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Water Margin information

Water Margin is located within the The O2 arena, specialises in high quality Chinese cuisine. On Saturday the restaurant has a late licence and has a DJ playing dance tracks from 9pm.

Ranked #303 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
MON

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

TUE

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

WED

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

THU

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

FRI

12:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00

SAT

12:00 - 15:00, 16:30 - 03:00

SUN

12:00 - 15:00, 16:30 - 22:30

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What did you think of Water Margin?

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Water Margin reviews



By J S.

I chose to celebrate my 25th at Water Margin simply because I was browsing the o2 website and it looked good with the buffet price of £14.80 per person seeming very reasonable. I was not at all dissapointed! I called up three weeks in advance to book a table for 25 people and when I was asked to pay a deposit I explained that I was just about to go on holiday and didn't actually have the money in my account. The lady I spoke to was lovely and went ahead and made the reservation without me paying a penny. The day before my birthday the restuarant gave me a curtesy call to confirm my booking and when I told them I was now expecting more then 25 guests they were very happy to give me a larger table.

On the night of my birthday everything went great. All the guest enjoyed the food, the staff were very friendly and the restaurant very clean. One of the guest had brought her baby and space was made to accommodate the pram without any fuss. After the meal I had planned to go to another bar in 02 but there was simply no need. The downstairs bar in Water margin was fantastic and we were let in for no extra charge. They played Rnb, Hip Hop, Funky House, Bashment and Slow Jams (everything I'm into). It really was the best birthday ever and I'm so glad I chose to celebrate it at Water Margin.

If I had to pick out any bad points it would be that the downstairs bar was extremely hot and air con would have been a God send but hey, you can't have it all right :^)


By Nick R.

It was a great experience I had at Water Margin Restaurant. I invited six people and everybody enjoyed it. Great variety of selection to pick and very good in taste. The place is very clean and had lots of guest with the wait staff doing a fabulous service. The price was very reasonable with all the selection you had and finally we had some drinks that were in good taste. To conclude we all had a good experience this evening and for sure we will come back.


By Julie M.

Went to eat here on Sunday - one of the hottest days of the year so far. We were all hungry and thirsty having just moved our daughter to the area. All five of us ordered drinks, plus I asked for a jug of tap water for all of us. The restaurant was hot - don't think they have air conditioning. The waiter told me that he only served 'filtered' jugs of water at £1.50 per jug. I said that I just wanted a jug of tap - he walked off to join the huddle of waiters, and whispered to them. My water didn't arrive despite asking six times for a jug of tap water. We were all so thirsty - Chinese is notorious for making you thirsty.Each time I asked a waiter or waitress, they walked off, returned to their huddle and whispered. My daughter asked for a glass of water as she was parched, and one duly arrived! Not surprisingly - we were being charged 50p for it. In the end I asked if I could have a special jug of their filtered water then - and surprise surprise, this arrived straight away. The food was stewed and dry, despite arriving at 5pm. They apparently re-open at 4.30 so the food should have been fresh? It is illegal to not serve tap water when requested. I had asked six times!! Upon receiving the bill, I had been charged for two jugs of filtered water, and one glass. Disgusting. Is there a special filter tap in this establishment or is this another way of getting more money?


By Y L.

POOR POOR POOR!Been there a few times over the period of about two years but my last time (2weeks ago) was the worst and last time I will choose to go there. All you can eat is great but I wouldn't call that "cheap" for the standard of food - the vast array somehow takes away from the quality, unfortunately. I went there for my sister-in-law's birthday and she had pre-booked a table. First of all, we had to pay individually before we could even get to ur tables and were given a "PAID" stamp in red on our hands - this is with a pre-booked table, apparently some people run off without paying. Okay overlooking that, we then asked if some drinks could be brought to our table and were told we would have to pay for individual drinks at the bar. So everyone had to keep getting up every few minutes, just to get a drink - erm, WHAT are the waiters there for then? Apparently to stand and watch you eat and look for the stamp on the back of your hand!On top of all the wonderful service, you THEN had to cough up £1.50 for a jug of "TAP WATER" (no ice of lemon slice might I add) EACH time you wanted a refill - erm, someone tell me when tap water became chargeable??? When I aksed about this, they said they had a special "filter" which was purifying the water that was coming through their taps and with a table of about 15 people, you can imagine how much money that made.I'm just wholly disappointed at the whole experience, I think Water Margin started off well but with the high rate of visitors they have been receiving, they have let standards PLUMMET enormously, including with the food, and now it's just all about making as much sly money as they can. The waiters don't know anything answers to any questions and it seems they are security as well as "waiters".Poor, poor, poor, I wouldn't encourage anybody with any type of standard to go and would even go as far to suggest their "filter" story be investigated.Need to buck up your ideas Water Margin!


