REVIEW : Cosmo World Buffet, Edinburgh
I liken it to a holiday buffet; the kind you find in a large hotel overseas where every nationality has been catered for and new holiday makers entering the hotel restaurant for the first time on their all inclusive holiday can’t make up their minds where to start and what to eat first.
The place is packed out and every single table is just that little bit too close to the next table and although you can hear every word from the tables on either side of you, you are focused - you are here to devour not to make conversation.
The noise level is high with the constant chattering between families, friends and partners; there is screaming and whaling from young children, there is laughter and then there is the clanking of plates and cutlery. It’s an orchestra of languages from Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Scottish, English and everything inbetween, rising and falling inbetween the gaps of frenzied activity.
Welcome to Cosmo - the Pan-Asian, all you can eat world buffet.
CARVERY - lets start at the beginning. We kick off with something typically British - the good ol Carvery/roast. There’s turkey, lamb or beef with vegetables, roast tatties, yorkies and gravy.
CONTINENTAL - we then move onto pizza, and spaghetti and meatballs. A taste of Naples expertly cooked in their wood-fired oven.
TASTING KITCHEN - this is more American cuisine or food. Mini hamburgers, hotdogs, fries etc.
WORLD OF ASIA - This is just about every dish I can think of under Chinese Cuisine covering 8 regions or so from Cantonese, Sichuan, Anhui, Shandong and Jaingsu to name a few. There is a sea of dishes from Thai curry’s to Thai BBQ Pork and Prawn Crackers.
TEPPANYAKI - I particularly loved this station. Here you get salmon, scallops, tiger prawns and gyoza all cooked in front of you. Hot and grilled, cooked to perfection.
HOUSE OF SPICE - from Kashmiri Lamb to Chicken Tikka Masala, its all here including naan breads, pakoras, popadoms, pickles and chutneys. Every little spicy thing your heart could desire.
DESSERTS - sweet treats including jellies, trifles, pannacottas and this Chocolate Fountain.
So lets get down to what I did sample.
The Sushi - plates of Uramaki (rice is on the outside and seaweed wraps around the filling) mostly with fish and avocado fillings and some general vegetable ones. The rice was lovely n sticky and I drowned it in soy sauce (just how I like it). Very fresh and tasty.
I love Chinese food but find it difficult to find a decent Chinese here in Edinburgh. So I couldn’t resist this Beef in Black Bean Sauce to see if it met my expectations.
It was good. The flavour was deep and umami, salty and slightly spicy although the beef was slightly chewy.
Noodles - loved these. Packed with flavour, unctuous and utterly more-ish. I just about had these with every helping of every other dish I could manage to taste.
This was a little of a mixed bag of food. I suppose that’s the joy of a buffet - you put things on a plate that you wouldn’t normally - a mish-mash of food and flavours.
Chicken Satay was outstanding - large soft, succulent strips of chicken with a good peanut flavour. Pork Gyozas steamed and lightly fried at the Teppanyaki station covered with a light soy sauce; and as you do, prawn crackers to add the crunch.
I then moved onto Indian Cuisine and tucked into some lovely Onion Bhajis, Spring Rolls and my favourite of curry’s, the Chicken Korma.
Seriously good food.
Yup more noodles with Sweet and Sour Chicken, and amazing garlicky green beans.
The food selection here is vast. Each area has a station where Chefs cooked your food from scratch. The food has a really high turnover, so you know that it’s not sitting around for long and it’s piping hot.
Each large dish of food has an allergen chart so you are well informed if you are looking for gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian etc
The dessert station was probably the weakest section of the lot. I would say that all of the cakes are bought in and don’t taste that great however for kids and adults that like something sugary sweet and soft, then this is the place to get your sugar overdose.
I did love the chocolate fountain but found that they could have offered more of a selection of treats to dip under the melted flowing chocolate like strawberries, pretzels, sponge cake or cream puffs.
This was my first time to Cosmo and I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was. It’s fast food, from around the world where you can gorge yourself on plate after plate of well cooked cuisine. The dishes are tasty, but not necessarily the best of dishes, however, you will not go hungry.
Cosmo is the ideal restaurant for large groups with fussy eaters as there is bound to be something for everyone and plenty of it.
Would I return to Cosmo? Hell yes. At a cost ranging from £8.50 (Mon-Fri lunch) to £15.99pp (the most expensive price is on a Sunday), you can’t go wrong just make sure you turn up ravishingly hungry and ready to eat.
Cosmo, Omni Centre, Edinburgh. Tel : 0131 5570808 www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk/restaurants/edinburgh
My Spoon Review : Silver Spoon 8/10
I was invited by Cosmo to review their menu. Food was complimentary but the views are very much my own.