How to Plan a Baby Shower at a Restaurant

There are so many possibilities when it comes to deciding on a venue for a baby shower. But have you ever considered holding this special event at a restaurant?

Restaurants offer an ambient, appealing and often large space with plenty of tasty menu options. All that’s needed is for you to apply your own personal touch, making it a day to remember.

But how exactly do you plan a baby shower at a restaurant? Budgets to balloons, food to friends, there’s lots to prepare. We’ve put together our top tips to help you plan the perfect baby shower at a restaurant. 

Top tips for planning a baby shower at a restaurant

Planning a baby shower can seem daunting, which is why we’ve outlined our top tips. We’ve hosted plenty of special occasions here at COSMO, so we know just how important it is to focus on the smaller details. 

Set your budget

Before you commence any preparations, it’s always best to set a budget to follow. Whilst it can be hard to pick a figure to stick to, your budget must be realistic. 

When deciding on a budget, make sure to include:

  • The chosen restaurant venue
  • Food and drinks
  • Decorations
  • Invitations 
  • Games and prizes
  • Thank you notes
  • Any extras you may require

Choose the right location

There are countless restaurants out there, but which ones would make the ideal baby shower venue?

First things first, you’ll need to check that the restaurant can be used to host events and that they’d be happy to cater for your baby shower. They’ll often ask how many people will be attending, so you’ll need to have your guest list sorted!

Once you’ve found a list of restaurants that would be happy to cater for your big day, you’ll need to decide which one you like the sound of the most. Which cuisine would your guests most enjoy? Will the restaurant cater for the dietary requirements of friends and family? Is it spacious enough for all of your guests? Do you like the location? 

At COSMO, we offer an all-you-can-eat world buffet experience. From the spices of Asia to the comfort of a carvery, we embrace flavours from every corner of the world. With plenty of choice, global buffets offer something for every guest.

Complete your guest list and invitations

The big question. Who to invite? You’ll need to compile a list of all of your guests before you begin writing invites, making sure you don’t miss anyone out! 

Once you’ve decided on your list of attendees, it’s time to put together the invites. These could be created yourself using an online tool such as Canva or Adobe, or you could opt for a company to design and print these for you. 

If you’re following a set theme for your locations, your invitations could match with this theme too.  

Whilst you can design your invites however you like, there are a few key pieces of information to include:

  • Name of the host
  • Guest of honour 
  • Date and time
  • Location
  • RSVP and contact details
  • The dress code
  • Food options 
  • A space to provide dietary requirements 

Consider dietary restrictions and preferences

Dietary restrictions and personal preferences are an important detail. Whilst the food served at a restaurant may look tasty, will it meet the needs of your guests? 

From vegetarian and vegan dishes to gluten-free options, there are a range of dietary requirements to be aware of. An easy way to ensure all guests are catered for is to include a section on your invite for dietary requirements. This could be in the form of a checkbox layout, including standard requirements and a space for additional comments.

If you’re going to offer set menu options, these could also be listed on your invites for ease.

Ensure a smooth flow of events

Before you can relax and enjoy the big day, make sure you have a plan of how the event will flow. Planning this in advance will help you to avoid any awkward moments on the day. For example, who will greet the guests? Do you know what time the food will be served? Who will be paying the bill? Will there be time for games after the meal? You can never be too prepared!

You’ll also need to consider what time the event will finish. Take a look at what time the restaurant closes and decide whether you’ll continue the celebrations elsewhere after the closing time.

As the special day unfolds, relax and immerse yourself in the festive celebrations. To discover more about COSMO and explore our offerings, feel free to reach out to our team or visit any of our restaurant locations, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Norwich.

How to Throw a Bridal Shower at a Restaurant

With beautiful decorations, delicious food and plenty of space for all of your guests, restaurants offer a perfect venue to host a bridal shower. 

However, planning a bridal shower at a restaurant can seem like a daunting task. From table themes to invitations, food choices to payments, there’s lots to prepare. To help make the preparations a little easier, we’ve put together our top tips for throwing the perfect bridal shower at a restaurant. 

Our top tips for throwing a bridal shower at a restaurant

Here at COSMO, we’ve catered for countless special occasions, so we know how important it is to get everything just right. Whilst your first thought might be to decide on the food, that’s not the only thing you’ll need to consider.

Choose table themes and decors

When deciding on decorations, it’s best to start by choosing a theme. You could opt for something elegant, retro, floral, rustic, sophisticated – whatever best represents the bride’s personality and personal taste. 

Once you’ve opted for a theme, it’s time to decide where to position your decorations. Throwing a bridal shower at a restaurant means you’ll already have plenty of tables ready to decorate.

Pretty table runners, place cards, personalised napkins, custom tableware, table confetti, floral arrangements and candles can all be used to create a truly special table design.