By Mary F.

Thank you for the weekend meal Water Margin!The only place at The O2 where you can eat on a budget and don't stay hungry, new décor and the new soup live cooking stations are all won me over, as promised the waitress: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS RESTAURANT! :)


By Damien B.

Couldn't get into Pizza Express so took a punt on this place, pleasantly surprised! I was a bit dubious with it being an all you can eat place but we could see the food was being regularly changed and was kept nice and warm. I'm not very adventurous with oriental food but I enjoyed everything I tried, well except the black bean sauce but don't let that put you off I just don't like black bean sauce! I would suggest visiting after a show and not before like I did because I took full advantage of all you can eat and did overindulge slightly!


By Rachel H.

I visited the Water Margin after watching X factor live 2011 (omg was so much fun!) me and my friends wanted to try something a bit different because pretty much all the main restaurants at the O2 are also on my local high street! We were absolutely starving after dancing for 3 hours so loved that we could ‘eat as much as we like’ for £14! Everywhere else was charging about that for 2 courses! All I can say is wow we were very impressed! There was so much to choose from. My friend Claire is really picky but even she left with a full belly as we could sample everything (and I think we did!) All the food was great but my favourite was the Chicken Teriyaki – highly recommended. The biggest surprise was the drinks prices, we thought as the food was so reasonably priced they would charge a fortune for drinks but no! A pint of coke was just £2.60! I don’t go to the o2 very often but the next time I do I will be sure to go back to the Water Margin, it is one of the restaurants furthest away from the main entrance but it well worth the extra few mins walk.


By Marta S.

I go there at least once every 2-3 months. Prices are reasonable and food is tasty but the waiters put me off as they tend to stand in a group and stare.. I find it disturbing


By Jo B.

I’ve been to Water Margin this Sunday with the kids (6yrs and 8yrs), and we had a great time! My little ones could eat anything they had in mind, so we didn’t need to wander around for ages to end up at a fast food place to please everyone’s taste. My favourite was the salt and pepper king prawn and the kids couldn’t have enough of the fruit cocktail and blackcurrant jelly. I was surprised by the other reviews; the waiters were very friendly with me and my family, so I would happily recommend this restaurant. Jo B


By Lesley C.

I went into Water Margin last week after it was recommended by a friend. My friend was right and I was very surprised to find an all-you-can-eat restaurant that offers ...well, good food! The curry dishes were not only full of flavour but had generous portions of meat unlike other buffets and take aways! The price is very reasonable - less than £7 to eat, drinks are also good value and the service is exactly what you'd expect - friendly without being too 'in-your-face'! I definately recommend it to anyone on a budget over Christmas!


By Kit C.

I was lucky enough to get tickets for the ATP Roddick and Nadal match last night at the O2 so popped into Water Margin for a quick bite on the way with mates (glad we did, the 3rd set started after 10pm!!). The food was so tasty - king prawns, lamb, beef in all sorts of different flavours! Had I known it was an all you can eat I may not have gone as it was pretty hard to drag myself away from the food! What an amazing start to the week! - Thanks Water Margin - and of course Roddick and Nadal for the great game that followed!


By Joanne M.

1 star = very generous! I went on Saturday evening with friends before a gig at the O2. Never again. Service was extremely bad and food was even worse. Their teriyaki chicken can only be described as luke warm chicken nuggets with a side of cheap dipping sauce! Tempura prawns were no better in a batter more like thick breadcrumbs and soggy fat. "Mum's gone to Iceland" comes to mind!


By Adrian P.

Simple recommendation, avoid this place like the plague. Terrible service and terrible price. We chose it to avoid the usual "chain" experience which is all too easy at the O2. On reflection I can see the benefits of the chain restaurants. Made an online booking as we were at an event at the O2. Pointless as they did not use the booking system and complete confusion at the door, asked did I want Buffet, Set Menu or A La Carte? When I said A La Carte they said it was not available so they just gave us a table in the Set Menu area (downstairs) and told us it was A La Carte. Waiter had no idea what anything was on the set menu when asked, kept having to grab busy passing staff, we just gave up asking and took pot luck. There were a few choices we ordered a side and a main each. Spring rolls OK, tempura prawns were a la Iceland and soggy with oil. Main course were a disaster. 3 were only just warm, one stone cold, we decided not to complain as it had already taken some time to take our order and serve us. In the pork and chicken sweet and sour dishes, the meat was as hard a bullets. Teriyaki chicken was deep fried, a little unusual . Served with tepid greasy/sticky rice, over cooked baby sweetcorn, undercooked cauliflower, tasteless Chinese mushrooms. The vegetables had a really unusual taste, not sure what. The red wine (Chilean Merlot - pronounced Mer-Lot by our knowledgeable waiter) and beer (Staropramen) were fine but took a while to arrive. Wine was reasonable priced. Repeated requests to pay were not acknowledged as the one and only card machine was in use at another table. Felt very very disappointed. I suspect their returning customer base is very small but then perhaps they simply do not need to try so hard with a captive audience.


