I had offered the no-expense-spent opportunity to the winners of the first season of Spottersbadge League to join me for an all-you-can-eat feast at Cosmo to recognise their achievement. Bizarrely, they were reluctant to immediately take this up. It took until recently for me to get round to planning another visit.
I was joined by long time friend but first time quester Toby.
For those who haven’t come across Cosmo’s approach to redefining the dining experience, the place is one of those ghastly buffet restaurants complete “dramatic” live cooking stations and over 150 different dishes from around the world to sample.
I arrived to find Toby seated at table 100 – the place is vast – which offered a good look over the dazzling array of dining options for us to self serve.
I had been given a steer that a profitable approach was to start with the sushi, move to curries and such, then explore some of the live station cooking, so that’s broadly what we did.
The sushi was a range of rolls in the usual style. They were of the quality of supermarket sushi so were a decent enough opener.
While Toby dived into a plate of assorted Chinese food, I loaded up on rogan josh, chicken tikka and prawn masala, with some daal, channa and the like on the side.
This was the undoubted highlight as the meat was decently tender, the spicing pretty lively, and the flavours as vivid and complex as you’d expect. It put me in mind of tmy recent visit to Red Fort.
Toby fared less well as the Chinese – an assortment of king prawns and mussels as well as noodles and whatnot – was declared bland and flavourless. Sadly this became the recurring theme for the rest of our stay.
We headed for the teppanyaki station where a chef expertly prepared scallops and squid to order on a sizzling grill plate. These should have been so much better, but they were incredibly bland reflecting what I suspect was a really low-quality starting product.
Toby sensibly sought solace in the curries which he agreed were where the strength of the place clearly resided.
I decided to assemble what I’ll call “the dirty plate”. This included pizza, penne carbonara, macaroni cheese, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, spring rolls, a burger and lasagne. Well, it was always going to happen.
This was a pretty depressing plate of brown with the burger notably bad, the pizza limp and sad, and the pasta a complete flavour vacuum. The Yorkshire was rather better than the dreadful one from China Red but that could not save the day.
Dessert was a range of garishly coloured slabs of sugar. And jelly babies. The jelly babies were good. As we chewed on them we were left to reflect on a meal that had rather more lows than highs.
So overall, I couldn’t recommend Cosmo to you. Unless you limit yourself to the Indian food, or can persuade one of the live cooking stations to properly season the food they are preparing, I’d give it the complete swerve. The only circumstance which would prompt a return would be excessive drunkenness or the after effects of that.
Blythe scores Cosmo
2/5 for food
2/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 10.5/20
Today’s questers were: Toby, Blythe
We ate: a fuck ton of shit
We drank: lager
We wore: informal buffetwear
Total bill: £37.88
Address: Omni Centre, Greenside Place, Edinburgh EH1 3AA