London – Havering (Borough of) – Romford – Cosmo World Buffet

It’s a few years since I’ve been to the Cosmo at Romford Brewery, but I thought I’d have a decadent treat as they’ve re-opened this weekend. Being a self-service buffet, these have been challenging times for them, but they seem to have put a fair bit of work into making things operate safely and efficiently.

The table-mats now operate as instructions for how to move around the buffet. A staff member also gave me a comprehensive introduction to the service arrangements and how to move around.

The interior of the restaurant, which was moderately busy, but by no means packed. The service was efficient and payment is now taken during the middle of the meal, which is an interesting time to take it. The unlimited soft drink offer remains, but the staff now get drinks for customers. Cosmo have also temporarily surrendered their alcohol licence for the time being, although their drinks selection in this regard has never surprised and delighted me. So I stuck to Vimto.

The buffet arrangement, with the usual high levels of choice. The roasts section was a bit depleted, but otherwise everything seemed well stocked. The one minor difficulty that I had was the gloves that they ask customers to use, as I found them challenging to open, but they’re a good idea. I had wondered whether Cosmo would revert to a system of staff serving customers, but that would have required a change of equipment and design, so wasn’t really viable.

I think it’s fair to say that I could enter Masterchef with presentational skills such as this.

And a selection of desserts, which weren’t particularly exciting, although this has never been a strong area for Cosmo in my view. Anyway, it’s perhaps not the most upmarket of restaurants, but it was all organised and well-managed, with the Norwich outlet of their chain also re-opening this weekend. I assume that they’ll be taking out a lot of their tables in Norwich, as otherwise customers end up being just too close to each other.