By Al M.

Lamb with ginger and spring onions - OMG - Amazing!! Compliments to the chef! I went in to Water Margin over the weekend with friends who have been raving about it for months and was very impressed. The food was presented in a variety of funky ways and tasted incredible - I wanted to try everyone's food but didn't want to share my own!! The staff were nice, the restaurant was clean - I wasn't paying much attention to anything other than my plate! I was a bit disappointed with my 'lukewarm' coffee but the waiter was more than happy to change it for me.


By Martin C.

Mediocre chinese buffett restraurant They try to charge you for water but you are legally entitled to ask for tap water...they have the cheek to put a sign near the exit saying they do not serve tap water... I went there for the first time (and probably last) yesterday Friday 20th August 2010. I will be reporting them to the various watchdogs for their illegal sign regarding tap water. Avoid.


By Greg T.

Evening Buffet price is £13.80 Sun-Thurs and £14.80 Sat-Sun. Pepsi was £1.50. There was a choice of 60 dishes. There is also a Lunch buffet with 30 items for £7.50 (12-3pm). There were probably around a hundred people in the Restaurant and it coped easily with that number of people. There was no time that buffet items ran out while we were there. The cooked food was tasty, product quality good, all the dishes we had throughly cooked. However, the grill certainly wasn't worth the wait. The chicken was so thinnly sliced it was tasteless. The lamb was really tough and difficult to cut, let alone eat. Dessert selection was extensive and we loved the Banana fritters. The service was excellent with the dirty plates being quickly removed and smiling staff thanking us for our visit as we left. We will certainly go back, but we will give the grill a miss. If you haven't been to the O2 before, head for either Car Park 2 or 4. Parking is £3 for the first 2 hours. I think it's at least £7 over 2 hours.


By Anthony F.

First visit here and will definitely by my last. Was in the O2 arena on a busy night, everywhere else was choc'a'bloc and water margin was the only restaurant with spaces. Now I know why! The food on the whole was poor. There was one very small rice dish available (needless to say was always empty) and not refilled, chicken not cooked properly, noodles cold and lamb tough and grissley. The service was adequate at best, the used plates from our table were not cleared and in the end we put them on an empty table to make room for our new ones! Table was wobbly and the staff seemed uninterested and on a different planet. Would not recommend to anyone.


By Annabelle K.

Food was foul. Used too much MSG in food. Hubby was sick because of it, yet still had to pay. Mr Woo's buffet was better. Would highly recommend that people avoid this place.


By Michael D.

i first visited this restaurant around 2 years ago & thought the food & ambiance was really nice. i went there last night for a friend's birthday expecting my previous experience to be repeated but was sorely disappointed... the food was poor quality & the staff were rude, unhelpful & kept hassling our party to hurry our eating & leave! what a disgraceful way to treat customers! the only thing nice about water margin is the decor. needless to say, i definately will not be going there again or advise anyone else to!


By Sushila W.

A great location, great atmosphere, great decor, a complete rip off if you are a vegetarian!

We booked a table for 6 people, 5 of whom were vegetarian for Valentines Day (went to see Russell Peters show which was brilliant!)

Anyway upon booking we had asked if there were plenty of veggie options and we were told yes there are plently of alternatives, dont worry all catered for.

When we got to the buffet, for starters there was spring rolls and that was it. Main course consisted of one brocolli and beansprouts dish, some noodles and no rice as the rice they had was with prawns.

We did eventually get some steamed rice but only because we caused a fuss. The dishes available for meat and fish eaters were plentiful and they were cooking fresh meals for all other customers.

Nothing for vegetarians, not even sweetcorn or hot and sour soup.Desserts were lovely if you could get any! They filled them up sporadically, luckily we were seated were we could see the desserts so aimed our visit to the buffet accordingly.

We complained to the floow manager who didnt care, he said where does it say on the menu that we cater for vegetarians, refused to even speak to us and was actually very rude.

He said what you can find is what you get, because it was a set meal he wasnt bothered about accomodating us at all.

When we told him we had spoken to someone at the time of booking he refused to believe us!

He got his comeuppance at the end as we had ordered a number of drinks at the bar and he had forgotten to add them to the bill at the end which worked out in our favour.

Personally if you are a vegetarian I would not recommend this restaurant, I love Chinese food and visit many local restuarants that cater for vegetarians, I wont be visiting this one again.