And it’s not just the tables that offer a space to decorate. If the restaurant allows, why not add banners, balloons, welcome signs, fairy lights and even wall backdrops around the room? Just ensure that all of your decorations follow a similar theme to create a consistent and memorable look.

Send out invitations and RSVPs 

Invitations and RSVPs are, of course, an important part of any bridal shower preparation. Whether you choose to order them or make them yourself, invitations can be customised to suit your theme. 

A bridal shower invitation usually includes a greeting, a request for the person’s attendance, the location and RSVP contact details. But how you design these invitations is completely up to you. Why not add a custom message or even add a photo?

Manage seating arrangements 

Whilst seating arrangements aren’t always required, it can help to ensure things run smoothly on the day. Having an organised arrangement with personalised place cards will help your guests know exactly where to sit.

Think about which of the guests should sit at the bride’s table and consider placing other friends and mutual friends together, making sure everyone feels comfortable in their chosen place.

Bridal shower seating charts can also be a great decorative way for your guests to find their place at the table. A large seating chart surrounded by decorations and garlands can make a beautiful centrepiece within the restaurant. 

Consider photography options

A bridal shower is an incredibly special event with memories that the bride will want to cherish. Photographs are the perfect way to create lasting keepsakes of the day. 

Whilst you can, of course, take photos yourself, there are plenty of photographers who specialise in wedding and bridal shower photography. Hiring somebody to take photos for you means that your guests can relax and enjoy the event without having to remember to snap some shots. 

From the decorations to the guests, professional photographers will capture the atmosphere of the event from start to finish. Photographs also make a great gift to send to your guests afterwards.

And to make things a little more fun, why not buy some photo booth frames and props for your guests to enjoy?

Have a payment plan

It’s always a good idea to have a payment plan sorted out in advance to avoid awkward situations on the day. Typically, the person or people who host the shower are the ones who will pay, but it’s increasingly common for lots of people to chip in.

Whichever payment arrangements you decide on, make sure that somebody is ready and able to pay the bill at the end of the meal. If you are offering a set menu to your guests, the restaurant will be able to tell you a price before the day arrives. 

Consider dietary restrictions and preferences

When deciding which menus and food to opt for, you’ll need to consider dietary restrictions and personal preferences. Many people choose to include a section on their invitations to ask for dietary requirements. This could be a simple checkbox layout, including standard requirements and a space for comments. If you’re offering set menu options, you could also ask your guests to tick their preferred choice. 

Here at COSMO, we offer an all-you-can-eat buffet experience, with a range of cuisines including Asian, Indian, Teppanyaki, Deli and Continental. So everyone is sure to find something they’ll enjoy. 

Once all the preparations are complete, savor the grand day! To explore the offerings at COSMO, contact our team or check out each of our restaurant locations, including Edinburgh, Bournemouth, and Norwich.

How to plan a surprise birthday party at a restaurant

Throwing a surprise party involves some tricky planning. But if it’s done right, it can be a night to remember for everyone involved. Thankfully, throwing a surprise party at a restaurant can take some of the pressure away. With the venue, food and drinks and the date set, all you need to do is invite the guests. 

Below, we offer our top tips and tricks on how to plan a surprise birthday party at a restaurant. 

Our top tips for planning a surprise party at a restaurant 

From choosing a venue everybody is going to like to creating a list of who the birthday boy or girl would like to spend the day with, there are so many aspects of a surprise party that need to be taken into consideration. Fear not, we’re here to help!

Choose the right venue

We all remember the parties with the best venues. That’s why it’s hugely important to choose somewhere that both the birthday guest will like, as well as the other guests. 

Restaurants are always a safe and exciting option. The venue handles logistics, allowing the organiser to focus on the celebration. In fact, restaurants also provide a brilliant atmosphere, relieving hosts of the need for extensive decorations. And with diverse menu options, guests can indulge in their preferences. 

Here at COSMO, our vibrant and welcoming ambience, coupled with attentive staff, ensures a memorable celebration. The expansive buffet offers an array of global cuisines, from Asian to European, satisfying every palate. Imagine savouring sushi, indulging in sizzling stir-fries, and relishing decadent desserts—all in one place. The birthday celebrant often receives special treatment, adding a personalised touch to the occasion. 

Create the guest list

Crafting the ideal guest list for a surprise party at a restaurant requires thoughtful consideration. Of course, as it is a surprise party, always opt for individuals close to the guest of honour who can maintain secrecy. 

Next, consider the restaurant’s capacity and ambience, making sure it suits the celebrant’s preferences and includes friends and family who will enhance the joyous atmosphere. 

Of course, confirm any dietary preferences to guarantee everyone enjoys the dining experience. 

