Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Red Hot World Buffet – Head Chef’s Table

A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited to dine at the Head Chef’s table at Red Hot World Buffet in Leeds. Now for me, buffets tend to be more of a ‘eat as much as you can up until you can’t anymore’ affair, so I was interested to see what else Red Hot had to offer away from the usual ‘quantity over quality’ that’s usually associated with buffets.

Even though I arrived late to the table and had missed the cocktails and the first two courses, the serving staff and chef made sure I caught up with everyone else and brought out everything that I had missed. Nothing greater than people encouraging you to eat with plate after plate of food!

I really enjoyed the fruity cocktail (from Red Hot’s new drinks menu) and it tasted just like holiday, if that’s possible! This was followed by salmon sushi (delicious) and a potato tikki (a tad too spicy for me). Both plates were just the right size for starters and began to show off the wide variety of the menu.

The next course was a seafood risotto, but I opted for the vegetarian option (asparagus and sundried tomato) as I’m really not a big fan of prawns anymore. The risotto was just the right consistency – creamy enough but not too heavy, with a handful of steamed vegetables making a perfect accompaniment. Chicken teppanyaki with noodles followed (a favourite dish of mine) but it didn’t particularly wow me – just a nice standard sweet yet sour chicken dish.

A palate cleanser of fresh raspberry sorbet soon followed this, which was delightfully tart and refreshing. I thought the sorbet was the dessert, so I was surprised to see another dessert dish making its way towards me. This time it was a plate of pancakes with each of us having a different topping. My pancakes had the black forest gateau topping, which everyone else was eyeing up! (I saw you Sammie *wink*) The dark chocolate shavings were delicious and contrasted well with the sweetness of the cherries – always a winner combination.

It was at this point that I was getting quite full, but the waiters just kept on bringing out more desserts! Out came a course of petits fours with mini crème brulees, brownies and cheesecakes. These are my top three desserts so I just had to power through. The crème brulee was deliciously crunchy on top, whilst the passion fruit cheesecake had just enough zing on top of a buttery biscuit base (sorry, couldn’t help myself…)

This was then followed by a midori jelly shot and mini macaroons, but I think I’d had quite enough alcohol and sugar by that point. These extra additions definitely added that holiday feel to the experience, where the friendly waiters really want to show off their cooking and make sure their guests have a great time – with added alcohol!

Overall I was pretty impressed by the offerings from Red Hot World Buffet, and I definitely felt like I’d been taken on a world tour of their menu. The six courses showed a balance of quality and quantity, and it has definitely made me think again about asking the chefs to specifically cook up a dish the next time I visit. These are expertly trained five-star chefs we’re talking about!

My only criticism would be the décor of the restaurants, which I’m not a big fan of as I find it too garish and mismatched. The toilets in the Leeds restaurant are also in need of some work and upkeep. But other than that, the food was really well prepared and the staff were very attentive. My wine glass was never empty *hic*.

Thanks to Red Hot WorldBuffet for the invitation and I’m sure I’ll see you again soon. I think I’ll try out one of the take-home cakes next time, but that could be dangerous...!

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