Reviewed by Victoria Thacker
In all honestly a visit to Cosmo Derby is a gastronomic high class, yet open to all dining experience allowing you to taste the continents and expand your culinary palette, without breaking the bank or feeling daunted by unknown dishes.
Tables are easy to book online, and multi-storey parking is available a short walking distance away. On arrival at Cosmo we were welcomed at the reception desk and shown to the funky cinema style bar waiting area with complimentary Bombay mix to prepare your taste buds. Called by name once the table is ready and all the party have arrived, we were then guided into the restaurant where a waiter stops by the table to take drinks orders and explain the dining process (which is also all explained on the information placemats so don’t worry if you miss anything). In a nutshell, you can choose from a wide range of drinks including cocktails and bottomless soft drinks. Then take a plate and choose your own lunch / dinner. Once finished your plate will be collected from your table and you can go up for seconds, thirds, fourths (fifths, sixths and sevenths etc. too if you are able to!) Each table has 2 hours to dine but there’s no limit on the amount of visits you can pay to the large buffet and live cooking area, so you can have each continent on a different plate if wished or combine your favourites from each area at each sitting – let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a sneaky bit of poppadom with pizza and Chinese.
The restaurant has a very large casual dining area with well-spaced tables and booths. Minimal chic decor with accent features such as huge vases of flowers and sophisticated lighting. Relaxing background music plays throughout the restaurant which is not too loud, and perfect to talk over. The dining style is definitely family friendly and the staff are accommodating and efficient.
If you have ever looked at a takeaway menu and wondered (but not dared order) shredded duck or tempura prawns, then the Cosmo style of dining is ideal as you can try them all without swapping from your usual chicken chow mein and chips. You can even try squid, crispy seaweed, sushi and oysters!
There’s no way I could list all the dishes on offer as there are over 150, a few that caught my eye were:
A wide range of curries, rices and noodles, pad thai, soups, lemon chicken, prawn toast, pizza, macaroni cheese, prawns, cous cous, salads, bbq chicken, tempura sweet potato, beautifully steamed vegetables, salmon, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, cheeseburgers, chilli, pie, sausages, chicken pops, fantastic live cooked dishes, and a wide range of vegetarian options.
And well, as a baker and deserts girl at heart, I was blown away by the sheer amount of puddings available. Let’s start with my favourite – Eton mess, what’s’ not to love about meringue, cream and fruit; Jelly, black forest gateaux, Sicilian lemon cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, waffles, ice cream, crème brulee, and a white and milk chocolate fountain with marshmallows to dip.
Once you can eat no more and all the plates are cleared you can round off your meal with teas and coffees if wished.
Cosmo is great for birthdays of all ages and large group gatherings, with food for even the fussiest of eaters, you can also bring your own balloons etc. for your table and if you drop it off when you arrive at the restaurant, staff will bring out a birthday cake for you at the end of your meal.
My top tips for dining with Cosmo would be – to all arrive on time so you can be seated at your table on time, try something different that you’d usually never pick, and wear something that’s not fitted or tight as I can assure you that you’ll leave full to the brim.
Without a shadow of a doubt Cosmo Derby is the best buffet restaurant we’ve ever been to. You can certainly tell that the inspiration for the restaurant comes from high end buffets commonly found in 5 star hotels in the Far East.
We are now planning our next visit with all the family and will definitely be back.
As an aside to the main review:
I have to say that as a new mum the thought of going to eat in any restaurant is rather daunting but hand on heart the staff at Cosmo were fantastic. We picked the earliest dinner sitting to suit our little one’s bedtime routine and there was no problem seating us in a quieter area so I could un-self-consciously feed her while we dined. I carried her in to the restaurant as from personal choice I find this easier than negotiating steps and pram parking when out and about, and on good days she’ll even happily sit in a high chair – which are available on request.
The restaurant being buffet style helps you work around having little ones with you, as if needs be one can eat while the other feeds / holds / does the bathroom run / generally entertains them, then switch, which is great as you know your food isn’t sat at the table going cold. Plus, there are lots of the dishes that are easy to eat one handed!
Thank you to the Cosmo Derby team.
Lunch starts from just £7.50, and dinner from £13.99, for unlimited amounts of food! Find out more and book online at: www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk.
Cosmo, London Road, Derby, DE1 2PA | 01332 295300 | firstname.lastname@example.org