Review: Cosmo, Derby

Cosmo Authentic World Kitchen, London Road, Derby, DE1 2PA
Visited 7th July 2019

I’ve never been to a world buffet restaurant before. I’ve never totally understood why someone would want to eat several different cuisines in one meal and thought that no restaurant could do many different cuisines well. So when Cosmo contacted me to offer trying their world cuisine at one of their restaurants, I thought it was time to rectify this and see why this sort of restaurant is so popular. Our nearest was their restaurant in Derby. We visited on Sunday lunchtime and it was already quite busy when we arrived at 12:30.

We were greeted by the manager, who showed me around the different food stations. There was a strong emphasis on Asian cuisine, with a Japanese teppanyaki grill, sushi, classic Chinese, Thai and a noodle station that served pho and ramen. As well as this there was also a salad station, classic roast dinner, Brazilian barbecue, pizza, Indian curries and the most extensive pudding selection I’ve ever seen. There was a big selection of vegetarian dishes and these are clearly marked.

There was a relatively limited drinks menu for a non- drinker, but they did some some mocktails. I made the mistake of choosing one with cream on the top, slightly foolishly as this started filling me up before I even started on the food. The other drinks like Coke and Vimto had free unlimited refills.

I decided to stick with the Asian cuisine, so I started with some sushi. It was nice to see a big bowl of my favourite seaweed salad alongside the sushi. I tried a selection of seafood and vegetarian sushi and some edamame and it was all very tasty.

From my sushi starter, I moved onto some classic Chinese. They have all the restaurant favourites, like sweet and sour chicken, prawn toasts, beef in black bean sauce and crispy seaweed, as well as a few more authentic dishes like braised pork. They also have a row of bamboo steamers filled with pork bao, dumplings and custard buns. I tried a selection of these and was surprised by how tasty it all was. I think the aubergine dish was my favourite; I do love aubergine in Chinese cuisine!

Once I had demolished that plateful, I had to try some noodles. The chefs cook what you want while you wait, I opted for chicken ramen. I hadn’t quite anticipated the huge portion size of the noodles. Once I had eaten a fair amount of this bowl, I was getting full and I had to try some desserts as they looked amazing. The ramen was delicately flavoured but tasty, but lacking my favourite component of the mariated ramen egg. The broth tasted a bit like generic chicken stock, but I wouldn’t have expected them to boil up bones for 12 hours to make their broth here.

Unfortunately, now I was getting full I had to skip the teppanyaki station, though Mr Ramen tried some, which he enjoyed, as well as tucking into a selection of the curries, including chicken tikka masala, rogan josh and saag aloo, which I tried from his plate. They were very good, though I would say the Asian foods tasted more authentic.

Now, the desserts. If like me, you have a sweet tooth, the dessert section will amaze you. There is every dessert you could possibly desire, from eton mess and ice cream (including a do it yourself soft serve!), to a chocolate fountain with waffles and marshmallows, cakes and cheesecake portions. I could have piled my plate with one of everything, but my stomach wouldn’t let me, so I settled for a chocolate muffin, waffle, marshmallows swirled in the milk chocolate fountain, a mini creme brulee and a tiny ring doughnut. I wish I could have gone back to try more, as they were all extremely tasty (with maybe the exception of the muffin being a bit dry), but now I had been defeated.

The most disappointing thing about the visit was my own inability to keep eating more, as I would have loved to try so much more of it! I suggest making a visit when you are really starving, to get the maximum enjoyment and value for money! The cost is £15.99 per person for Sunday lunchtime (the price varies a little for when you go, so check out their website here). This includes everything apart from drinks, which to me seems like very good value for money, especially considering just how many choices there were for starters, mains and desserts.

I have to say I was really impressed with Cosmo. I think the main thing that has always put me off world kitchen restaurants is thinking that the food will all be very average, but everything I tried here was very good and the Chinese food especially was on a par with a very good Chinese restaurant.

*This meal was gifted/ not paid for.

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