Recently Nicky and I decided to go to the Oriental Buffet on Durham River Side named Inshanghai, we had been meaning to go for a little while now and therefore decided we would go with the kids. We went at around 15:00hrs which meant the buffet price was cheaper at the price of £6.90 rather than the higher rate of £12.50 after 17:00hrs.
The restaurant is in a lovely location right on Durham’s picturesque river banks with normally easy accessibility. However, as the renovations and expansion of Durham’s Prince Bishop shopping centre is currently happening access for Wheelchairs and in our case pushchairs needs a bit of local knowledge. We decided to go down past the Champagne bar and cross the river at the Radisson Hotel to then walk along to Inshanghai, which is an extra 5 – 10-minute walk than normally take to get to the restaurant. If however you don’t need easy accessibility for pushchairs or wheelchairs you can simply follow the normal route at Prince Bishops shopping centre down the stairs and straight to the front door.
On arrival, a young lady named Marissa welcomed us and took us to a location within the restaurant which was perfect for us, due to having two pushchairs down to a more private place in which we were not in the way of other customers. She got us our drinks, Nicky and I had Diet Cokes with Ice which was priced at £1.80 which is great comparing it to over local food and drink establishments. The seating of the location is great, well-spaced out so you’re not sitting on top of each other, secondly the restaurant has a good amount of seating areas so you could easily fit a large party with a bar at the entrance. The lighting in the restaurant I must admit is dimmed lighting which works well with the style of the restaurant itself, the buffet is situated perfectly in the middle of the seating area too. All in all, the layout can’t be faulted.
One of the most if not the most important thing is food, the selection on offer and quality. There’s a wide range of food to suite everyones dining. The first plate of grub I had was Chips, Battered Chicken Balls, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Egg Fried Rice and some Chicken Curry. A mad mix of things I know, first the chips on this plate were rather cold however I will say they were the last few and when Nicky went up there was a new batch nice and hot so I was just unlucky. The Chicken Balls were fantastic in fact some of the best I’ve had, the chicken was cooked perfectly and with the sweet and sour it was magic in my mouth. The Chicken Curry, now I love Chinese chicken curry and a lot of the time it’s hard to impress me with them, the one on offer at Inshanghai I honestly loved. The chicken again was amazing and the flavour of the sauce was beautiful. I personally was not overly excited about the egg fried rice just for some reason I couldn’t ‘love it’.
Plate number two (I wonder why I have a large waist), I decided to go with the Chicken Balls and Sweet and Sour again and some more of the curry but I also went for a few different items. I had some Sweet and Sour Shredded Pork and Prawns. The pork I did not like the product was cold and just not enjoyable the prawn was nice not a huge seafood lover but they tickled my taste buds. Overall the food Nicky and I had was lovely we both enjoyed what we ate and got a chance to try new things which is always great.
Time for Dessert, now I know from experience that Inshanghai don’t exactly stand out for Desserts so it’s never changed since I went around 2 years ago. Firstly, although there’s some choice it’s boring to me, tubs of 3 different flavours of Ice Cream, a selection of fruit, Chocolate sponge, jelly and rice pudding. Now I do understand for the money I’ve paid that’s what I should expect but what I do thing should be on offer is a dessert menu, so a set price dessert for those like myself who fancy something a little more presentable and appealing. I’d personally be happy to pay £3.50 – £4.50 for a Ice Cream Sundae or nicely presented fresh chocolate brownie with ice cream etc. I do honestly feel Inshanghai are missing a trick here something they should think about. We all love dessert so why not offer this extra on top?
For those interested in drinks such as cocktails I personally never sampled any on this occasion was tempted though! I’ve spoke to a friend of mine who has told me that the cocktails from inshanghai are fantastic and it’s his go to place for ‘pre-drinks’.
I think by the review you know what I’m going to say, I enjoyed it fully the customer service was great, the food was great minus obviously, dessert, drinks are well priced and so on. My issue now it’s nothing major but it’s something I do like to take notice of is the toilets and the ones in the restaurant were not that good in fact personally I would compare them to an old public toilet situated in the city not a restaurant toilet. However, overall, I’d rate my experience at a high 7/10 would have been 9/10 if they had that extra dessert option menu.
Would I go back again? Yes 100%, the staff are extremely polite, the food is good and hopefully a dessert menu separate pricing next time.