Making my way through Victoria Square on a busy winter's evening, most of the restaurants appeared deserted, with the exception of COSMO, a pan-Asian buffet style eatery that was buzzing with activity.

At this gourmet world tour restaurant you can enjoy everything from curry to sushi to pizza, or all three if you wish, as well as a range of both hot and cold desserts.

If the evident popularity of the all-you-can eat style restaurant wasn't enough to tempt you inside, the wide range of freshly prepared dishes, live cooking stations and sophisticated drinks menu certainly would be.

Having eaten at a few buffet style restaurants in my time, I was prepared for a canteen-style setting, however COSMO was far from a reminder of my school days. Rather, we were taken to a quiet table for two in the sophisticated and tasteful space, where our waitress was quick to offer a drinks menu.

The restaurant had an instant appeal with its elegant decorations and perfectly adjusted lighting that served the purpose of both the cosy seating area and bright spacious food stations.

We each ordered a drink and were left to our own devices, ready to explore and fill our plates.

Whether you're stopping in for lunch or dinner while Christmas shopping, treating your family to a meal or catching up with friends, COSMO has all basis covered when it comes to food and drink.

In the mood for a cold beer, we each opted for a Peroni, but I can't say I wasn't tempted by the list of cocktails, gins and spritzers. There's also a small selection of draught beers, with the San Miguel proving popular at other tables, as well as wines, cocktail jugs and spirits.

Dining at COSMO can be as simple or as extravagant as you wish, with customers free to enjoy as many courses as they can manage for one price.

Many around us appeared to be making use of the sushi station to start, which boasted all of the standard sushi options like wasabi, cucumber rolls and spicy prawn rolls. Also to start you could choose from the likes of peking ribs and samosas, or you could of course just grab a plate and head straight for your main course.

This city centre spot is a paradise for those who love Chinese food. If you take your meals as seriously as I do, you'll understand the stress that often comes with ordering a takeaway, longing to try out something new but not wanting to risk making a bad choice.

Fear not, however, as at COSMO you can fill your plate and try as many different options as you like. A few dishes that caught my eye were kung pao chicken, mapo tofu and king prawns with chilli and garlic sauce, but there's also the classic curries, sweet and sour, salt and chilli chicken and beef with black pepper sauce.

Adding to the pleasure to be had at COSMO is the smart layout and well stocked food at every station. It's inevitable that some dishes will be more popular than others, yet each option remained well stocked and we didn't find ourselves queuing once, not even during peak times on a busy Thursday evening.

My boyfriend and I both enjoyed the spicy chicken wings to start, which had just the right amount of kick and flavour to leave you wanting more.

Opting next for a few of our Chinese favourites, we were each impressed by the piping hot servings. The temperature of food is a deal breaker for us both, and with such a wide selection, COSMO have done well to keep all of their dishes as warm as possible.

Overall, I was delighted with the choices I made and enjoyed every bite. The creamy chicken curry was the perfect compromise for an all-you-can-eat, with enough kick to satisfy a spice lover like myself, while being mild enough to please my other half who isn't so keen.

The sweet and sticky honey chilli chicken was also as palate pleasing as I'd hoped. The sweet honey was perfectly paired with the fiery warmth of the chilli to give a sweet and crispy dish that I was quick to polish off.

You may be noticing a bit of a theme here, as I was also eager to try out the salted chilli chicken, a dish that is quickly becoming a staple part of my diet. Personally, I enjoy mine as dry as possible, and was delighted to see that the chefs at COSMO agree. With well proportioned seasoning that just about coated the meat, the flavour and texture were there without the dreaded overpowering saltiness that often comes with this dish.

Accompanying each meal we chose from a range of sides, including fried rice, chilli chips, mixed vegetables and my personal favourite; Hong Kong noodles.

Keen to make another stop on my world tour, my next port of call was to the Indian station. From masalas to jeera aloo, any popular Indian dish you can think of is likely to be on offer at COSMO.

After having just enough spice, I played it safe with a creamy korma, fragrant pilau rice and some fresh naan bread. This korma was as rich as I had hoped for, with generously sized chunks of chicken and a thick creamy sauce.

My other half enjoyed a portion of peking ribs, which had plenty of meat coated in a gorgeous dark, glossy sauce that looked so good I couldn't resist trying one myself.

Another wonder of the COSMO experience is the dessert station, where you can chose from as many, if not more, sweet treats than most à la carte menus will offer. Whether you're a chocolate fudge cake lover or you fancy a slice of black forest gateau or even a simple carrot cake, there's an option for everyone.

I finished off my meal with a slice of banoffee gateau, following the lead of many other diners around the room. COSMO's take on this much loved classic was likely full of calories, but with no apologies as every spoonful was worth it.

If I could fault this Victoria Square restaurant on anything, it's that I'd need a bigger plate to enjoy everything in one visit. While some like us will concentrate on the traditional asian dishes, the range of food on offer under one roof has to be the most diverse I've ever seen. From the Japanese cooking station, to freshly made pizzas and even roast dinners, customers can be sure that every one of their guests will find something to enjoy.

Jenna Gardiner

COSMO Belfast can be found in Victoria Square in the city centre. For more information, including menus, go to or

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