A well-curated guest list will ensure that there is a harmonious blend of personalities, making the surprise celebration a memorable occasion for everyone involved.

Coordinate with restaurant staff

Both you and the restaurant are responsible for the smooth running of your surprise party. That’s why you should coordinate every detail with the restaurant as soon as you start the preparation. This could include aligning logistics such as timing and discreet entry. 

You must also collaborate on special arrangements, like a personalised menu or festive decor. Make sure to confirm dietary preferences and ensure staff is aware of the celebrant’s favourite dishes. 

Coordinating with the restaurant team will guarantee seamless execution, creating a memorable experience for the guest of honour and attendees. 

Capture the ‘surprise’ moments

It goes without saying that you’re going to want to capture the priceless expression on the birthday boy or girl’s face when they enter the room and everyone shouts ‘Surprise!’. Appoint someone as the party’s videographer, such as a member of staff, and make sure that they focus the camera on the guest of honour’s reaction during the initial two or three minutes upon entering the venue. 

Consider dietary restrictions and preferences

And, of course, as you have chosen to throw your surprise party at a restaurant, you must consider all your guests’ dietary restrictions and preferences. Gather information from your guests in advance to ensure the menu caters to various needs, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or other dietary requirements. You should also communicate these details effectively with the restaurant staff so that each guest can indulge in the celebration without any culinary concerns. 

At COSMO’s all-you-can-eat restaurant, we offer a wide range of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and other dietary options. Customers are encouraged to inform the staff about their specific dietary needs, and chefs may be available to discuss ingredient details or customise certain dishes upon request. In fact, we take dietary restrictions and preferences seriously, aiming to provide a diverse and inclusive dining experience.

Create an unforgettable moment at COSMO! Book your surprise birthday party now for a celebration filled with global flavours, vibrant ambience, and joyous surprises. Let us handle the details while you focus on making memories. Contact us today to plan the perfect surprise party and treat your loved one to a delightful experience at COSMO in Belfast, Bristol, Liverpool and more.

How to host a dinner party at a restaurant

Dinner parties are a wonderful way to bring your family and friends together to socialise. With a table filled with delicious food and drinks flowing all night, what better way to spend the night? But who says you have to always host a dinner party in your own home? For those who may not have the space, organising last minute or simply don’t want to face the cooking or washing up, a restaurant is a great alternative. In fact, the less time you spend slaving over a hot stove, worrying whether your guests will enjoy the meal, the more time you could spend enjoying their company. 

How do you host a dinner party at a restaurant?

While everything may appear to be taken care of and all you must do is show up on the day, there are a few things you need to prepare before hosting your dinner party at a restaurant. Take a look below at our top tips for hosting a night to remember. 

Seating arrangements and table decor

The importance of seating arrangements and table decor when you’re hosting a dinner party at a restaurant cannot be overstated. If you are a group of 8-10, one table should be enough. For any larger, you may need to book multiple tables so that everyone can engage with one another. And of course, you must thoughtfully plan where everyone will sit, as they should feel comfortable and connected. 

Likewise, you must also plan the table decor that reflects the event’s theme, setting the tone for the evening. It’s a visual feast that complements the culinary experience, making the celebration memorable.

From elegant centrepieces to personalised place cards, the details matter.

Investing time in these aspects creates an inviting space, elevating the dining experience and leaving a lasting impression on guests.

Communication with guests and the restaurant

Once you have chosen a restaurant you want to host your dinner party at, you should then make sure that your guests are informed about the event details, including date, time, and any special arrangements. As well as this, you should collaborate with the restaurant on guest count, menu preferences, and potential dietary restrictions guarantees a seamless dining experience. Regular updates and coordination guarantee that the restaurant is well-prepared to cater to specific needs, making the evening enjoyable for all. 

Capturing the special moments

Birthdays, engagements, reunions with old friends, whatever the occasion is that you’re celebrating, you may want to capture these special moments. Designate a photographer or encourage guests to take photos of the night. From candid conversations to toasts and laughter, these moments will leave a lasting memory of the evening. You could even share the photos on social media or create a dedicated event hashtag that allows everyone to relive the experience. At COSMO, it would be our pleasure to help you take some fun group pictures!

Budgeting and cost considerations

Budgeting is a crucial aspect when hosting a dinner party at a restaurant. Clearly define a budget that covers the venue costs, food, beverages, and potential extras like decor or entertainment. Then, consider the number of guests and choose a restaurant that aligns with your financial plan.

If your budget is a little tighter, explore package options, set menus, or special deals to optimise value. Keep in mind that additional costs may arise, such as gratuities or corkage fees. 

At COSMO, you needn’t worry about encountering any additional costs, as for just one set price, you can eat as much as you like from our menu. Indulge in a diverse range of global cuisines, from sushi to desserts, all included in a single, affordable fee. All you need to do is bring the guests!

