“ 22 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EJ. Tel:01202 552202 „
Iv'e only been to the coriander restaurant once located in central bournemouth and I have to say it was very enjoyable and the food was excellent.
What is it?
The coriander is a mexican themed restaurant serving only mexican style food and so watch out if you dont like spicyish food you wont like this but if you do then this is a winner. The food caters for vegetarians as well as people who suffer from ceoliacs disease which is very rare in restaurants so this is a great point about this restaurant, but overall you cant really go wrong than to go here. Vegans can also enjoy a meal here.
The restaurant is situated over 2 floors, ground and first floor and the tables are all designed with bright colours, rustic orange walls and mexican ornaments, hats and muriels. Its very bright and is attractive to all ages including children as it serves a great kids menu and offers children colouring sheets and crayons also on arrival, to keep them entertained.
Up until 5pm everyday the restaurant serves dishes which are lighter and not as large or filling than a dinner course however all are delicious and are quite substancial for any lunch or late afternoon dinner. The best bit about eating there in the day before 5pm is that kids can eat for just £1 which can save an awful lot of money when taking kids out for dinner. The kids menu ranges from fish fingers and chicken wings, to nachos and tacos and the classic tortillas which can be made up by the child and brings in a lot of fun to the meal and is also a good ply to help fussy eaters enjoy their food and have fun at the same time.
The evening menu is superb, with starters ranging from £2.50 -£6 with a choice from nachos to salsa and pittas, chicken wings, prawns and potato skins this is perfect comfort food with a hint of spice if you desire for any evening in any season.
The main dishes range from £6-11 and are all mexican from burritos, enchilladas, tacos, chilli, gumbo, potato skins and salads and they are big portions to fill you up and the quality of food is excellent. You can without a doubt make this restaurant perfect for a night out with your other half or freind for approx £30 or indeed for a bigger event or party at the weekends as it caters for every occassion. Its got a great party atmousphere so to hold a party here is definately a must.
The restaurant is located on the top of richmond hill in bournemouth and there are parking facilities with a car park both next to it and across the road and taxis are easily availiable all around the immediate area. If you go however especially in the evening and more especially at the weekend booking is advised as it does get incredibly busy.
A fabulous fun restaurant with great food to match and the price cannot be beaten.
I would really recommend you visit this restaurant if you are in Bournemouth!
Environment: Brightly coloured, cosy, mexican style music, upbeat party type atmosphere. There is a guitar on the wall upstairs, and on one occasion when we happened to be dining at the same time as a stag party, on of the 'stags' took the guitar from the wall and began to play, the whole of the upstairs ended up joining in and singing the songs! Fantastic fun!
The table mats are plain paper, and crayons are waiting on your table - the restaurant is decorated all over with prime examples of table art. I fun way to pass the time whilst waiting for your meal!
Food: An excellent selection of traditional mexican starters, mains and desserts. I personally recommend the 'Banoffee Nachos' a sweet take on the fried tortilla chip snack, which is absolutely delicious, and something a bit different to your regular pudding!
Drink: A wide selection of soft drinks, beers, wines and cocktails - including of course home made sangria! Also a variety of coffees and shots are available. (On our visits we have been presented with a free shot of tequila at the end of our meal!).
Service: The restaurant is always very busy, so I would recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Having said that, the staff are always attentive, friendly and polite, and we have never had a problem with waiting times. The prices are reasonable, and at the end of the meal you'll be given a little pot of corriander to take home (collect 5 pots and receive money off your meal!).
Coriander is an established Mexican restaurant in the Richmond Hill area of Bournemouth. It has been running for 27 years now but at the current premises since the late 90s. I went there with a group of friends in early August 2009 for dinner on a Saturday evening. It was chosen by the one of my friends who had eaten there several times in the past.
On entering the restaurant I was a bit dismayed as it looked rather small with maybe 10 tables on street level which were all occupied. I was quite relieved to be advised that we would be seated upstairs. We climbed the rather awkward spiral staircase to get upstairs and were seated at a table for 4. I would mention here that I was pretty disgusted with the handrail when walking up the stairs as it was awfully sticky on both sides.
The decor in general was quite typical of most Mexican restaurants I've been to so I guess it was authentic enough - I haven't personally visited Mexico so I wouldn't know if "real" Mexican restaurants look like this.
There were about 20 tables upstairs and unfortunately we were seated next to an extremely rowdy and coarse bunch of women out on a hen night. I found the seating layout of the upstairs to be quite spacious, which is definitely a good point - I'm really not keen on restaurant that try to pack in so many tables that you bash the person seated on the table behind you every time you need to get up from the table.
I visited the toilets once during the evening and was quite shocked to see a picture of a woman sitting on a toilet seat with a Mexican hat covering her bare lap - I thought it was rather a risqué thing to have on a toilet door when you can just have "ladies" or "gents" on the door. Aside from that I found the toilets to be fairly average, they were not very clean but I've seen worse in restaurants.
Coriander is definitely NOT disabled friendly; the spiral staircase is awkward enough for able-bodied people but one of our group had a crutch and found it quite difficult getting up the stairs. I don't know what they have in place for wheelchair users but there's no lift and the toilets are on the 1st floor so it's not really a place I'd recommend for disabled patrons (although the website states that there is disabled access on the ground floor).
