Monday, 20 December 2010

Cosmo: Valley Leisure Park, Croydon

Cosmo boasts a plethora of Pan-Asian food; Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Korea, Thai etc. and supposedly there are 20,000+ people eating there every week - now those are big big numbers. What struck me when I went in was the number of people queuing, I'd definitely advise on booking before going. However for some reason not all tables were used but there were lots of people inside. Anyway onto the food. If you are looking for the best Pan-Asian food then Cosmo isn't the place but I guess it's decent for buffet food. Trays upon trays of Asian buffet food lay in front of you, most of which are deep or shallow fried. The less popular dishes are funnily enough the non-fried foods though! There is also a teppanyaki grill inside where you can chose from a selection of seafood; scallops, prawns, mussels, or meats; chicken/pork skewers, sirloin steaks, to cook, however you may need to queue for this. 

In my opinion the place is poorly laid out, yes it's easy to find everything but most people chose to avoid the Indian section and relatively few tasted the dim sum and sushi on offer. I personally didn't taste the Indian food because I didn't know how long it had been left there. The sushi didn't look all that appetising either whilst the dim sum were clearly cooked from frozen. You can't really go wrong with the deep fried stuff but of course too much of it will give you a sore throat! I tried the noodles, which were ok, but the rice was too bland. There were a selection of pizzas and roasts but I didn't try those either because yet again I wasn't sure how long they were left there. If you want to order something, e.g. some seafood, then prepare to wait a while - or simply don't bother. What you get after waiting 30 minutes to an hour is not worth it. Two small pieces of crab in some sauce is what you get for your patience. Don't get me wrong there were some nice things but I just don't remember them. Nothing was disgusting (well actually there was one thing that didn't taste of anything) but it's not necessarily gourmet food.

The place claims to have a delectable selection of desserts but I wasn't too sure about that. Whilst there seemed to be a wide variety of desserts such as cakes, ice creams, chocolate or vanilla fountains and a selection of small bites, most of them looked unappetising to me. The small bites were possibly ok but I didn't try any of them because they didn't look very pleasant to me, especially when some of them looked a bit gooey and sludgy. I did try a piece of cake, but that tasted average and it didn't seem fresh. If you want a drink you'll have to buy it from the bar, but they aren't too expensive.

Overall the place wasn't to my liking, it's just a larger version of a Chinatown buffet - which I don't particularly like. You'll find a mix of people there; young or old, asian or non asian (though mostly non asian), the decor is ok and the staff are ok. I would probably go there if I was in a large group and had nothing else to do but I wouldn't chose to go there, especially when there are other restaurants around the same area. And all that for £12.99 per person (though it's £13.99 for Fridays and Saturdays), was it worth it? You decide.

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