on April 3, 2013
We went to the Red Hot World Buffet last week and weren't disappointed. I have been on a diet for about two months and my treat was going to be to eat everything in sight at the World Buffet, which i did! I'd heard great things about the restaurant and the good things were well deserved.*Booking and Getting There*We booked online before visiting because I'd heard that it can get very busy, even though it is a huge restaurant. It turned out to be a good idea because there was a queue when we arrived at around 7pm on a Thursday night in March. Booking is pretty easy, if you visit their website (http://www.redhot-worldbuffet.com/restaurants/manchester/), you get a telephone number to call, but actually the online booking system is very good. They offer tables in sittings rather than at set times, so you can choose from various slots available. They advise at booking that you need to leave your table by the end of the slot and the slots tend to be between one and a quarter hours and two hours long. To be honest we thought this was pretty restrictive but it turned out not to be a problem at all. There was no one there to turf us out at the end of our sitting and we were actually there well past chucking out time! I think they are probably much stricter with the times and slots when it is busy at weekends and in the run up to Christmas when they need to fit more people in.The restaurant is on Deansgate opposite the big Marks and Spencers. It is very easy to get to on foot and you can't miss it. We actually stayed over in Manchester so parking wasn't an issue for us - I'm not sure where the most convenient place to park would be.There is a small bar area downstairs where you can wait for your table, but it is much too small for the size of the restaurant, so I wouldn't plan on getting there too early if you haven't booked, because you might find yourself hovering around the entrance corridor instead.*The Food*As you might imagine from the name, this restaurant is a buffet that offers food from around the world. The buffet is massive and to make it easier, it is split into different sections, each one themed on a country. The food types included are Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Thai and English. There is something for everyone and they do everything well. I am often worried about restaurants that try to do too much because I think they should specialise in one thing and do it well rather than trying to spread too thinly and not doing anything particularly well. I am pleased to say that this is not the case here because everything was very good.Within each section they have starters, main courses and accompaniments. There are also show cooking counters, where you can select ingredients to make your own curry, pasta dish or stir fry, which was great because the food was fresh. I find that sometimes buffet food is a bit stale and cold but this is not so with the World Buffet because the turnover is so quick and the food doesn’t sit for very long. Nothing I had was even remotely cold and everything tasted really fresh.The food is really good. My guilty pleasure is Chinese food and the stuff here was easily as good as what you get in a Chinese restaurant. The starters are all little portions so it isn’t too overpowering and you can have a bit of everything. The Chinese section had little pieces of prawn toast and spring rolls as well as some more unfamiliar things to try, all of which were tasty. The curries in the indian section were packed full of flavour and there was a variety of both mild and hot dishes. I loved the build your own nachos in the Mexican section. There is a little section with things like pizza, chicken nuggets and chips so even the fussiest of eaters will find something to eat.There is also a fabulous dessert section. If you have room left (and you should really make sure you do leave some) there is so much choice it is unbelievable. They have an ice cream stand with some pretty whacky flavours amongst the regular ones and there is a waffle and pancake station where they make delicious flavoured pancakes to order. As well as this, there is every kind of cake and sweet treat you can imagine. The tiramisu is fantastic and the passion fruit mousse is to die for – I managed to scoff two on top of everything else I ate!The buffet area is actually in a separate room from the dining tables, which I loved. The dining area is massive and can easily accommodate big groups and smaller parties. We got a booth by the window, which is worth asking for if you can because you are away from all the other tables and you won’t get people knocking you as they head off to the buffet. One thing I will say is that the tables are pretty close together, so you will get people squeezing past.*The Service*There was no shortage of staff working, which was great because the plates were taken away quickly unlike in some places where you end up with a pile of plates on your table. A girl came over at the start of the meal and introduced herself as our server for the night, but after that, we didn’t see her again. In fact we didn’t get the same server twice through the whole night, which made me question why she even introduced herself. The staff at all of the cooking stations were very good too – extremely friendly and helpful. I found that they actually listened to what I wanted to when they were cooking food to order, rather than just doing it their way.*The Price*The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner. The price varies depending on the time and day you visit. For lunch on Monday to Thursday it is £8.49 per person and Friday to Sunday it’s £9.99. For dinner Sunday to Thursday it is £13.99 per person and £14.99 for Friday and Saturday. It is exceptionally good value for money considering the quality and sheer amount of food available. We had a bottle of wine and a few beers between four of us and the total bill was about £90 which was pretty good we thought. *Overall*I’d definitely recommend The World Buffet because the food is very good and the price is even better. We definitely got our money’s worth and I think you’d be hard pressed not to do the same!
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