Mumsnet Berkshire does Pan Asian dining!

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My review of Cosmo Restaurant, Reading, Berkshire

I love food. I love eating out. It’s something I rarely do these days with a toddler and a baby because it’s usually too much hard work entertaining a toddler and not really relaxing. So when Cosmo, Reading invited me to come along for a free meal with my husband to see what their restaurant is like, I called in the babysitters AKA Nanny & Grandad!

Cosmo is a pan Asian, world food banquet dining restaurant – or to you and me, an all you can eat comprising Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Pizza and good old English food.

As you enter through the front door, the queue is split into two lines – those who have booked and those who haven’t. This makes it so much quicker to get in if you have booked a table and the queue did get very long so its clearly a popular restaurant. There is also a small area to leave your buggy. Unfortunately, its not possibly to take your buggies into the restaurant.

03292013022001-2We went on a Sunday lunchtime at midday so it had only just opened when we arrived. As you walk in the room is split into three dinstinct areas: seating, food, more seating. It’s massive!! The food was laid out and presented beautifully. As well as looking fresh and smelling great, you can also watch some of the food being cooked at live cooking stations.

I was struck by the décor. The walls are a modern grey and the chairs are cream and very comfortable to sit on. It was very atmospheric. We were shown to our seats and ordered our refillable soft drinks (sadly no alcohol to consume when you have to go back to looking after the littlies) and the staff explained we could go up when we were ready. So we did!

You go up and take a plate, help yourselves to what you want and then go eat it! Simple. I like buffet dining because it is instant and being a mum, time is usually of the essence. I don’t like buffet style because I always worry about freshness of food and hygiene. But it was very clean and the majority of dishes had lids on which I appreciated. There is an area in front of each row of food where you can place your plate which is really useful for having a nosey under the lids of the food before making your choice.

As well as starter, main and side options, they also have a wide variety of small desserts. So even when you are stuffed from the mains, there is ALWAYS room for a small pud. There was a fruit option, was well as cakes & ice cream. Children were well catered for with many simple kiddy foods as well as sweeties for on your ice cream. But if they were feeling adventurous we definitely thought it is a great place to introduce children to new flavours.

Cosmo is family friendly. I didn’t see any high chairs but then I didn’t see any really young children when we arrived. There were people of all ages there enjoying their lunch and it got very busy. It was a little bit weird to finish your plateful to have it whisked away before you have even put your fork down but it stops the table getting cluttered.

We did stop and rest for a while between platefuls so I could assess how full I was and just enjoy some people watching. This was the only time I felt rushed because the staff assumed we had finished and were tidying around us and asking if we wanted any tea or coffee. I don’t think that was meant purposefully to hurry us up though. It is run in an efficient manner and we found the staff very polite.

The tables are very close together so if you had lots of bags, it would be quite a squeeze to get through to your seat and if you love to know what others are talking about then you can easily listen in because you are so close. But this is the problem of modern dining and not something I’ve seen only at Cosmo.

The food was delicious. The mains were tasty and flavoursome (and I tried as many as a could haha!) but I found the desserts a little bland. That said, my husband liked his choices of dessert. It would have been nice to have the desserts labelled because it wasn’t always obvious what it was i.e you think its chocolate but its coffee flavoured (this always upsets me because I hate coffee – love the smell of it though!).

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal out at Cosmo and would recommend it as somewhere for the whole family, meals out with friends, and it has the space for larger parties too.

You can find out more about Cosmo Reading here.

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