COSMO Authentic World Kitchen is an all-you-can-eat buffet, where it’s okay to have eyes bigger than your belly. Since opening in 2003, Cosmo has expanded throughout the UK and Ireland with locations in Manchester, Glasgow, Nottingham, Dublin and Sheffield to name a few.
We recently taste-tested COSMO’s Belfast restaurant; based in Victoria Square Shopping Centre, it’s the ideal location for hungry shoppers, or pre-cinema dinner and drinks.
There’s something exciting about a buffet. You can literally help yourself to whatever you fancy, and as much of it as you can eat. It’s also a great opportunity to try something new. Don’t like it? Doesn’t matter, go get something else.
The staff in Belfast were welcoming and friendly. While it’s very much ‘help yourself’, they were just the right amount of attentive – we didn’t need fawned over, but we did need pointed towards the soft drinks. No complaints, the service is spot on – especially for such a large, busy venue.
Speaking of which, the atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed. Even though it’s a free-for-all with people piling their plates high around the vast array of food stations, it didn’t feel chaotic. The staff quietly picked up the used plates, refilled the food trays when they were low and took drinks orders – it really is a well-oiled machine.
It has to be – they serve 150 different dishes simultaneously, including a selection of live cooking stations. There’s pretty much everything you can think of from Chinese, Indian, Italian to Mexican. There’s sushi, food for the kids such as cocktail sausages and chicken nuggets and they’ve currently got a Christmas carvery where you can get turkey, ham and stuffing.
There’s also an extensive bar which includes a couple of craft beer options including BrewDog’s Punk IPA and Brooklyn Lager.
Before we went, we were sceptical – how can you do so many different types of food and do them well? Is it a case of quantity over quality? This was the fear, however, we needn’t have worried. Everything we tried (and we tried a lot!) was good.
Okay, it wasn’t the best pizza we’ve ever had, but that’s the nature of any buffet. If you want the absolute finest quality pizza, go to a dedicated pizzeria. Generally speaking, if you’re looking for the finest of any cuisine, you should go to a place that specialises in such.
What you will get at COSMO is a whopping selection of B+ quality food to sample and to eat as much of as you want, in a relaxed environment, with friendly staff. For a buffet, you can’t ask for any more than that. We’ve been to buffets around the world and COSMO is as good as you’re likely to get anywhere.