When I was contacted by Cosmo to visit the Nottingham restaurant I must say I was excited. I had been before for Bens 12th Birthday and we all enjoyed it read more about that here. Now however I am more determined than I was back in November to lose weight again so I was intrigued how healthily I could eat there. The first thought at an all you can eat buffet is that it wont be healthy isn’t it. How can it be eating until you are truly stuffed and all the desserts they have to offer but I thought I would have a look and see.
The Cosmo world buffet restaurant in Nottingham is proud to say it has ten live cooking stations and up to 150 items to chose from. It is in central Nottingham so for us the easiest way is to get the tram from a park and ride. The brand has restaurants in other cities such as Aberdeen, Manchester, Leeds and many more which all can be found here if you are wondering whether there is one near you!
Booking and Arrival
It is really straight forward to book a table at Cosmo on their website whether there are 2 or 20 of you. Any more I guess you would have to ring up to book. I was impressed at that because we all like to just arrange things online now if we can don’t we! When you arrive there is a big staircase up to the restaurant (lift available too). You are checked on the system as having booked (I imagine there are times they can cater for non bookings but why take the gamble!) and then shown to your table. The walk to your table takes you through the buffet area where if you haven’t been before they show you where the plates are and the different cuisines.
Choosing your Food
The buffet area has different sections for each cuisine. The dishes are clearly labelled and easy to see what allergens are present if required with a straight forward key on each food label. There are such a selection of foods I wouldn’t know where to start in listing them from pizza and pasta to carvery meats, burgers and fish moving around to Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and a deli area.
Each of these areas has a vast choice and all cooked and presented well. It would be easy to think that somewhere like this would have maybe only one or two Indian dishes for example but each cuisine has 10-20 dishes. The variety is amazing and even though I am vegetarian there really is such a choice which is nice.
If you are following Slimming World like me or generally trying to eat healthily of course eating out can be a challenge. I have written this post with some tips if you struggle. If you were at home and the family wanted Chinese there would be maybe a couple of items you could choose with boiled rice. Here not only do you have that choice but also the choice of which Indian things are low syn and good choices too and the same with each cuisine. There are many dishes which have oil added but otherwise are basically vegetables so of course they are good choices. The meats from the carvery area again are a good option or boiled rice is available too. This isn’t by any means all you can have.
There is a whole salad bar area and throughout each cuisine there are steamed vegetables or raw vegetables to accompany the dishes. If you imagine going to the Indian, the Chinese, a chip shop, a carvery and more then the choices you have at all those are under one roof here so you can mix and match.
There isn’t a limit to how much you can eat and you can keep replacing your plate so that makes it a little easier too as some things just don’t go together do they! The plates are small so if you are trying to watch your portion size this can help too.
Remember though as with any weight loss plan you can have everything in moderation and eating one meal out of the 21 in a week at a buffet restaurant does not have to ruin your week. The week I ate at Cosmo I lost 4.5lb because I ate well the rest of the week. Although I had gone to Cosmo with the intent on being good and eating on plan I changed my mind when I was there. Not because of a lack of choice as the choice was great but just because frankly I am greedy!
It is great being able to try so many different foods and not have to make a decision of just one dish. With so many staff on hand you can watch dishes being cooked and also ask any questions about contents. I found all staff in the buffet area to be knowledgeable and helpful when I asked anything about the dishes.
As with any restaurant there was a huge choice of drinks available. We opted for the refillable soft drinks. There is everything from cocktails to a pint available though so if you are making a night of it why not enjoy it. Prior to my first visit I was a little unsure what to expect and thought it may be a little like a food court in a shopping centre with plastic trays and cardboard cups. I was so wrong though. Despite it being a large eating area such a popular busy venue it still very much felt like a restaurant with proper glasses, cutlery and plates. The drinks were easily refilled yourself so it didn’t matter how much you drank with the refillable soft drinks along with the food it was just go go go.
The Dessert Area
The time where everyone has desserts it a time where we all worry if we are trying to be healthy. How many restaurants actually offer fruit? Cosmo does! If you don’t want to have any of the desserts by choosing fruit you are not feeling left out sitting with a coffee while everyone enjoys eating more and I think that is great. Equally the desserts are all very small so you can enjoy a little taste and know you are not being too bad.
The choice of desserts is amazing there are cheesecakes, cakes, a chocolate fountain, an ice-cream machine, ice-creams like mini magnum type things, fruit, custard, jelly, and cupcakes. Just writing this is making me want to go back now! It is like being a child in a sweet shop.
There is just one standard price for lunchtimes and one for evenings per person for however much you eat. The lunchtime price is £8.99-11.99 and the evening price £14.99-16.99. The price being higher on Friday and Saturdays. Sundays all day is £14.99. Children are half price if they are under 150cm. There are various discount available but these can change. Currently NHS workers for example get a discount. For all current discounts it is best to check their website offers page.
The Service and Cleanliness
The service of both the waiting staff and the cooking staff was brilliant. Everyone we encountered was helpful and knew the answers to our questions. The restaurant is kept extremely clean and the waiting staff regularly take your plate so you can use a fresh one for more yummy dishes. If things were dropped in the buffet area staff were quick to work together cleaning up. The entire restaurant was clean and tidy . The toilets were well stocked. Throughout our visit I observed a huge variety of people in the restaurant including families with young children, adults with additional needs and large parties, all were treated throughout in the same way we were and with great service.
Would I recommend it?
I most certainly would! I think that the food was lovely and the variety was great. I loved the atmosphere in that whilst it was a large busy restaurant it felt relaxed. The choice of dishes for everyone whether on a healthy eating diet, a vegetarian, someone with allergies or children was good. Everyone was extremely well catered for.
If you would like to visit yourself then pop across to their website Cosmo Restaurants and find your local Cosmo. If you are near me and in Nottingham then the ad below has their phone number on for you or click it to be taken to the website.
NB. We were given our meals in return for an honest review however all the opinions above are my own as I will only share the truth with you readers and whether something is good or rubbish I will tell you!