Managing dietary preferences and restrictions

Managing dietary preferences and restrictions is paramount when hosting a dinner party at a restaurant. Make sure to collect detailed information from guests about their dietary needs, including allergies or lifestyle choices. Communicate this information with the restaurant staff, making sure that they can accommodate various requirements. You should also select a restaurant with a versatile menu that caters to different preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options. 

At COSMO’s all-you-can-eat restaurant, we boast a wide array of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Customers are encouraged to inform the staff about their specific dietary needs, and chefs may be available to discuss ingredient details or customise certain dishes upon request. In fact, we prioritise dietary preferences, offering a diverse and inclusive dining experience.

Elevate your dining experience by hosting your next dinner party here at COSMO. Whether you choose to dine at our Dublin, Glasgow or Manchester restaurants, indulge in a world of flavours, from diverse cuisines to delectable desserts, all in one place. Simply contact us today to reserve your spot, and let us turn your special occasion into a memorable feast!

How to eat healthy while eating out

Eating out doesn’t mean you have to stop your diet and fall back into old unhealthy habits. In fact, there are many ways you can enjoy eating out with friends and family whilst keeping it healthy and delicious – and we’re not just talking about ordering salads every time! 

From savvy swaps to decoding menu mysteries, we’ve got your back. Take a look below to learn the art of smart ordering, whether it’s finding the hidden gems or crafting your custom dish. 

How to eat healthy while eating out

Craving a health kick without missing out on restaurant fun? Our quick guide spills secrets on balancing delicious dining with healthy choices. Let’s turn your next meal out into a guilt-free, flavour-packed experience!

Read the menu before you dine

Before your meal out, one of the best ways to ensure you make healthy choices is to check the menu before you arrive. Checking the menu ahead not only helps you make informed choices but also avoids last-minute temptations. 

So, take a sneak peek to spot nutritious options, identify lighter choices, and plan your balanced meal. Look for keywords like grilled, steamed, or roasted, indicating healthier cooking methods. Also, be mindful of portion sizes and consider ordering a side salad or veggies. 

Check how food is cooked and prepared

Maintain your healthy dining habits by checking how food is cooked and prepared when eating out. As mentioned above, opt for grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted dishes, as these cooking methods often involve less added fats. Be cautious of deep-fried or heavily sauced options, and lean towards dishes that feature fresh, whole ingredients. 

You should also inquire about ingredient choices and request modifications, like dressing on the side or sauces served separately. 

By paying attention to preparation methods and making thoughtful choices, you can enjoy a delicious meal while staying true to your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. 

Don’t drink your calories

Often, we tend to forget that the drinks we choose can be very high in calories. That said, when you dine out, always avoid sugary soft drinks, excessive fruit juices, and calorie-laden speciality drinks. Instead, opt for water, herbal teas, or sparkling water with a splash of citrus for refreshing, low-calorie alternatives. If you fancy an alcoholic beverage, choose wisely—opt for light beer or a gin and slimline tonic. 

By skipping high-calorie beverages, you not only reduce your overall calorie intake but also stay hydrated and make room for more nutrient-dense food choices. Transform your dining experience by sipping smart and making every calorie count toward your overall well-being.

Choose a meal with vegetables

Of course, you should be choosing meals with a generous serving of vegetables when eating out. Look for dishes loaded with colourful veggies to boost your nutrient intake and add variety to your plate. Whether it’s vibrant salads, stir-fries, or veggie-packed mains, opting for vegetable-rich options provides essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

You could also customise your order by requesting extra veggies or swapping sides for a more wholesome choice. So say no to the side of fries and embrace the bowl of greens.

Portion control

Master the art of healthy dining by practising portion control when eating out. Always opt for smaller portions, share dishes with dining companions, or request a to-go box upfront to save leftovers. You should also be mindful of oversized servings and consider ordering appetisers or half portions if that option is available. But as a general rule, listen to your body’s cues and stop eating when satisfied, not when the plate is empty. 

By managing portion sizes, you not only enjoy a balanced meal but also prevent overindulgence. 

Ask for sauces and dressings on the side

Sauces really are the icing on the cake when it comes to any meal. Thankfully, even if you are being more mindful about what you eat, you do not need to say goodbye to your favourites. In fact, all you need to do is request to have your sauces on the side. This simple tweak puts you in control of the quantity you use, allowing you to savour flavours without drowning your dish in excess calories. Dip your fork into the sauce before each bite, ensuring a taste without overwhelming your meal. 

This mindful approach lets you enjoy the essence of the dish while maintaining a balanced, nutritious intake. 

