Boathouse Restaurant, Redcastle

When a new restaurant opens up everyone wants to go and try it.

So, business is always good at the start.

It’s later on when most people have been at least once that we find out if the restaurant can survive in the long term.

What People are Saying

So, what had I heard about the Boathouse Restaurant before I went there.

People all say that it is in a great location just beside Lough Foyle with a view of the lough.

The next thing people who have gone there say is that the Lasagne is €18.50.

Indeed, I found that most people in the area know the price of the Lasagne there.

The assumption of those that haven’t been there is that if the Lasagne, which is normally one of the cheaper items on the menu, is €18.50 what must the rest of the menu cost?

What must the beef or chicken or pork cost?

Mixed Reviews

I had heard mixed reviews about the restaurant.

Some liked it, some said they wouldn’t go back and others said it was OK.

So off we set in our taxi for our meal at the Boathouse.

Taxi Driver’s Opinion

On the way there I asked our taxi driver what people are saying now. I said that most people said that it was a good view but that the food was just OK.

My intrepide driver said confidently ” Ah no. That’s what people were saying in the beginning. It’s all changed now. Most people I drop off and pick up there say the food is good. They just had some early teething problems. They’ve sorted all that out and most people speak highly of it now”.

That was encouraging news as we sped towards it.

Shown to Our Table

When we got there we were shown to our table.

The staff seemed friendly and helpful and it was a magnificent view across the lough. We had  a window table. There’s no shortage of them though.

We ordered.

Now we would see the proof of the pudding – and the starter and the main course.

Vegetable Soup Starter

I had the vegetable soup.

When I saw it I was a bit disappointed. When I get vegetable soup I like to see the vegetables – but this was a puree.

However, it was there and I thought that I might as well eat it.

I had a pleasant surprise.

It was beautiful.

I don’t know what the ingredients were – but it tasted really nice and very different.

It had  yellowy look.

I thought that there might be a touch of lemon flavour in it. If there was, it surprisngly added to it.

My daughter thought, from the colour, that there might be some kind of butternut squash in it.

Whatever was in it, it was really nice. I would definitely have it again.

Lasagne on the Menu

When I was looking at the menu one of the first things I looked for was the Lasagne.

Was it really €18.50?

Yes it was.

However, my big surprise was that it was the 2nd most expensive item on the menu.

Only the Chargrilled Sirloin of Beef was more expensive at €23.95 was more expensive.

The pork and the chicken, for example, were cheaper.

Speciality of the House

The Lasagne seems to be the speciality of the house as it is the only item to have the Boathouse name in the title.

Indeed, it tells you, on the menu, that you may have to wait 20 minutes longer to have it prepared from scratch.

So, what did I have?

I had the special. It was a burger with all the trimmings inside a nice bun.

What was it like?

I must say I really enjoyed it – and it was  a nice bun too.

Good Chips

I liked the chips too which were served separately.

They were good thick brown chips. There was none of those skinny, limp fast food chips.

They were the kind that your mother used to make you – providing your mother was a good cook.


My children both had the Linguine.

My daughter, who is a vegetarian, loved it.

My son, who is not, said it was OK.

Perhaps he should have had the Lasagne or one of the meat dishes.

Dessert Choice

I ordered the Apple Crumble for the dessert.

It looked very differently presented than any apple crumble that I every had, with the ice cream in the centre and the apply crumble around it.

So, what did it taste like?

Enjoyed the Meal

It was very good. I enjoyed it very much.

Both myself and my daughter loved all three courses.

My son said that all three courses he had were OK.

However, all three courses he had items he hadn’t had before.

Perhaps he was in an experimental mood.

He had the chowder followed by the linguine followed by the creme brulee.

Cheaper Than Expected

When we went there, we went there with the belief that if the Lasagne was €28.50 then I was going to be considrable out of pocket once we’d had a couple of probably expensive bottles of wine as well as well as food for three.

However, the wine wasn’t any dearer than other places in the area.

We had a bottle of Chardonnay at €19.50 a bottle.

Altogether it came to around €100 for three course meals for three people with a bottle of wine and a couple of cokes.

It’s not cheap but it isn’t excessive for eating out in the area.

The staff were very friendly and helpfull to.

That’s often the case when staff are treated well by the managemnt.

Indeed Tom Peters, the guru of quality once said that he never went into a comapny where the management treated the staff badly and the staff treated the customers well.

Cheeky Question

I thought I’d be a bit cheeky and ask our waitress if the owners were good to work for.

I would never expect someone to say “No, they’re awful”.

However, you can judge by how they answer that question.

They could sy “Aye, theyre fine” or Aye, they’re pretty good” without much enthusiasm.

However, the girl was so genuinely effusive about how nice the owners are to work with that I considered that it must be true.

Return Visit?

So, would I go back?

Most definitely yes!

Our waitress told us that the best time to be there is just before the sun goes down when you can watch the sun set across the waters of the Foyle.

Go down there reasonably early as, from what I can see, the first come get the window seats.

My son’s favourite dish is Lasagne – yet he got the Linguine when he was there.

Speciality Lasagne

Next time I’ll encourage him to try the house speciality Lasagne.

I’d bet he would make his food better than an OK then.

When he was much younger he once said that Rosatos Lasagne was “the best in the whole world”.

I wonder if the Boathose Lasagne might challenge that.

So would I recommend other people to go there?

I already have!

If you are over on holiday make sure you go there at least once.

If you live locally and went in the early days and didn’t like it, I’d say give it another shot and see what you think now.