Having received good reports of the food at River Garden Chinese restaurant in Belper, I was keen to give it a try.
Open entering, the restaurant seemed to be packed with customers all enjoying their Saturday night – always a good sign.
We were shown in a timely fashion to our seats and immediately asked what drinks we wanted.
My party decided to go for the all you can eat buffet.
The buffet, which costs £13.99 on a Friday and Saturday and £12.99 the rest of the week, offers the diner a choice of 85 dishes with 17 vegetarian options, so every taste is catered for.
Rather than the usual buffet hassle – forming a queue plate in hand by an island of hot plates full of bubbling food – we simply ordered what we wanted and had it brought out to out table.
In no time at all, platters of ribs glistening in barbecue sauce, skewers of chicken satay and prawn toast were brought out for us to pick at.
If we ran out of a particular item it didn’t matter, we’d just order more and the platters would be restocked with delicious food.
Once we’d finished our starters, the mains were brought out in good time – a mouth watering medley of rice and noodle dishes, as well as chicken beef and pork in a variety of sauces such as black bean, kung po and oyster.
I’ll admit, I’m more likely to go for Indian food than Chinese food, however the variety of flavours and textures was enough to satisfy my palate.
Despite the restaurant being very busy and being part of a large group of people myself, the service was impeccable.
No one was ever waiting too long for a drink and the timing of the courses was perfect. The staff were helpful and never seemed too rushed to deal with us.
All–in–all it was a good experience, if I had to choose one fault it would be that at the end of the evening we were the only people left in the restaurant and it felt slightly awkward when the staff started to sack the chairs on the empty tables despite it being only 10.30pm.
River Garden, Bridge Street, Belper 01773 822468