Indulge in a world of flavour at COSMO, where healthy dining meets culinary delight! Discover our diverse menu offering nutritious options and savour a guilt-free feast. Simply book a table at Simply book a table at COSMO in Wolverhampton, Oxford, Glasgow St Enoch and more.

How to make a reservation at a restaurant?

Ever wondered how to snag the perfect table at your favourite restaurant hassle-free? Well, we’ve created a complete guide to securing the best seat in the house. Learn the ins and outs: from picking the spot and choosing the time to making that call or hitting the reservation app. No more waiting in line or missing out on date night spots! 

How to make a reservation at a restaurant?

Below, we’ve listed five tips on how to make a dinner reservation at your favourite restaurant seamless. Simply take a look below, get booking, and eagerly await the big day.

Know how many people to book a table for

Firstly, it goes without saying that you should get an idea of how many people will be joining you for dinner. This is the first question you’ll be asked on the phone by the restaurant, so you’ll need to be certain of your answer so that they can accommodate you all. 

You’ll probably find that securing a table is easier for smaller groups, but for larger parties, it might pose more of a challenge and a deposit may be required. Likewise, if the restaurant is in high demand or has limited space, booking ahead is essential.

You should also assume that everyone in your party will be coming on the day, as it is better to have an empty chair than for someone to get left out.

If you have a preference for where your table is located, tell them

Remember, it’s not just about securing a table; it’s about curating an atmosphere that suits your taste and makes your dining experience truly exceptional. So, if you have an idea of where you want to sit, be it a cosy corner, outdoor seating, or at the chef’s table, always let the restaurant know at the time of booking. In fact, most establishments are eager to accommodate you, making sure you have the best possible spot.

Call as early in advance as possible

For a restaurant reservation, place your call well in advance, ideally a few days before your desired date, to avoid any disappointment on the day. 

Busy holidays and peak hours may require even earlier booking, aiming for at least a week ahead. Keep in mind that weekends and evenings are typically busier, and that may affect availability. If all else fails and they don’t manage to give you the day you wanted, always have a backup date, time or even an alternative restaurant in mind. 

Planning ahead ensures a better chance of securing the reservation you want and guarantees a delightful dining experience without last-minute hiccups.

Specify if the reservation is for a special occasion

When making a restaurant reservation for a special occasion, be sure to mention the event to the staff. Whether it’s a birthday bash, anniversary celebration, or a romantic evening, notifying them adds a personal touch to your experience. 

Sharing this detail allows the restaurant to tailor the seating and ambiance or even offer special arrangements to elevate your celebration. It’s an opportunity for them to make your meal memorable and go the extra mile for you on your big day, so don’t hesitate to let them know your celebratory plans.

Cancelling a reservation

Life is unpredictable, and plans can change. If you need to cancel a restaurant reservation, do so as early as possible. Most places appreciate the courtesy of advanced notice, allowing them to adjust their bookings. 

Make sure to do this the same method you used for booking—whether it’s a phone call or an online platform. Provide clear and sincere reasons for the cancellation, and if applicable, inquire about the establishment’s cancellation policy. 

Being considerate in your cancellation helps maintain a positive relationship with the restaurant, and who knows, you might find yourself making a new reservation soon.

Have we got you in the mood to plan a meal out? Reserve your table now at COSMO and experience unlimited dining delights. Discover more about our diverse menu and find an all-you-can-eat restaurant near you, whether you’re in Bournemouth, Norwich, Glasgow, or beyond. Don’t miss out on the ultimate dining experience—book your table today and savour a world of flavours with COSMO!

What are the most popular Italian dishes?

Italy has a mouthwatering reputation for delicious food thanks to its strong connections to local history and traditions. From the sun-soaked beaches to the breathtaking mountainous regions – Italian food has a lot to be inspired by! Whilst pizza and gelato are definitely crowd-pleasers, there are plenty more Italian dishes you simply need to treat yourself to…

10 of the most popular Italian dishes you need to try

Love Italian food? Or perhaps you’ve only indulged in pizza and want to explore the cuisine further. Here are the top ten most popular dishes that you must tick off your food bucket list:

     1. Spaghetti alla carbonara

Italy is well-known for its tempting pasta dishes with spaghetti alla carbonara being one of the most beloved. The warm pasta paired with a rich, creamy sauce made from egg yolk, milk, cream, and cheese, peppered with salty bites of bacon make this an unforgettable classic. Being one of the most versatile pasta dishes, there are countless variations from chicken to seafood carbonara, it never gets boring!

Rome quickly became the capital of spaghetti (no wonder it’s such a popular destination!) thanks to carbonara making history with many believing it originated from Rome. 

     2. Arancini 

A tasty Sicilian dish is arancini which are delightful balls of risotto rice with meat sauce, peas, and cheese that are breaded and then fried. As with many Italian dishes, you can enjoy many variations of arancini with there even being sweet options – Nutella arancini is what dreams are made of! Not only are these risotto balls delicious but also practical, the perfect snack to munch on when exploring the streets of Sicily. 

