As I promised in my Shiny New Blogging Timetable Thursday will now include ‘going out in Leeds’ posts and so here’s the first of them.
The new COSMO restaurant on Boar Lane in Leeds is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. I know what images might spring to mind when I say that, because they appeared in my mind too. However, COSMO is a lot more impressive than I was expecting. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the overall impression of the venue is one that’s bright, clean and nicely designed. The wavy wooden ceiling was a well-designed detail and I really liked the wall of booths along the back. You’re not prepared for the size and bustle of the place when you first walk into the small, street-level entrance. On descending to restaurant level it feels more like a street market than a restaurant; there are several places where you can choose to have food cooked freshly for you and there’s lots of people walking around, browsing the array of food on offer.
When we arrived for our special bloggers’ evening, the place was packed, with the diners ranging from couples on a night out to groups of people who’d arrived straight from work. A birthday party was taking place in one corner, complete with candle-festooned cake and singing. People were clearly enjoying the experience and the attentive staff were making sure that the place was kept tidy, despite the fact that people could have plate after plate of food!
What’s great about COSMO is that it addresses two big problems when eating out. Firstly, my terrible ordering indecision. I approach a menu like it’s my last supper. Every time. With a buffet, I’m free to choose a little of this, and a little of that without impunity. Excellent. The second positive about COSMO is that everyone can find something they’ll enjoy. Global influences from sashimi, via pizza, curry and stir fry all the way back to British roast beef, mean there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Which makes it the perfect place to take a big group of people. Add the dessert wall to that mixture and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Of the food I tried, I particularly enjoyed the Chinese dumplings and the freshly cooked teriyaki salmon. There was a decent vegetarian selection too, which I largely chose from, as my diet is mostly veggie or pescetarian. The paneer tikka was very tasty! I do think that the fresh food stations are where the difference between COSMO and many other all-you-can-eat places lies. It’s reducing the likelihood of all the food sitting there for ages —and I noticed that the staff were paying lots of attention to changing food over, covering it up and generally ensuring that it was all as clean, fresh and tidy as it could be.The chocolate pudding I finished with was pleasant and covering marshmallows in chocolate from the fountain was lots of fun!
So, is COSMO fine dining? No. But it’s great at what it does. Which is provide a giant range of food to suit every audience in an enjoyable setting. And I already know my children would love it…
With thanks to COSMO for the evening.