A Food Lover's Fantasy
My daughter Megan lives in Manchester and one of her favourite places to dine is the Red Hot World Buffet. So when I was offered the chance to review the chain I was only too pleased to take Megan and her two sisters for a Sunday lunchtime buffet.
We arrived at 2.30pm and there was a queue to get in. It moved quite quickly though as families were directed to tables or diverted to the bar area. The restaurant is housed over two floors and we were seated on the second floor in a really attractive dining area with decor from Mexico. It was really modern and funky, bright and spacious. We were served by our waitress who took our drinks order and explained the buffet system to us.
The restaurant prides itself on serving a huge range of healthy, fresh dishes that are replenished regularly. Diners pay a set fee which allows them to visit the buffet as often as they wish.
The buffet area is huge with dedicated areas such as Indian, Italian, Chinese, Tex-Mex, Starters, Salads and Desserts. Up to forty chefs are busy cooking a selection of the 300 dishes and keeping the food topped up. There are ten live stations where you can get food cooked to order. Megan had an Asparagus Risotto freshly cooked in front of her.
As we are all vegetarians we were really impressed with how many veggie dishes were available to us, however a V sign on the labels would make it easier to identify which foods are suitable for vegetarians. Kizzy almost piled her plate with Calamari thinking they were some sort of fancy onion rings. A veggie friendly symbol would have avoided this mix up!
The food is beautifully presented with some dishes ready served into little bowls, others in big lidded serving vessels and some on platters. It really is a treat for the eyes for any foodie!
The temptation is to go for a big mix and match plateful of different cuisines, and although I promised myself not to do this, I couldn't resist adding more and more tasty offerings onto my plate making a combination of Indian, Chinese, Italian and Tex Mex dishes. I did actually enjoy having a little bit of everything and sampling all the different veggie food.
My favourites included Paneer Mather, Chinese Noodles, Thai Vegetable Curry, Four Cheese Pasta, Corn and Spinach Gratin, Spicy Veg Quesadila and Chana Dahl. The Indian, Thai and Tex-Mex food was really quite hot and spicy and not for the faint hearted. However, there are plenty of other offerings such as traditional roasts and pizza for anyone who prefers their food mild!
The desserts really were impressive to behold with up to 40 homemade puddings on offer. A beautifully decorated ice-cream counter served up a selection of flavours including bubblegum, coconut, mango and my favourite banana and caramel. There were gateaux, cake, brownies, fruits, mousses, jellies, cheesecake, apple crumble and sweets galore to chose from. Everything was so pretty!
Dirty plates were collected regularly from the table and we were given a jug of tap water to drink on request. Lots of waiting staff worked the dining areas and the service was very efficient.
Lunch is served from 12-4pm and is £8.49 during the week and £9.99 at weekends. Dinner is from 5.00pm -10.30 (or 11pm Friday and Saturday) and is priced at £13.99 (or £14.99 Friday and Saturday). The later sitting has more food options including a Sushi Bar and Waffle and Pancake Station. Children under 10 are half price. Drinks are priced not included (a small fizzy drink costs £1.75).
Kizzy, who is 9, was charged adult price on the bill and I had to query this with the manager who promptly refunded me the £5 difference and apologised. So if you take the kids make sure that you specify their age prior to being billed to be sure they are charged the correct price.
I would definitely recommend booking in advance because the place gets so busy, especially at peak times. However the buffet area is huge and there is plenty of food which is constantly replenished so it copes well with the amount of people dining.
We had a really enjoyable meal with a great range of vegetarian food to choose from. The Red Hot World Buffet is a slick and impressive operation that well deserves the string of awards and accolades it has achieved over the last couple of years. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with the range and quality of food available. Restaurants are located in Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton and Manchester.
To find out more visit the website at www.redhot-worldbuffet.com
*We were given £30 towards our bill for the purpose of this review.*