With the exact origins of arancini veiled in mystery, it’s been thought to date way back to the 12th century when “rice balls” were breaded and fried, then brought along on long trips since they were easily transportable and filling.

     3. Pizza

No Italian food list can exist without a mention of the country’s national dish: pizza. From the classic Margherita with rich tomato sauce, creamy mozzarella and basil to the decadent meat-filled toppings of pepperoni, salami and ham, pizza is a globally-adored dish. In Italy, pizza is a work of art, from the ultra-crisp stone-baked dough with the perfect amount of chewiness to the locally-sourced tomatoes simply bursting with flavour. 

Pizza originated in Naples, with Margherita gaining popularity after the Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia visited Naples and loved the classic cheesy dish. 

     4. Polenta

Made from cornmeal with common additions of butter and parmesan, polenta is an unassuming dish that shouldn’t be underestimated. Served in slices to accompany meat and cheese or as a side dish with a creamy mashed potato texture, polenta is about as versatile as it gets. This hearty comfort food even has festivals dedicated to it throughout Italy, making it a must-try for any fans of Italian cuisine.

Originally, polenta was a food that became popular amongst the poor as a type of porridge. However, the wealthy soon got a taste for it and began to top their polenta with rich sauces. 

     5. Focaccia

The epitome of summer: focaccia. Moist but airy, thin and crunchy top and bottom crusts with salt and rosemary to finish. High-quality flour and olive oil are the key ingredients for delicious focaccia. The perfect addition to a summer picnic, olives and cured meats pair with the bread perfectly. The name focaccia derives from the Roman “panis focacius,” meaning “hearth bread”, as focaccia was traditionally baked in coals during Roman times.

     6. Fiorentina 

Fiorentina is a type of beef steak that originated in Florence. This thickly cut, large t-bone steak is well browned on the outside and rare on the inside, maintaining its succulent texture. The taste of the meat is really allowed to shine through as it’s only served with a sprinkle of salt and olive oil. Traditional Fiorentina steaks are taken from the loin of the Chianina breed and matured for twenty days before cooking. 

     7. Ribollita

One of the most popular Italian soups, the ribollita is a hearty dish featuring vegetables, beans, herbs, olive oil, parmesan cheese and chunks of dry bread. Ribollita was first created in Tuscany as a rural soup, popular with poorer families in the Middle Ages. These families couldn’t afford meat and so would create this soup in large quantities, mixing stale bread with leftover beans and vegetables. These days, it’s an incredibly delicious soup that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

     8. Risotto 

Another Italian dish that features on the carb hall of fame: risotto. This comforting rice dish is traditionally made using onions, wine, stock and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. Cooked lovingly on a low heat, this simple dish is truly delicious. We see countless variations of risotto now with mushrooms, seafood, vegetables, meat and much more. Creamy and rich, this versatile dish is loved around the world. Risotto originated in northern Italy back in the Middle Ages, starting with the most simple recipe of boiled rice. 

     9. Truffle 

Truffles are an Italian delicacy that are known for their unique flavour, adding a touch of opulence to a dish. Truffles are edible fungi that grow underground and can be hard to find, which is what makes them such a prized delicacy. What does truffle taste like? Like nothing you’ve ever tasted before! It’s simply something you must try. Popular Italian dishes featuring truffles include pasta, risotto and even scrambled eggs!

     10. Tiramisu 

What better way to end a meal on a high than with a generous slice of tiramisu? Rich, creamy layers of tiramisu cream (mascarpone, eggs and sugar) with Savoiardi biscuits dipped in coffee and Marsala (a liqueur wine), topped with a dusting of cocoa powder – pure bliss! The true origins of tiramisu aren’t known, with the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia both claiming that their chefs created the masterpiece. Either way, we are very grateful for the creator of the original recipe! 

Craving some authentic Italian cuisine? We don’t blame you after reading about these delicious dishes. Thankfully, you don’t have to start booking your trip to Italy just yet. The COSMO menu boasts an impressive array of authentic Italian dishes for you to enjoy. And did we mention that it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet? So you can sample all ten of these tasty dishes with ease!

Looking to indulge in some of the most popular Italian dishes in the UK? Look no further than our locations in Norwich, Oxford, and Doncaster. From traditional pasta dishes to mouth-watering pizzas, our restaurants offer a wide variety of Italian cuisine to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re in the mood for a cosy dinner for two or a family-friendly buffet, our locations in Norwich, Glasgow, and Manchester have something for everyone. Come visit us and experience the delicious flavours of Italy right on your doorstep.

What is teppanyaki?

