Cosmo, York – Restaurant Review

cosmo york restaurant review interior

Cosmo, York

Restaurant Review

by Roger Crow

I’d never heard of Cosmo, the national chain of restaurants that’s been popping up around the UK for the past few years. But this Saturday lunchtime in York, it seems I’m the only one in town who hasn’t; the queue is snaking out the door.

cosmo york restaurant review dumplingsCatering for the masses at an affordable price is not easy. The all-you-can-eat buffet can be a culinary car crash if the quality drops, but judging by the fact the restaurant is packed out, (there’s a half hour wait today for newcomers who haven’t booked), manager Duncan Ho is obviously doing something right.

He sums up the eatery’s recipe for success with four words: “Good value, friendly service.”

I’d add two more: “Great surroundings”. The decor is elegant and contemporary; a treat for the eyes. I love the dark, wavy ceiling, layered jade-coloured wall cladding and stylish lights.

“Sauces have a good kick where necessary”

I could opt for a soft drink, which offers unlimited top-ups, but as I’m not driving, I make the most of it and have a Tsing Tao beer. Dilki, our amiable waitress, brings us drinks with a smile. So it looks good and the drinks choice and service is great. Will the food pass muster?

cosmo york roasting teppanyakiI’ve experienced similar set-ups on the world’s best cruise liners, where the quality is second to none, so anything below their standard will stick out like a sore thumb. Avoiding the obstacle course of passing diners and over excited kids (who look like Christmas, Easter and birthday has all come at once), I enjoy pottering around the assorted food stations.

I opt for vermicelli noodles; green beans; rice; chilli mushrooms; prawn crackers; chick pea daal; beef and chicken. The sauces have a good kick where necessary; the mushrooms and chicken balls (no laughing at the back) are especially delicious, while the assorted noodles are a joy.

My wife has salad; cauliflower, peppers, veggie pizza; vegetable spring rolls; onion rings; pilau rice and veggie curry. There’s not a huge choice for vegetarians, so little wonder the veg pizza is snapped up as soon as it’s put out. A ‘V’ on the relevant labelled sections would have been a nice additional guide, but it’s not a deal breaker.

“As culinary theatre goes it’s a master stroke”

I try a slice of pepperoni pizza, which is equally good, along with salad, olives and pickles. It’s hard to find much I don’t like during three trips to the assorted stations.

cosmo york restaurant review indianSome buffets can be a let down with mediocre desserts, but Cosmo’s are terrific. While the pecan brownies are right up my street, the star of the show is the chocolate fountain, on many levels. Watching wide-eyed kids covering their ice cream in cascading liquid chocolate looks like an improv version of Willy Wonka. As culinary theatre goes it’s a master stroke, and when I devour my choc marshmallow kebab, I realise the sauce is as good as it looks.

We finish with cappuccinos while that fountain continues to amuse.

The acid test for any restaurant review is: ’Would I return as a paying customer?’ As I adore Chinese, Italian, Indian and carveries, Cosmo ticks all of my boxes when it comes to buffet dining. It reminds me of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival: good food from around the world, though thankfully we don’t have to travel thousands of miles for the privilege.

There’s still a few sections I don’t have room for on my inaugural visit, but the great food, staff, decor and affordability means my wife and I wouldn’t have to think hard about a second or third visit.

Cosmo, 19 Bridge Street, York, YO1 6DA
01904 633800

MONDAY – FRIDAY 12:00 – 15:00 £8.50
SATURDAY 12:00 – 16:00 £10.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99

DINNER from £14.99
MONDAY – THURSDAY 17:00 – 22:30 £14.99
FRIDAY 17:00 – 23:00 £15.99
SATURDAY 17:00 – 23:00 £16.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99


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