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Oriental Garden (Cardiff)

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UCI Complex, Unit 8 Hemmingway Rd Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff Bay Cardiff, CF10 4JY. Tel:029 2047 3888

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      26.10.2009 17:49
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      Highly recommended for a nice meal in Cardiff Bay

      I'm going to be reviewing Oriental Garden, Cardiff Bay. Again it was a place I went to whilst I was on my Hen weekend in Cardiff and again I had such an enjoyable experience I thought I would share with you all.

      Luckily I was in Cardiff with someone that's originally from Barry so she knew all the places to go. I'm sure if she wasn't with us we would've ended up with a Burger King for dinner. We had all been told that this place was fantastic and it was an all you can eat for a set price which is always a bonus.

      Location

      The restaurant is located in The Red Dragon Centre, UCI Complex. This is down at Cardiff bay which was about 5 minutes in a taxi and probably about half an hour walk from Cardiff Central train station.

      There is also a number 6 bus which you can catch from St Mary Street which would also get you down to Cardiff Bay. St Mary Street is right next to the Central Station in Cardiff so it's easy to get down to the Bay.

      Red Dragon Centre

      It is situated in the UCI complex which looks really huge from the outside but to be honest there's not a huge amount in the building but it does include;

      Odeon Cinemas
      R Bar
      Dr Who Up Close
      Bowling Alley

      For a relaxing but fun night out it is a good place to go and originally our plan was to go for a meal then to the bowling alley for a couple of games and just a girly night out. This place really was aimed at younger people or families so I was unsure how people would react to us in our hen t-shirts and balloons.

      The restaurant

      Ok now about the restaurant, when we walked into the complex we noticed the restaurant had a very long queue. We got in line and we were waiting for about 10 minutes. My friend then went to the front of the queue and asked if it would be better for us to book a table and come back. With almost a sigh of relief the waitress took down our details and we went into the pub next door for half an hour until the table was ready.

      Back half an hour later it seemed to have quietened down a bit and I was actual able to take more notice of the restaurant. The first thing that caught my attention was the restaurant had a main building then seating still inside the complex but out with the restaurant itself.

      I also noticed there were a lot of plants about which made it look welcoming but also bright and fresh as well. I couldn't wait to get in and have a seat.

      We were seated in what I will describe as the best seat in the restaurant purely because it was right next to the bar and right in front of the buffet. Also it was not far to walk to the toilets which was also perfect.

      Sitting in the restaurant I looked round and noticed that the tables were quite spacious and not crammed together like some restaurants. There was enough room to move your seat back and get out without shunting the person behind you into their table.

      The bar

      The bar was a nice size and not too big. It was on the left hand side but luckily there was table service for drinks so you didn't have to stand and wait at the bar to order your drinks.

      There was a lot of staff at the bar which meant your drinks were served quickly but I was surprised they could all work in the bar without getting in each others way too much.

      The Food

      We decided to go for the all you can eat buffet for a set price but I'm aware that there is also a menu which you can pick just the one dish from which would probably be better if there is only a couple things you like or if you're vegetarian and there's only one dish you want.

      It does state on their website that they we specialise in Sushi, Chinese, Malaysian and Thai dishes but I only tried the dishes that were in the buffet which didn't include Sushi.

      So all you can eat - You get up and help yourself to a plate then there is two different parts one with all the starters to choose from and then the other with the main courses.

      Included in the starters was chicken and sweetcorn soup which I heard was amazing but I never actually tried it. I took a plate of starters and was surprised to see they had Aromatic duck and pancakes there for you to have also. I know this is a very expensive dish normally so I was impressed that they had this included in the buffet.

      Sitting eating my starters with the rest of the girls, we were chatting away and having a laugh. I hadn't finished my starters but I went to get a napkin and when I returned my plate had been taken away. Somehow I think the staff were just a bit too quick. A bit later in the night my friend bent down to pick up her knife from the floor and she caught them taking her plate away and told them that she wasn't finished. I found this slightly annoying but I suppose they are used to having loads of plates to take away from each table.

      I will say that the starters were absolutely delicious and tasted so fresh, everything was still hot in the heating trolleys but I assumed they would taste slightly dry as I have been to a restaurant similar to this before and more often than not the food was dried up. Luckily in here the food was great and not dried up at all.

      On with the main courses, again you help yourself. There was about 20 different dishes to choose from, each dish had a label above it so you knew what you were choosing, no nasty surprises whilst eating that way.

      Again all I can do is praise the food as it again was still hot and not dry at all, even the rice and noodles still tasted like they had literally just been cooked.

      Desserts - I was full by this point, sometimes I question myself whether I should bother with an all you can eat as I never eat a lot but it's the variety of dishes you can get that tempts me.

      There was a chocolate fountain that you could dip strawberries and marshmallows into. There was also ice cream and a couple of other things to choose from. I can't comment on how these tasted as I never tried them but they looked popular as there was a queue surrounding it all.

      The staff

      They were friendly enough and always smiling. They were extremely polite when taking our drinks order and paying for our meal but the only thing that put me off was them being too quick in taking our plates away.

      The price

      This varies depending on when you go. The prices I have put here are from their website so this may change;

      Mon-Thurs Lunch

      12:00-2:30pm £5.95 (Child £4.00)

      Dinner Buffet

      5:00pm - late £12.95 (Child £6.95)

      Fri-Sun Lunch

      12:00-5:00pm £6.95 (Child £4.50)

      Dinner

      5:30pm-late £13.95 (Child £6.95)

      I thought the prices were excellent value for the choices you get and of course you can have as much food as you want, or as much as you can eat.

      Overall

      I really enjoyed my meal here and I would recommend anyone to go here for a pleasant night out with family and friends. I know someone going down to Cardiff for a meeting and will be staying for a few days so I've told him to go there for a meal. Great meal, Great Price, Nice Staff, what more could you want? I would recommend you book a table especially if you're going there at the weekend.

      Other details

      Website - http://www.orientalgardencardiff.com/index.html

      Address - UCI Complex, Unit 8 Hemmingway Rd
      Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff Bay
      Cardiff, CF10 4JY

      Phone - 029 2047 3888
      Email - info@orientalgardencardiff.com

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