With the rise in popularity of Japanese cuisine, you may have heard of teppanyaki. This delicious style of cooking is an authentic Japanese method that produces some very tasty dishes. Let’s explore what exactly teppanyaki is and where you can find these dishes.

What is teppanyaki? 

The word teppanyaki explains exactly what it is – ‘teppan’ means iron plate and ‘yaki’ means grilled or griddled. So, teppanyaki is food that’s cooked on a hot plate, it’s a traditional Japanese method of cooking that produces some very tasty dishes. Many different types of ingredients can be cooked using the teppanyaki method and it’s a way for chefs to put on a performance for customers, sometimes they might even carry out some impressive tricks like cracking an egg in the air! 

Entire dishes can be created using a teppanyaki grill, from searing meat to heating up broth and even cooking rice, it’s fascinating to watch.

When did teppanyaki become popular?

Whilst teppanyaki cooking began around 200 years ago in Japan, it really gained popularity just after World War II in 1945 when Americans began eating at teppanyaki restaurants as they were notoriously difficult to find before then. The first teppanyaki restaurant chain, Benihana, opened in New York in 1964. Restaurants that practised teppanyaki-style cooking were known as “Japanese steakhouses”.

What are the most common teppanyaki dishes? 

Common teppanyaki dishes are made from fresh and flavourful ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include:


  • Zensai — an appetiser of light items such as tuna, sea urchins, fruits, vegetables, soup and salad, all made on the teppanyaki grill.


  • Okonomiyaki — a savoury pancake combined with vegetables, meats, sauces and oils on the teppanyaki.


  • Seafood — grilled prawns and scallops are commonly cooked on the teppanyaki along with crabs, lobsters, oysters and other kinds of shellfish. Tuna, salmon, mackerel and eel also taste delicious from the teppanyaki grill.


  • Meat — beef is the most common meat cooked on a teppanyaki. Premium beef such as wagyu or Omi is cooked perfectly on the grill with a rich sweetness from the grease, oil and fat. Teppanyaki cooked beef produces flavours you’ll struggle to find elsewhere other than in Japan!


  • Rice and noodles — noodles can be fried on the teppanyaki, becoming the delicious yakisoba. Rice is often cooked with an egg cracked on top, with teppanyaki chefs showing off their skills by flipping, tossing and breaking the yolk.

Which restaurants serve teppanyaki? 

Teppanyaki food is very common in plenty of Japanese restaurants all over the world. Whilst Japanese cooking is becoming more popular, these restaurants still aren’t in every town or city. This is why all you can eat buffet restaurants are a great option. Authentic world cuisine served at these restaurants includes Japanese food, in which chefs perform live cooking on teppanyaki grills.

Teppanyaki is a delicious way to experience true Japanese cuisine with it being quite the performance thanks to live cooking stations.

Discover the art of Teppanyaki at its finest! Whether you’re in Wolverhampton, Oxford, or Glasgow St Enoch, embark on a journey of culinary excellence. Explore the sizzling flavours, skilful techniques, and vibrant dining experiences that Teppanyaki offers. Join us in celebrating this Japanese culinary masterpiece, ensuring every visit is a unique and unforgettable dining adventure!

How to celebrate a birthday at a restaurant

Whether it’s your birthday or you’re planning someone else’s, a restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate: there’s plenty of space, delicious food and a great atmosphere – it ticks all the boxes! Let’s explore exactly how to celebrate a birthday at a restaurant and what mistakes to avoid.

How do you plan a birthday celebration at a restaurant?

Planning any form of birthday celebration can seem intimidating, so it’s important to prepare in advance to avoid any last-minute (unwelcome) surprises. Restaurants are a wonderful way to bring people together and celebrate with friends and family in one place. Let’s take a look at how to have the best birthday in a restaurant…

Take your time to choose a restaurant

Whether you’re choosing a restaurant for yourself or a loved one, it’s important you pick somewhere that can accommodate a celebration, has the right ambience and is loved by the birthday boy or girl! Most restaurants can accommodate smaller birthday celebrations but anything over ten people definitely needs to be checked in advance. The ambience is also a vital component when it comes to choosing the right restaurant for a birthday celebration. Do they like a laid-back relaxed atmosphere? Or are they a fan of a more lively party? Take this into account when picking the perfect restaurant for your party.

Decide on a menu that everyone will enjoy 

Obviously, whoever’s birthday it is should be the priority when choosing the cuisine, but having a menu that everyone will enjoy makes the celebration much more fun! This is why all you can eat buffet restaurants are a great option as they offer cuisines from all over the world, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy from Indian curries to sushi and British roast dinners. Not to mention the fact everyone can indulge in seconds (or thirds)! Buffet restaurants are also designed to accommodate large groups — they have a ready-made lively atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to host a birthday celebration. 

