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The Lotus Lounge, Alfreton (April 2014)

Monday 5/5/2014 4:50:50 PM

The Fledgling had flown the nest for the night leaving the Man Bird and myself somewhat at a loose end. So we had a quick flick through the local restaurants and came upon The Lotus Lounge Chinese Restaurant in Alfreton. They do an all-you-can-eat buffet for £ 16.95 on Friday and Saturday nights (different pricing options mid-week), which we had been meaning to try out for absolutely ages. So Boy Wonder gave them a buzz to book a table, and we flew down a short while later. The menu itself is very generous in food choices, and if there are 2 of you dining you get to choose 3 starters at a time to share. Then, if you finish those and want some more starters you can choose another 3 dishes, and so on. I like this idea as not only does it stop a lot of food being needlessly wasted, but it also means that the dishes are hotter when you eat them, as there aren’t lots of dishes just sat on the table. Initially we chose Crispy Aromatic Duck, Vegetable Spring Rolls and Yuk Sung (shredded meat served in lettuce leaves), and they were all very tasty. It didn’t take us long to demolish those morsels, so we then chose Satay Chicken Skewers and I had Chicken and Mushroom Soup whilst the Man had The Hot and Sour Soup. The Satay sauce was really tasty, not overly peanutty like some places you go, and with a bit more heat to it than usual too which was lovely. The soups were very nice too, but the Hot and Sour soup really was Hot and Sour, not a slightly different version of sweet and sour sauce that most restaurants serve.

We decided to leave the starter selections behind at that point, so that we could try out several of the main course options. We chose Chicken Sambal Thai Style and Deep Fried Mongolian Aromatic Lamb first, with some Fried Rice with Green Pepper and Spring Onion to accompany them. Both dishes were subtly spiced and not greasy in the slightest, apart from the natural juices you expect from Lamb meat anyway. The rice was lovely and fluffy, although it was a somewhat larger portion than we were expecting! Nice to be able to say about restaurant portions, normally you tend to find yourself asking for more rice. Again, we cleared our plates and ordered another couple of main dishes, this time we plumped for Crispy fried Chilli Beef and Aubergine in Black Bean sauce. Now as you know, the Boy Wonder does like his Crispy Fried Chilli Beef and tends to order it at any Chinese restaurant we go to. Each establishment has their own way of doing it, from the thickness of the beef strips, to the seasoning on their batter which gives you a good comparison choice. Apparently the dish served at The Lotus Lounge measures up very well being non greasy, crispy batter, nice size of beef strip and a sticky glaze too. I thought it was nice too, although I’m not an expert on this particular dish!

There were also dessert options included in this buffet price, so I opted for Lychees and He went for Banana Fritter in syrup. I was tempted by the Pineapple Fritter, but decided to go for the lighter option as I was feeling a bit stuffed at this point. Again, the portion size was nice for my Lychees and the batter was light and crispy on the fritter.

Throughout the evening tables had steadily been filled up and as we rose to leave we noticed that every single one had been taken. The nice thing was that it had never felt or sounded crowded as it got busier, the ambience had been maintained beautifully. The staff were all smart and polite too, nothing was too much trouble for them. It was our first visit to this Restaurant, and I’m more than happy to recommend that you go there too; you will have a lovely evening with quality food at more than reasonable prices. Children were present on a couple of the tables and were happy in their demeanour, so I think it safe to say that families are more than catered for.

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