Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: Rice’s Hotel at Poyntzpass lives up to its reputation

Rice hotel bar and restaurant

2-14 Church Street, Poyntzpass Tel. : 02838318893

Don’t tell my wife, but I’ve long since given up on losing weight – in fact, since early 2019 I’ve focused my efforts on growing instead.

Of course, it doesn’t make it any easier when you find an awesome restaurant serving up portions that make you wish you were wearing those stretchy pants you stashed in the back of the cupboard.

The Rice Hotel Bar and Restaurant in Poyntzpass has an excellent reputation around Newry and Armagh, and for good reason: it offers great food and plenty of it at a reasonable price.

Located on the main street, Rice’s was established in 1798 at a time when four hotels operated in the “Pass” and fairs and markets drew people from all over.

Now it’s a hotel in name only and Rice’s team look after the food and drink needs of regulars in the village as well as those further afield who want good food and service. even better.

You can expect a traditional menu and great value specialties like lasagne, roast pork shoulder, roast chicken and a selection of tasty burgers, but there are also some more modern dishes available.

We knew we were in for a treat when a bowl of hot and spicy buffalo wings arrived. They were superb, as was a chicken and bacon Caesar salad topped with Parmesan Reggianno and crunchy croutons.

A goat cheese bruschetta with bramley apple salsa and candied hazelnuts really stood out and we couldn’t wait to see if the dishes were on par.


The delicious roasted salmon

The delicious roasted salmon

A giant bowl of premium beef stroganoff, with onions, mushrooms, smoked paprika and boiled rice kept my friend smiling for at least half an hour, and he was about to finish it. My wife’s 5oz beef tenderloin was cooked to perfection and she said came with the best pepper sauce she had ever tasted. High praise indeed from a woman who spices up absolutely EVERYTHING she eats.

I cook some pretty damn thin lasagna, so I was a bit annoyed when the one I ordered from Rice was better than anything I’ve ever had.

It came with coleslaw, garlic bread, salad and fries and pretty much killed any hope I had of choosing a dessert as I was so full of food. A large plate of roast salmon with cream of cabbage and leeks, baby potatoes, white wine sauce had the same effect on my mother-in-law. Only two desserts were ordered – a wonderfully light Pavlova with fresh fruit and creme fraiche and an excellent chocolate brownie served warm with chocolate sauce, strawberries and ice cream.

A wonderful meal served by efficient, friendly staff – if only I had remembered those pants.

The food

Chicken and Bacon Caesar

Hot and Spicy Buffalo


Goat cheese


5 ounces beef tenderloin£19.95

Roast salmon£18.95

Beef stroganoff£14.95

Sausage and fries for kids£5.95







A service****

Food ****



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