Make the restaurant aware that you’re celebrating a birthday 

Turning up to a restaurant with a large group without booking is never a good idea. So, it’s important to always book in advance in order to prevent any disasters! When booking, you can let the restaurant know that it’s for a birthday celebration, this way the restaurant can accommodate the party and might even go the extra mile to make it a special event. 

Inform your guests of the timings and dress code 

Whether you’re throwing a surprise party or not is completely up to you. However, everyone should still be fully aware of the time to turn up and what the dress code is! Some restaurants have time limits on bookings, so it’s important that everyone turns up on time to enjoy the celebrations fully. If there’s a dress code, it’s important to make sure everyone’s aware, especially for those birthday snaps!

Can you decorate a restaurant for a birthday party? 

Some restaurants will allow for decorations including balloons, banners and confetti. However, you should always have this agreed with the restaurant beforehand and follow any safety regulations in place. You may even be able to bring your own birthday cake or request that the restaurant provides one to make the celebration extra special. This is why it’s so important to let the restaurant know that it’s a birthday beforehand so that any extra requests can easily be accommodated.

Restaurant birthday parties are a wonderful way to celebrate with friends and family, making the ideal setting. If you follow the steps above, you’re on the way to enjoying a seamless birthday celebration that everyone will enjoy.

Make your birthday memorable here at COSMO. Experience a culinary journey at our Edinburgh, Bournemouth, or Aberdeen restaurants. Delight in a rich array of flavours, from diverse cuisines to irresistible desserts – all within a single venue! Reach out to us now to secure your reservation and allow us to transform your special occasion into an unforgettable culinary celebration!

How to prepare for an all you can eat buffet

Heading to an all you can eat buffet is exciting – there’s just so much food available to you and you can try it all! However, you don’t want to end up not making the most out of your experience. This is where preparation is key…

Can you prepare for an all you eat buffet?

As strange as it sounds, you should prepare in advance for an all you can eat buffet in order to get the most out of the experience and enjoy the tasty food fully. So, here are some top tips so you can ace your next buffet visit!

Eat a light breakfast or lunch before the buffet 

You might think that attending an all you can eat buffet on an empty stomach is the right idea but it’ll actually prevent you from eating as much. When you don’t eat for a while, your stomach shrinks, meaning you feel full after eating less. So, always eat a light meal beforehand to prepare your stomach for the buffet feast!

Drink plenty of water beforehand 

It’s never a bad idea to stay hydrated and sipping on water throughout the day before your buffet can actually help you eat more and process the food better. Water can help to stretch your stomach and enable you to eat more, which is very much needed at an all you can eat buffet. All of that delicious food needs to go somewhere, which is why being hydrated is key, it helps to break down food and aids digestion.

Avoid sugary sweets before your buffet 

As tempting as it is to snack on a couple of sugary sweets, it’s not worth it as it’ll ruin your appetite – your mother was right! Sugary sweets will cause you to crave more sweet foods, meaning all of the delicious dishes on offer at a buffet won’t be fulfilling. Your appetite will be diminished and your all you can eat buffet won’t be as enjoyable. 

Keep active throughout the day

If you want to enjoy all of the tasty dishes on offer at an all you can eat buffet, then you’ll want to burn some calories beforehand so that you can eat them back without feeling full too quickly! Try to keep active or fit in a gym session before your big buffet. Not only is this good for your body but will also kickstart your metabolism, meaning you’ll be more ready than ever to chow down. 

Take small portions of each dish 

Whilst it might be tempting to load up on your one favourite dish, the whole idea of all you can eat buffet dishes is to sample new flavours. Filling your plate with a little bit of everything will keep things exciting and prevent you from filling up on pasta before sampling the delicious Chinese, Indian and European flavours! It also gives you the chance to figure out which dishes you enjoy most, so you can go back for seconds (and thirds) of your favourite flavours. This is the real way to get the most out of your buffet experience. 

Don’t eat too fast!

Having such large amounts of food on offer can trigger some people to try and eat as much as possible as quickly as possible. This isn’t the best approach as not only will you not take the time to actually taste and enjoy the food you’re eating but you could also end up overeating and making yourself feel sick. This can ruin the buffet experience. Instead, take your time to enjoy all of the delicious flavours, before going back for more! 

All you can eat buffets are designed to be enjoyed with friends and family. Focus on trying new dishes, relishing old favourites and enjoying the great company, that way, you’ll definitely get the most out of the experience!

Prepare for a feast of flavours at COSMO’s all-you-can-eat restaurants! Whether you’re in Doncaster, Norwich, or Reading, embark on a culinary adventure. Ready your appetite, explore diverse cuisines, and savour every moment of this delightful dining experience. Contact us today to reserve your spot.