since we arrived before 6.30 pm we were able to avail of the Shoppers Menu which is the equivalent of an early bird menu, though you would need to be seated by at least 6.15 and ordered quickly to ensure you get this menu, as there is a second sitting with the full price menu. The Shoppers Menu is a four course menu costing just under £14 which is exceptionally good value, and the amount of people in the restaurant is a testimony to how popular this early bird deal is!
When you enter the restaurant there are those queued to pick up their take away meals, but you able to by pass those waiting and get taken to your table, which we had booked in advance. We were given a quiet table for two, that had enough room that we were able to talk without our conversation being overheard by the table next to us, which I like. I hate being cramped in tables lined up side by side.
There were a great selection of starters and main courses on the menu to choose from and there should be something to suit everyone from the traditional chinese soup to garlic mushrooms as starters. I had the mushrooms which came on a thin pancake style base and they were delicious - just the right amount for a starter so to leave room for the main course, but I could have ate an entire plateful as they were really tasty. My husband had the soup and although he isn't a great fan of Chinese cooking he enjoyed it as well.
For the main course, again there was a big selection of typical chinese dishes with different choices of meat. I ordered Beef Satay and my husband ordered Beef with Black Bean sauce. Dishes all come with a choice of boiled rice or fried rice. WE bought opted for the latter.
Service for both the starter and main course were excellent. Although staff were efficient, they weren't in your face and you didn't feel rushed, but at the same time, you didn't need to sit a long time before your dish was taken away. Before the main course arrived, a server comes to light the candles under the heater on the table so when you meal comes it can be kept warm. I thought there was something nice and romantic about this.
Even when the main course comes along, the server actually serves you a spoonful of rice onto your plate before leaving you a bowlful of the rest to eat with your meal. It is this little attention to detail which makes the service at this restaurant second to none. My husband and I decided to share our main dishes so we had half of each, and there wasn't a single bit left on either dish by the end as it was simply delicious.
I was interested to see what the dessert menu would entail as I didn't think CHinese menu's really offered much in the way of desserts. However, on this part they swayed more to the typical restaurant menu. I chose Black Forest Gateau, and my husband had the roulade and again both had been very well made and tasted great, but we could have chosen any of the desserts on the menu as they all looked lovely.
The fourth course of the meal was tea and coffee and we enjoyed this as a way to wash down our meal as it came to an end and were able to chat over it. By the time we had finished this however those coming for the second sitting of the evening were arriving, and we ourselves felt we had better ask for the bill.
For less than £14 for a four course meal, I thought it was excellent value. THe location and the food were superb and the service next to none, and even if you don't like Chinese food, there are enough other options to choose from to have something you enjoy.