Thursday, 27 October 2011

Red Hot World Buffet Cardiff

The Red Hot World Buffet and Bar was packed for its launch party last night in Cardiff. There were drinks, speeches, belly dancing, Chinese dragon dancing, Indian music, stilt walkers, and finally the opening of the buffet itself.

A walk around the buffet takes you past Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Tex-Mex, Cajun, Italian, Mediterranean and British food items (around 300 in all), including live stations where chefs prepare food such as pizza and risotto. There are also plenty of desserts and ice creams. Portion size is small for most pre-prepared items, to help you make a diverse selection. There's a range of vegetarian options and all the food is attractively presented.

Faced with this cornucopia, I made my usual buffet mistake - my first plateful mixed too many items that did not complement each other. Some of the dishes are pleasingly hot and spicy, for instance, and don’t go with other styles of food. I prefer buffets after I get familiar with them, and always enjoy buffets on all-inclusive holidays more after several days when I can assemble my optimum buffet plateful.

I had an enjoyable seafood selection for my second plate last night, with some excellent mussels. I finished off with several types of dessert (it’s all cream and chocolate rather than fresh fruit). Not all the world’s regions are pulled off with the same success, and I’ll be honing in on the Indian and oriental areas on future visits. I’ll also be taking the kids, to see what they make of it and how the place caters for them. I expect this is where the pizza station comes into its own.

Red Hot World Buffet reminds me somewhat of Epcot’s World Showcase in Orlando, Florida. This is not a criticism of the food by the way; some of the pavilions around the lake at Disney’s park pull out all the stops to promote their nation’s cuisine (although Ye Olde British Pub serving “warm beer” and greasy chips is to be avoided). The connection is the attraction of sampling many world cuisines in one place; although the disneyfication of the dining experience was evident in the choice of entertainment at Red Hot World Buffet and Bar last night.

The first Red Hot World Buffet and Bar was founded in Nottingham in 2004. The Cardiff branch is the seventh in the UK. It offers all-you-can-eat buffet dining for a set price, from £7.99 for lunch and £12.99 for dinner.

If you really want, say, Italian or Japanese, then you should probably stick to a specialist restaurant, but if you want to sample a range of world cuisines in one sitting then Red Hot World Buffet is definitely the place for you.

Red Hot World Buffet and Bar
3-6 Hills Street, St David’s Dewi Sant, Cardiff CF10 2LE

The last time I ate at Epcot I had an excellent Moroccan evening (complete with obligatory belly dancer, of course). Penarth-based food blogger Rebecca (Fasting Foodie) recently ate in Epcot. Here's her post:

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