“ Restaurant serving all you can eat buffet / Address: 148 - 154 Waterloo Road, Blackpool, FY4 2AF / Tel: 01253 344292 „
Looking for somewhere special to eat in Blackpool? Take a trip to the Gurkha Buffet Restaurant located on Waterloo Road south shore. You will find an amazing variety of tasty food served in a friendly atmosphere. Booking is a must over the weekend as word of mouth recommendations have made this one of Blackpool`s busiest restaurants. On entering you will be greeted at the reception and taken to your table by one of the smartly dressed waiting staff. Take a moment to admire the displays of Gurkha military mementoes which will give you an idea of their proud history and association with the British Army. The owners are ex British soldiers and are always happy to chat about their homelands and history.
The restaurant is busy and vibrant making it ideal for groups and parties. Order your drinks at the table, be sure to try the Gurkha beer, then it`s off to the buffet tables and on an exotic eastern journey through China, India, Thailand, Malaya and Singapore before finishing in Nepal with the famous lamb Gurkha curry. The buffet is "eat as much as you want" which is an ideal way of sampling the many foods on offer. The menu is constantly changed, the chef`s select up to forty amazing dishes from over one hundred and fifty each day. There is always something for every one.
The starters include delicious shredded crispy ducked served with pancakes and chopped spring onions with a choice of sauces including chilli, soy and plum. If you can fit any more on your plate there are onion Bhaji`s samosas, spare ribs, chicken satay, prawn toasts and many more beautifully cooked and tasty nibbles.
It is hard to find where to start with the main course such is the variety on offer. Each dish is labelled and served piping hot. Choose from curries, sweet and sour, and Korma. There are unusual dishes like the scrumptious spicy noodles, seaweed and seafood including prawn, squid and muscles. Help yourself to Prawn crackers naan bread and rice. Something for every one, lots of choices for vegetarians, chicken nuggets and chips for the children. When you think you`ve had enough be daring and try the famous Gurkha lamb curry. Tender pieces of lamb in a dry hot spicy sauce, not for the faint hearted. This dish has been a favourite of the British Army for many years and is still served to soldiers today.
The Gurkha buffet restaurant is a lovely place to spend an evening with friends and enjoy wonderful food in a lively atmosphere, at less than £10 per head at weekends you will find it difficult to find better value.
The Gurkha Buffet Restaurant is one of those places that offers something a little different in a world that has been saturated with every type of food imaginable served in incomprehensible number of ways. Located on Waterloo Road in the South Shore area of Blackpool, it is part of the Alpine Hotel chain that comprises a hotel, bar and restaurant that is run by a group of former Gurkha soldiers whose aim, in their own words, is to provide 'the best customer satisfaction in a reasonable price'.
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch (served from 12pm until 3pm) and dinner (served from 6.30pm until 10.30pm) and at each mealtime they offer a selection of up to 45 different dishes from their menu of 150 dishes. The selection includes Nepalese, Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Singaporean and English and all form the 'eat as much as you like buffet'.
I'm always sceptical of restaurants that try to offer too much choice; I am of the opinion that you should do one thing well rather than a number of things badly. However, this fear was allayed the very first time I went to the Gurkha buffet, when I found every single dish I tried to be absolutely delicious, and this standard has never dropped in the many times I've been since.
The selection of food on offer always includes soups and starters, main dishes and side dishes and salads and desserts. The food is presented on four long tables formed into a large rectangle in the centre of the restaurant. It is split into four areas: starters; Chinese and far eastern influenced dishes; Indian influenced dishes; and salads and desserts. This makes it very easy to see what is available for each course, rather than having people wandering round and round in circles.
The starter section always includes crispy shredded duck and pancakes, which are absolutely divine, as well as a choice of samosas, spring rolls, bhajis and spare ribs. This is also the section where you'll find the children's favourites, including roast potatoes, chips and chicken nuggets. These aren't home made, but are nice none the less.
The Chinese influenced section includes a selection of the firm favourites, such as sweet and sour and Thai green curry, as well as some dishes that you may not have tried before. The side dishes always include rice (usually plain, egg fried and special fried) and noodles (which include the spicy Singapore style version and plain noodles).
In the Indian inspired section, you'll again find all the favourites including Korma and Tikka Masala, but you'll also find the restaurant's signature dish - the Gurkha curry - which is certainly not for the faint hearted. It has a sauce, but not a creamy one, is loaded with chilli and spices and packs a mighty punch. If you are brave enough to try it make sure you accompany it with some rice, naan bread and poppadums.
All of the food is served piping hot and the staff are constantly checking it to make sure they don't run low or that things aren't sitting there for too long. Since the restaurant is so popular and is always very busy, the turnover of food means that you will be unlucky to find anything that is not piping hot and freshly prepared.
There is plenty of choice, whatever your preference, as the restaurant caters well for vegetarians, fussy children and the adventurous equally well. The only minor complaint I would have about the food is the choice of dessert. They always have tinned fruit salad and fresh watermelon (although I've noticed that they don't always use a different knife for this as they do the garlic!), but that's about it. It is only a small complaint, as by this point I'm usually far too full to fit anything else in, but sometimes I do fancy something sweet to finish off my meal.
The restaurant itself is cheap and cheerful. It isn't going to win any awards for style and presentation. There is mish-mash of posters and memorabilia on the walls that make them look a bit cluttered. However the owners are very proud of their Gurkha background and they have some very interesting displays of equipment and medals that they would be more than happy to explain to you if you ask.
It isn't the kind of place I'd go to for a romantic meal; it's much more suited to large parties and groups of people. It makes an excellent place to hold a celebration and the staff are very accommodating. The restaurant can seat up to 150 and they have a selection of different sized tables. I would strongly recommend booking a table if you are planning to visit on a Friday or Saturday as the restaurant's reputation means that it is almost always completely packed at the weekend. Even during the week, you'll find many other tables are occupied.
The prices are undoubtedly the thing that makes the Gurkha restaurant such a popular choice - the value for money is outstanding. Lunch buffet is £5.95 everyday except Sunday when it is £7.50 and the evening buffet is £10.95 on Friday and Saturday, £9.50 all other days. It's only around £5 for children and under 3s eat free. It is also possible to have take-away; you simple choose the size of the container you want to pay for and fill it with as much as you can manage.
Overall, I would say that the owners have achieved their aim with this restaurant - I have never been anything less than completely satisfied and the prices certainly are reasonable. The food is delicious and varied and the atmosphere is excellent, helped along by a friendly and efficient staff. This restaurant certainly is worth putting on your list, if you are in the area.