*Our meal was provided free of charge, however, all words and opinions are my own as usual
For those of you that haven’t heard of it before, COSMO is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant chain with the Manchester branch located on Deansgate. They’ve gone for a luxe industrial style of decor and first impressions were good as Adam and I were led to our table.
Our server for the afternoon, Faith, came over to say hello and explained how things work at COSMO. As the name suggests, you pay a set fee then tuck into whatever – and however much – food you like. There is also a drinks menu which is priced separately. We both opted for bottomless soft drinks at about £3 each and, being a true Northerner, I was delighted to discover that Vimto was one of the options available.
The thing with these kinds of places is that you kind of know what you’re getting. They’re great for those days when you don’t feel like cooking or if you’re dining out with a group and can’t settle on just one cuisine. You fancy a jalfrezi but your mate wants pizza? COSMO has it sorted.
With live food stations dotted about, there was the option to have fresh dishes made as you wait, such as teppanyaki or bowls of ramen, alongside hotplates boasting curries, sushi, pizza, a carvery section and so much more. I chose pilau rice, two types of curry, crispy seaweed, mini hash browns and mango chutney because why not?
That’s another wonderful perk at this kind of restaurant; anything goes. If you want to stick a piece of naan bread on your traditional Sunday lunch or top your chow mien with roast potatoes then it’s highly unlikely that other guests will be judging you much.
The dessert section at COSMO also deserves a mention – I mean, what buffet would be complete without a chocolate fountain? Along with this showstopper, the options included fresh fruit, ice-cream, popcorn and an array of miniature sweet treats.
I filled my plate with mini Swiss rolls, a marvellous coconut and mango crème dessert, a chocolate brownie, strawberry mousse and a big dollop of Eton Mess (and managed to eat every last crumb) while Adam went for a bowl of melon topped with vanilla ice-cream.
Of course, there are those that like to point out the ‘Quality vs Quantity’ debate, yet COSMO doesn’t claim to be a Michelin star establishment. I think that budget-friendly is the name of the game and they even remind guests to not waste food by piling their plates sky-high. Simply eat a little of what you fancy then go back for more if you need to.
It cost £15.99 each for our Sunday visit, however, weekday lunch sessions are just £9.50 so there’s no denying that COSMO is excellent value for money. It’s the kind of place that I can imagine revisiting with Lucie for an easy lunch or taking my dad after a day exploring the local museums.