Not really a review and not really a preview because it isn’t actually open yet. After a very long time of seeming inactivity, it’s been confirmed that Cosmo Oxford will be opening mid May. We decided to try their Reading branch to find out what we could expect.
First off, there’s a ginormous amount of food! We walked past on our way to the table and there was food everywhere. The idea is that you get seated, order your drinks and then GO FOR IT! The price you pay depends on when you eat, be warned it increases on different days and at different times. The most you’ll pay for food is sixteen quid and kids under a certain height pay half price – which is good value if like me, you have that one child who is a picky eater. Dining out en famille usually requires in depth perusal of the menu in advance to ensure there’s at least one dish he can eat….
Drinks include soft drinks which are bottomless, beers, cider, wine, shots and hot drinks.
What we did wrong was go on a Bank Holiday. Surrounded by families, kids running around, noisy and totally not my idea of fun. Having said that, if there’s a large group of you going out, it would make a lot of sense.
Onto the food. The idea is that the restaurant is a global buffet, you take your plate, wander round and dollop on whatever takes your fancy. In the interests of our readers I tried to choose as much as possible. Please note, this selection was small helpings, it was not full portions!
I ate: Mexican chicken, nachos, onion bhaji, egg fried rice, Szechuan roast pork, garlic and spring onion prawns, crispy duck with pancakes, calamari, onion rings, Korean barbecued pork, barbecued sweet potato, chargrilled pineapple, Chinese barbecue steamed bun, tempura vegetables, naan bread and noodles. Impressive!
The Mexican chicken was reminiscent of a mole, with plenty of spice and flavours, Chinese dishes were about as good as you’d expect from a reasonable takeaway, crispy duck was actually pretty good (and you can eat as much as you want!), the Korean pork was cooked in front of me and served from the skewer, steamed bun was good and the deep fried stuff had a good batter – not too thick or greasy.
There’s so much I didn’t try, the roast dinners, the curries, the pasta, soups, pizza, sushi – there’s over 150 different dishes. And to their credit, it is all hot, well flavoured and plentiful. Don’t expect gourmet food but if you’re looking for reasonable food for a group of you or with fussy eaters, it works and if I want to take the family out where I can be sure that my child is going to eat plenty, this does the job.
Oh, I nearly forgot dessert! Fruit, marshmallows, sweets, chocolate fountain, waffles, ice-cream, froyo, Eton Mess, cheesecake, creme brulee and a selection of gateaux!