By Karan A.

Just for the sheer variety in the Thai-Chinese-Oriental buffet and super-friendly staff, this restaurant deserves a visit. The bar downstairs has got amazing ambience, the restaurant itself is quite original style-wise, yet isn't in any way too gratingly eastern. Nice orange-yellow lights make for a cheerful mood, and the buffet overall is stuffed with choice galore-from the healthy to hardcore Asian-food freaks, there's soups, routine snacks and main courses (the amount and choice of seafood on offer is refreshing) to select-your-own-teriyaki-ingredients-and-have-it-cooked -there-and-then.

Its somewhere between £8-15 per person (one drink included), is superb value and the staff is eager to guide you with the drinks if you're experimenting.


By Michael D.

The words Chinese buffet may fill you with dread, but fear not, for the Water Margin’s Oriental buffet is a grand tour of Far East cuisine, including Chinese, Thai, Singaporean and Malay. It’s at the new O2 centre formerly known as the Millennium Dome, and it’s the best feast you could possibly get for under a tenner.

The Venue
Since the re-branding and re-opening of the Dome in Greenwich as The O2, what was once a white elephant has turned into an exciting and buzzing menu for all seasons. This is what the government should have done in the first place: made it a leisure complex with something for everyone: concert and sports arena, cinema, music club, ice rink and just loads and loads of restaurants, bars and coffee shops – all that and Tutankhamun too. Entertainment Avenue runs around the perimeter of the centre and Water Margin is part of it. A large bar takes up the ground floor while upstairs is a 300-seater restaurant. It is attractively designed in muted brown and gold with plenty of space. The centrepiece is the kitchen/serving area, from where you help yourself to up to sixty different dishes for dinner, or thirty for lunch. Nobody ever leaves Water Margin hungry…

The Atmosphere
It’s actually a nice and comfortable place to be. Nobody hassles you and the staff are all friendly and helpful. You may stay for as little or as long as you wish. Busy days are when there’s a band booked for the arena. Water Margin is therefore ideal if you are in a hurry but still wish to eat before a concert or a film. With such a vast choice of dishes on offer, there’s something to suit everybody’s taste. Pay as many visits to the buffet as you’d like, but pay just one price.

The Food
Those terrible Chinese buffets that offer you all you can eat for just £4.50 bear no relation to the top quality food dispensed at the Water Margin. The others usually fill you up with stodge but here the ingredients are high grade, fresh and attractively presented in clean metal containers which are regularly replenished. It’s impossible, however, to list every dish on offer, but some recommended ones include slices of roast pork and duck with pineapple, Chinese sweetcorn soup, which is thick and deliciously glutinous, and the ever-so-piquant hot and sour, but you can also have the Thai Tom Yum soup and one of beancurd and vegetable. A platter of starters involve lip-smacking spare ribs, chicken wings, prawn cakes, crab claws, sesame toasts and seaweed: all very appetising, and only a selection of what is actually available, such as aromatic duck and lamb, chicken fillets, minced chicken, satay chicken and red curry fish cakes. A plate of sticky sweet and sour prawns goes very well with the special noodles and the egg fried rice. One of the highlights in this marvellous selection of dishes is the Singapore laksa, a kind of soup with chicken, prawns and noodles: one of the best.

There is so much more, however, that the range is seemingly endless. Individual chicken dishes, with cashews or black bean or curry, or with lemon or sweet and sour sauces or in Teriyaki style with soy sauce. Similarly with the duck, beef, lamb and pork dishes, you can choose from any number of different ways to eat them. There are eleven main courses just for prawns, and another five for squid. Vegetarians can really go mad here and eat their way through umpteen dishes prepared just for them. And, as if that were not enough, you can choose from a range of raw ingredients of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles and have the chefs cook them for you on the open teppanyaki hot plates. You may think you won’t have room for a dessert but when you see the array, you’ll give in to apple or banana fritters, any of the various gateaux and ice creams, plus a range of fruit jellies and fresh fruits.

The Drink
A short list of a dozen wines includes house bottles from £11 or from under £3 per glass and nothing is over £18 except the Champagnes. A good range of beers and ciders includes some Oriental ones and the usual aperitifs, spirits and liqueurs are all available plus soft drinks, coffees and teas, including China tea.

The Last Word
The price of the Water Margin buffet varies depending on when you visit. Monday to Thursday it’s £7.50 at lunchtime, and on Friday to Sunday £8.80. Dinner Sunday to Thursday costs £13.80 or £14.80 on Friday and Saturday. There are discounts for children under eleven years and up to 140cm tall, and it’s even cheaper for smaller children under 100cm tall. But, penny for penny and pound for pound, whenever you go, it’s the best value in town, particularly as the food is so very good and tasty.

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