When the foods of the world come to you

One of the most popular dining concepts which has arisen in the past few years has been that of the world buffet.

For the uninitiated, it’s a restaurant which offers all you can eat portions of various cuisines, both home and international, and, as the buffet part indicates, you go up and help yourself.

COSMO Authentic World Kitchen has officially opened its doors in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre, bringing together a melting pot of cuisines and atmospheric live cooking stations to the city.

There are eight live cooking stations, six cuisines and more than 150 dishes to choose from, with something that should appeal to everyone.

My dining group arrived at the new restaurant in the St Enoch Centre, feeling rather ravenous. The restaurant itself is easy to find, on the upper floor of the shopping centre. On entering, it’s light and bright, and has a luxurious feeling to it, with comfortable seating.

We were taken to our table, and had our drinks order taken. There was a large digital screen in front of me, which switched between a dynamic view of a stream in a forest, to a shot of Mount Fuji with rippling waves in front of it, creating a calming atmosphere.

As a lover of the buffet, I have a tactic worked out when it comes to filling my boots, so get the most bang for my buck. Having seen a documentary on television about someone who has been banned from these restaurants for being able to eat to much, I have learned a thing or two from him.

The secret, so I learned, is not to put food with a huge amount carbs on your plate to begin with, so my first plate comprised some roast turkey from the carvery, with a selection of other international meats – from all over Asia, Europe and a touch of American with the burgers – which were on offer. The chicken in a satay sauce was really good, and had a lovely aftertaste. The salt and pepper chicken wings were delicious too – a nice bit of heat, but not too much for my delicate palate!

I went back for a second helping, this time with sweet and sour chicken, and beef in black bean sauce. This was absolutely heavenly – the chicken was succulent and the light batter around it wasn’t thick, whilst the beef was as good as I’d expect from my local Chinese restaurant (which is first class, incidentally).

My second plate was just as full as the first, and I was definitely registering that some food had landed in my stomach.

My companions were less ruthless in their eating as I was, as they had korma, sushi, naan bread, pizza and cheeseballs, all of which were finished off with aplomb. Our junior diner was more than happy with the sushi, which is her favourite. She also enjoyed some potato smiles, chicken nuggets and chips. However, it was the dim sums that impressed her most!

Meantime, I had a couple of bowls of the sweetcorn soup, which was very hot, and again, was just what I needed between courses.

For round four, I decided to start introducing carbs, as the chicken korma and naan bread had been recommended. I am very picky when it comes to a korma and this ticked my boxes – very creamy, with a pleasant coconut taste. The naan bread went perfectly with it.

After this, I had a few ribs at this point and there wasn’t too much fat on them, which has been a common complaint when I’ve visited other similar restaurants in the past.

For all that I did have, I was somehow able to ignore the crispy duck rolls, crispy pakora, chicken tikka masala and spaghetti and meatballs. I did, however, have some of the freshly made pizza – a thin crispy crust, just the way I like it, with a choice of toppings available.

During our I was unable to take advantage of the Teppanyaki menu as the live cooking station wasn’t open, but it had steak, salmon, jumbo king prawns, scallops and more on the list.

By this point, I was ready to stop, and wash it all down with dessert. So, I someone was able to ignore the patisserie chefs’ bite-sized homemade cakes, the cascading Swiss chocolate fountain (with marshmallows on sticks), and the jelly. My companions, however, loaded their plates up with these, but for me, there’s nothing more pleasurable than the wonderfully creamy vanilla ice cream. I had two bowls, the second of which was more full than I’d planned as I couldn’t get the machine to switch off! What a horrible situation to be in….

Also of note were the robots which were moving around the floor, taking drinks orders to tables, and these proved a real hit with younger diners especially.

The menu is good, the quality is top notch, and the setting is warm and comfortable. I definitely plan to return.

COSMO World Kitchen, St Enoch Centre, 55 St Enoch Square, Glasgow, G1 4BW.

0141 248 8988