InShanghai Durham Chinese Buffet Restaurant Review


Visited InShanghai Durham Chinese Buffet after a long business trip to Birmingham on Monday. The place is now very well established down on the Durham riverside, under the rather garish ‘The Gates’ sign next to Framwellgate Bridge. It moved here some years ago after starting life upstairs as ‘The Elephant’ buffet. Try to get a table by the window and you get a great River Wear vista and the imposing Durham Castle and Framwellgate Bridge to frame the view.

inshanghai durham food bar picture

It’s always been fairly cheap and cheerful as a place to eat, and it attracts all types of people because of its ‘everything you can eat for….’ policy (particularly popular with Durham Uni students, who get a 10% discount all day on production of their student card). The price you pay for your food is on a sliding scale, with the cheapest meals on an afternoon, becoming more expensive the later it gets. This seems to work well, but you need to beware if you’re eating across a charge boundary, as the price will be based on the time you leave your table and pay, rather than the time you came in. You are (usually) made aware of this when you first come in though, so listen up to avoid an unexpected hike in price and a nasty shock later.

Lunch Buffet (11:30am-4:00pm) £6.50 (child £3.95)
Happy Hour Buffet (4:00pm-6:20pm) £7.50 (child £3.95)
Grand Buffet (6:20pm-close) £11.90 (child £6.90)

The restaurant is laid out around the three self-service food areas at one end and the bar in the other. The trays are kept refreshed every 10 minutes or so with piping hot chinese food. Typical fare, from Crispy Seaweed to Stir Fry Pork, Noodles, Rice, Curries and Sweet and Sour. Everything is labelled though, so no needing to guess what you’re eating. As already said, you simply get a plate and trough to your heart’s content! You can stay as long as you want, eat as much as you want and go home not needing another meal until tomorrow, or maybe next week. Not entirely sure what that does to your cholesterol levels, but hey i’m not here to judge on that score. There isn’t an Inshanghai Menu as such, you just grab a plate and go look at the food to see what’s on offer. Please be aware though that the food selection changes slightly later to reflect the higher ‘Grand Buffet’ price. It’s especially good for feeding the kids as well, as they get substantially lower prices. Inshanghai’s food also seems to be less MSG-laden than some other chinese buffets i’ve been to, but I still can’t manage more than two platefuls before the FULL signs come up. 😉

inshanghai durham menu picture

InShanghai,
The Gates Shopping Centre,
Unit 30b,
Lambton Walk,
Durham
DH1 4SL
Tel : 0191 375 7333

Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 7, Service : n/a, Food : 9, Value : 9

Total cost (for two) : £20 including drinks

 

I’ve not scored for Service, as the only thing that gets served up is your drink, and that doesn’t really take a great deal of skill, so i’ll leave that out in this case. In Shanghai scores well for food and it’s extremely good value if you time it right.

eight

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The Bishop Langley Durham Review


The Bishop Langley Durham is a name that not many will recognise, unless you are a regular visitor to Durham and a seasoned pub-goer. The pub is right on the edge of Framwellgate Bridge, with a fantastic terrace overlooking Durham Castle and the Cathedral from across the river. The experienced Durham drinker will know it’s location better as the Coach and Eight, a seedy, sticky carpetted place from the 80’s/90’s where we all served our time dancing drunkenly and trying to pull. Thankfully, that version of the pub is long gone, and after a period of closure and refurbishment, the pub is now a respectable watering hole again, with a nice indoor lounge to match the spectacular outside terrace. Access is from either the landing of the stone stairs to the riverside path, or from the roof terrace itself, you takes your pick.

We’d been on a tour of Durham’s coffee/tea shops on the morning after a jaunt through Pelaw Woods, and it was early afternoon before we got there, ready for a feed. There were still plenty of people sitting out on the terrace, even in the late autumn sunshine, but we decided we’d sit in the lounge downstairs as we needed a comfort break anyway. There weren’t too many people down there though, so we found a seat pretty quickly. It’s easy to relax as there’s lots of comfy couches, including a leather corner (ooh-err!), which is where we chose to park ourselves. The Bishop Langley menu can only be described as ‘pub grub’, with maybe a hint of trying to be something a little better than that, but it satisfied our needs on the day as we couldn’t see further than sausage and mash/ham and eggs with chips. Exotic eh? You need to order your food at the bar; the orders are taken by the same people who are taking the drinks orders, so you have to wait for that, but they’re pretty good at getting everything scribbled down and passed to the kitchen.

 

“The focus of our food is traditional British with a contemporary twist. We use only the best locally sourced ingredients & cook everything fresh.
From grazing on our bar food with a real ale to a full three course meal with a fine wine, we’ve got something to satisfy everyone.”

 

The Bishop Langley always has a good selection of real beer on, but there’s also some premium lagers if you just fancy being cooler and haven’t got a beard. Prices are pretty similar to most bars in Durham, so no nasty shocks there, but the one thing that did seem to let them down a bit was the time taken to serve the food. It was about 25 minutes for our meal to arrive, which is a little bit too long for the simple stuff we’d ordered. Surely it doesn’t take that long to fry an egg and do some chips and sausages, right? Suddenly I remembered, the food is also served to the roof terrace sunbathers, which takes a bit more time to deliver, so we can forgive them the little delay, and we weren’t in any hurry really were we Mrs Speedy Gonzales?. Sometimes in the summer the food is provided from a barbecue on the terrace, which helps draw customers in because of the wonderful smell of onions, but not today unfortunately!

This wasn’t the first time we’d been into The Bishop Langley, but we hadn’t eaten in there before this. It’s a good spot to have food if you need to sit down and take the weight off your feet during a hectic shopping trip (it’s not too far from the bus station in North Road), but bear in mind you’ll need to hike it back up the steps afterward, so take it easy on the pud front or you may need to be winched out! They offer 10% reduction to Durham Uni Students on production of a Student Card.


Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 7, Service : 6, Food : 6, Value : 6

bishop langley durham rating six

The Bishop Langley
Framwellgate Bridge
North Road
Durham
T: 0191 386 4779

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