Eschewing the usual suspects for a Saturday evening out we (that's the other half, his mate and me) decided to go to Charde Oriental in Tollerton.
The usual Tollerton trip out is to Miah's (curry based loveliness) at Tollerton airport. As variety is the spice of life we thought we'd try Charde. It's on the main A606 Melton Road so I'd driven past it many times, just never visited.
We hadn't booked and were kept waiting a fair while in the bar before being shown to a table (the restaurant wasn't full, but it looked like they were concentrating diners into one section - so this may have been the cause of the delay). The restaurant is quite large so couples may be seated in a separate area of the place - our group area was bustly and quite full.
There was no choice in the menu as the Christmas all you can eat buffet menu was being served. This consisted of mixed starters (ribs, prawn toast, prawn crackers, spring rolls, satay chicken sticks and crispy seaweed). All were delicious!
After the starters we were served the crispy duck course. We had to sit and wait quite some time for the duck to arrive so it gave us time to look round at the scenery. The restaurant is decorated nicely and the tables are positioned to give a cosy, homely feel. It doesn't have the modern, crisp, polished look that you get at Miah's (my only local comparator). The wait for the duck at least meant that we had time to digest the starter selection!
The crispy duck was, as expected, good. There were plenty of pancakes to use for the duck - I hate it when you run out!
Mains came after the duck and we'd ordered the recommended number from the menu (I think 3 or 4 dishes). Disappointingly several of the dishes looked as though they had the same sauce, even thought they tasted slightly different. The lemon chicken was nice, but a bit plain. All mains were supported by rice.
There were puddings on offer as part of the deal but we were by this time absolutely stuffed full! We therefore did not have pudding, however (and this was a nice touch) plates of palate cleansing and refreshing melon were brought to us.
All in all a convivial evening with lots of food, I could have quite easily just had the starters and duck! Service was not fast, but the gaps gave digestion time. Overall I'd give this a mid rating, good for groups if you're in no rush.
Food: Masses of food, choose your main courses carefully to get a sufficient variety.
Price: Set dinner for 4 courses, £17. Including drinks & tip £25 a head.
Atmosphere: Groups and parties make for a lively atmosphere, not so good for cosy couples.