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“Dreadful bar food; service non-existent” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Friary Restaurant

Friary Restaurant
2 Friary Road | Armagh City Hotel, Armagh BT60 4FR, Northern Ireland
0044 28 3751 8888
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Ranked #28 of 49 Restaurants in Armagh
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Armagh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Dreadful bar food; service non-existent”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

I'll open by saying we eat at the Armagh City Hotel's Sunday carvery reasonably regularly and find it very good. However, I opted for their bar menu for a quick dinner for the kids and I at the weekend and thats what this review relates to.

Firstly, if you had to wait on the staff to bring you menus you'd be in for quite a wait; I ended up sending my eldest on a search mission to get them. And its really hard to explain why, as there is an abundance of staff; many of them look like they are school/college age and may not have received a minute of training from the hotel -- this could explain why you're not asked if your food was OK etc. There's something seriously wrong with the customer experience; for example, 5 minutes after we ordered a waitress came and asked if we needed menus -- is it really that hard to operate a sensible system for seating->menus->take order->etc.etc????? Also, during our meal a guy wheels a trolley with dozens of empty jugs to the downstairs bar we were sitting beside and starts to noisily unload them unto the bar 2 feet from us. My youngest was physically covering her ears and wincing as this was going on!

But the real villain is the food - I am annoyed with myself for not remembering to take photos as words alone won't convey the degree to which it is substandard. I had scampi and chips, the kids had pizza and chicken goujons. The chicken goujons were ordered with beans which were *stone cold*. As in, not even room temperature. The kids pizzas were horrendous -- hard to describe but a bulk pack of dirt-cheap pizzas from Makro is a good illustration. My scampi (at more than £10 by the way) were in an insipid, squishy batter but I can't blame the hotel as they looked to have come from the same "super cheap" catering supplies place that the pizzas came from. Tragically disappointing - I didn't know it was possible in a high-volume catering operation in 2012 to screw up scampi so monumentally :-(

Best given a wide berth in my opinion.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Staff are very friendly and helpful. We have been here on a few occasions and food is always amazing quality and the prices are great for what you get. the set menu's on special occasions are always very good, we have been for valentines and mother's day specials and would now love to try their Christmas menu's.

Would also note we have attended weddings here and the food was amazing, at one wedding we stayed over in hotel and even the Breakfast was perfect.

We highly recommend.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Lisburn, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Great selection at breakfast, and 4 course meal in evening was as good as it gets. Staff more than willing to see to to your every need.

Visited September 2012
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice food, but the waiter went on his break!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012 via mobile

I visited the hotel yesterday evening for a catch up with 2 close friends, one of whom is a vegetarian. We decided to skip starters and just order mains. Myself and one friend ordered the lasagne, and my veggie friend ordered the vegetarian pasta (as this was the only veg choice on
the menu). No complaints whatsoever with the food, perhaps with the exception that parts of the lasagne were a little dry. Our plates were cleared in a timely manner, and upon request we were given the dessert menu. Up until this point we found service to be efficient, if not the friendliest.

This is where our lovely meal took a bit of a turn. Our table and the one other table on the balcony area sat with dessert menus for around 20 minutes without any sign of a waiter coming to take our order. At this point, one of the ladies with the other party went to the bar to ask to place a dessert order. When we eventually had our order taken, we were informed that our waiter had gone on his break! Considering the restaurant floor was well
staffed with waiters we found this excuse to be a little lacking, and if I had not been out for a meal with 2 friends who I rarely see we would have declined to order anything else! However, the extremely high quality of the desserts we ordered quietened any rumblings. The apple crumble and white chocolate and raspberry torte were both delicious, served with honeycomb ice cream in a wafer basket.

The second waiter we had was also in himself a source of high quality entertainment! The aeroplane noise he made as he set down the desserts was one of the high points in our meal. Overall the food was lovely, and a great evening was had. Our bill came to £45 for 3 mains, 3 desserts, 4 soft drinks and a coffee, which we thought was very reasonable.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Belfast, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

Service and food was excellent.Dined here as we had a meal with our hotel package

Visited March 2012
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