I found the menu to be fairly average compared to other Mexican restaurants I've been to. It consisted of typical Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, etc. Starters includes dishes such as chicken wings, potato skins, garlic bread (ok they're not very Mexican) but of course there were items such as nachos, tortilla chips, etc. A sample of the prices so you can decide whether the restaurant is in your price range should you choose to visit:
* Tortilla chips with salsa = £2.50
* Hongos con Crema (mushrooms) = £5.35
* Nachos = £5.35
* Potato skins = £4.85 or £5.35 (depending on toppings)
* Gambas Mexicana (tiger prawns) = £6.25
* Garlic & cheese bread = £3.45
* Enchildas = from £8.95 - £10.45 (served with rice, beans or salad)
* Quesadillas = £8.65 or £8.95 (also served with rice, beans or salad)
* Chimichangas = £8.95 or £9.95
* Chilli (beef) with rice & tortillas = £9.35
* Fajitas (for 1 or 2 persons) = chicken £12.35 or £23.70, beef sirloin £13.50 or £26.00, tiger prawns £14.50 or £28.00
As well as the above there were also set meals for a minimum of 2 people which were about the same price per head as some of the main dishes. They also offer party menus (if you want to check out all of the dishes available you can have a look here http://www.coriander-restaurant.co.uk/alacarte/index.asp )
Our dining group ended up having fajitas, a mixture of prawn, chicken and beef. One of our group wanted the tiger prawn dish for her main course but was advised it was not available which I thought was rather strange as she then went on to order tiger prawns for her fajitas.
We were given ample sauces for our fajitas such as salsa, chilli, guacamole, grated cheese and sour cream and the staff were happy to refill our sauces as often as we needed.
We were given our main courses within a reasonable time and we all enjoyed the actual meal although I have to say that none of us were particularly impressed with the guacamole sauce which I feel is quite an important aspect of a fajitas meal normally. The portion sizes were more than ample and we struggled to get anywhere near finishing our whole main course so we were very glad we didn't order starters. We were also unable to order any desserts due to being so full but the ones we saw in the display cabinet downstairs looked delicious, especially the cheesecake.
With our meal we had a couple of cocktails each which were priced at around £4.50. The full drinks menu is available here: http://www.coriander-restaurant.co.uk/drinks/index.asp
I found the atmosphere quite sombre when we initially walked into the restaurant on the street level but as soon as we were seated at our upstairs table we all knew it was going to be a nightmare trying to have any level of conversation. The very rowdy group on the next table of about 10 females on a hen night seemed to think they were the only customers in the whole restaurant and their constant screeching and laughter just made it impossible for us to have much in the way of dinner conversation. It was worse than being in a nightclub and we were very relieved when they all left but that was only about 20 minutes before we were finished and ready to leave. The customers on the other neighbouring tables were constantly frowning at the hen party group and I'm pretty sure the 2 couples sitting on nearby tables also regretted coming to that restaurant on this particular evening. By the time the hen party had left we were one of just two tables of customers left upstairs and I did have the feeling that the staff were just waiting for us to finish our cocktails and leave.
Music-wise they were playing quite pleasant easy to listen to Mexican music but we didn't actually get to hear ANY of this until the hen crowd left the restaurant.
I have to say that I wasn't impressed with the overall service we received. I asked for a glass of water and had to remind them after 15 minutes as they still hadn't brought it over. They took ages to bring our 2nd round of cocktails to us even though the restaurant was almost empty by then. When these cocktails were eventually brought over they had got mine wrong and had to take it away to make another one - I didn't even get a chance to say "I didn't actually order that!" The waiter himself realised as soon as he reached our table. I also found it rather strange that when one of my friends asked what coffee liqueurs were available the waitress said everything, my friend asked for Drambuie and was told there wasn't anything so she asked what there actually was then and the waitress could only remember Cointreau to which my friend said definitely not. The waitress went away to find out what else there was and came back and started off with Cointreau yet again (obviously a very short memory span) and could just remember one other liqueur available for coffee, my friend just ordered that rather than having to go through the palaver of the waitress going off again! Overall the staff were polite enough when serving us but we did have to wait for a while to get their attention when we wanted the bill and ended up having to actually wave at them and say "Can we have the bill please!"
Our bill was presented to us and I noted that they hadn't applied the 10% discount to which we were entitled. The hotel we stayed at advertised that you get 10% discount if you booked a meal with certain restaurants and as we were planning to go to this one anyway it was handy that it was on the list. The hotel made the booking and gave us a discount voucher. When the bill arrived my friends did actually forget to check if the discount had been applied but when we pointed it out, they took the bill away with the voucher and amended it. It had initially come to just under £90 for 4 of us and once amended it was just under £80.
A service charge was not included (which is a plus point for me - I don't like restaurants assuming I'll want to pay a service charge especially when I receive poor service). We didn't think the service was great but we still left a £5 tip.
I thought it was a nice touch that they gave a small pot of coriander with the bill which is something they've been doing for years (as my friend who'd been there numerous times previously advised me) but it might have been nicer had we ALL got a pot. There were no mints or chocolates given with the bill.
I doubt I'd visit this restaurant again if I'm spending time in Bournemouth; it was just very average for me. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
OTHER PERTINENT INFO
22 Richmond Hill
Tel: 01202 552202
Opening times: 7 days a week - 12 noon to 10pm as stated on the website (which I believe is incorrect as we booked in for 9.30pm and left shortly before midnight).
Children welcome till 7pm only.
Large vegetarian selection available.
Coriander has a fun lively atmosphere and we have been serving great Mexican food for the past 22 years. Parties have become our speciality. If you wish to book a party at the weekend please book early as we have limited space.