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“The best Chinese all you can eat in Bournemouth”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Fountain Chinese Restaurant - CLOSED

The Fountain Chinese Restaurant
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The best Chinese all you can eat in Bournemouth”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

I have visited the Fountain many times over the last few years and personally regard it to be the best Chinese all you can eat restaurant in the area. When a rival restaurant opened in the centre of town, I obviously gave it a try but the quality of the food wasn't a patch on the fountain's and I didn't like the cattle market feel to it so after 1 visit, I headed back to the fountain. I have always found the food to be flavoursome and plentiful and the staff very attentive. I was therefore shocked and saddened when I recently contacted them to make a booking for the Christmas break, only to be told that they'd closed down as their lease has expired. Gutted is not the word.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Tania W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Strange Service, Good Food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013 via mobile

This was my first time visiting a buffet restaurant of this sort (where you order food and it is brought to you rather than serre yourself) and didn't know what to expect. At first we felt like we were gatecrashing a wedding as we were on a tiny table sandwiched between three larger tables of big groups.

When we sat down we were presented with a menu and ordered drinks. The menu states all you can eat from a choice of 90 dishes, sorted into starters, intermediate, rice and noodles and main dishes. Usually when I have Chinese I have starters with rice, so we asked to order the crispy duck from the "intermediate" section as a starter. We had a short wait until a waitress came and served us a plate of mixed starters which we hadn't ordered.

We assumed we must have done something wrong and had been given a random selection of starters instead. In fairness the dishes we were given were really nice, particularly some small battered chicken pieces and the prawn toast. We ate most of the selection but left some crab cakes and chilli ribs. Eventually a waitress came and asked if we wanted to order more starters so we asked for the duck again. We were told in return we could have the duck once we'd finished our starters, and it was then after 20 minutes of sitting and twiddling pur thumbs looking awkwardly at the crab thag someone took it away and we got our duck.

The duck was worth the wait however. The duck was the perfect level of crispy and melt in the mouth, and the hoi sin sauve gorgeous. Between two of us we had 4 pancakes each, each stuffed with plenty of meat compared to ready meal kits or one from a takeaway, and could have had more if we wanted. Highlight of the meal and definitely represents the best value for money.

Next we ordered our mains, two main dishes and a rice. Only one of the nain dishes showed up, sweet and sour chicken which was really nice but we were too full to eat, and the rice was pretty awful so was barely touched. Shame the second dish never appeared.

Overall the service was a bit of a shambles. We were ignored most of the time and other tables were seen by different waitresses asking if they wanted to order when they already had. At £17.95 a head it was a bit pricey. My advice would be to fill up on starters and duck as they were the highlight and genuinely very tasty, but the main dishes were less impressive. Probably a venue more suited to groups of four or more and does have excellent tables for the whole sharing vibe.

Thank Rhian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

Before I start, I'd just like to say that I have dined at this establishment many times before. It has been a firm favourite of mine in the past, however, the last time I dined, I did not leave a good review.

I dined again this evening - the reason being, it was my work Christmas meal and it had already been pre-arranged. I genuinely hoped that this time would make me want to come back.

I honestly wish I didn't bother.

First of all, some of the staff really do not know good service if it hit them between the eyes. I cannot believe the attitude that we received. I am fully aware that this is a buffet restaurant and that it has an "in and out-style" way of service - this does NOT excuse the service that our party received this evening.

First of all, they didn't have any of the drinks that we ordered... but we can understand - maybe they had been busy...

We were seated and asked what we would like to order as a "starter" - baring in mind we were a large party, we asked for a mixture of everything - the starter menu offers somewhat of 20 different dishes and we were served with 6 (we did make sure that we asked for more of certain dishes, but this was not served, neither were are requests for other dishes). This restaurant is well known for being able to order more of the same dishes, if you may wish, however, this was not provided either (and was not even so much as asked).

When it came to our "Intermediate" there is a choice of 'Crispy Aromatic Duck', 'Crispy Aromatic Lamb' or 'Crispy Aromatic "Vegetarian Duck'" - we were only offered the duck and when asked for the Aromatic Lamb, we were informed in a not so polite way that they did not have it tonight.

The duck was not aromatic in any sense of the word, in fact, you may as well have boiled it and thrown it on a chopping board for everyone to season themselves. There was no flavour whatsoever, and the pancakes were so full of flour, that they were hard to swallow.

We asked again if there was an alternative - to no avail...

It came to the mains, "Could I order the Lamb in Ginger and Spring Onions please?" the answer we received was "WE DON'T HAVE LAMB TONIGHT - DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?" This was obviously met with a shocked response and we asked why they didn't tell us this BEFORE we agreed to spending £17.95pp on a "buffet" that we had barely touched!

We didn't really receive an answer for this - just attitude...

Two people in out party asked for a chicken dish in batter - which was served - with no batter whatsoever. We asked the waitress before ordering how it was cooked etc and she specifically stated that the chicken was cooked IN batter.

Another two in our party asked for a curry and asked for it not too spicy - the waitress again, informed us that she would make sure that there was no chilli - it came out and was inedible. We have tasted very hot curries in the past and this was not "mild". Whether this was a genuine mistake or not, who knows? The chef also came to our table and protested that his curry was "the best in Bournemouth" - something which, as a food critic, I do not take lightly!

All in all, I can without a doubt say that I will never step foot in this establishment again. The service is on par with a road side burger bar - and that's putting it politely!

As we left, we had the "Manager" "tut" at one of our staff members which really confirmed everything for us.

It's a real shame that they don't care about the restaurant - so much as even giving it a re-decoration. It has been the same for years. It feels like you're sat in your Grandma's lounge, but with someone almost telling you to hurry up and get out so that they can get the next diners in.

Take note, The Fountain!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Sn26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Staff meal”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

I have been here many times before as have others in my group . We have always found the food good. Tonight I must say was abseloutly disgusting. They're had no cider which was ok . But starters were nice x then comes the crispy duck no taste or flavouring . No other options offered. All are party couldn't eat the duck which the staff took away without asking if food was ok x considering we left the whole plate of duck? When it come to main course we asked for lamb they said they had ran out so no lamb on any of the menus . Which is all I wanted. Another friend ordered curry asked if it was not toomspicy as she didn't like too spicy and wanted mild , they said it was mild it blew her mouth off prawns in another dish were so overcooked they were like rubber . When we complained we were hurdled with negative behaviour and chef came out of kitchen and hurdled abuse at us saying they made the best curry in bournemouth . We were given so much negative abuse from kitchen staff and a nasty so called manager . Who tried to charge us full price. Eventually e had to pay half price although I wid rather have paid nothing but starters were good. As we were leaving myself and my colleague said we were very disappointed . As we walked down the stairs to leave the manager came running after us and spat at us that we were disgusting . I will be going to trading standards about this . You my love are disgusting.

Visited December 2013
Thank Lennie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
65 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great Value!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2013 via mobile

Been here several times over the last few years. Always had great service and the food is much better than other "all you can eat" restaurants. Freshly cooked and delivered to your table. A particularly good place to eat if you have a group of friends as you can just fill the table with lots of different items from the menu.

Thank Andy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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