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Less red hot, more lukewarm
Red Hot World Buffet & Bar (Nottingham)
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Red Hot World Buffet & Bar (Nottingham)
Advantages: A fair range of food at a reasonable price
Disadvantages: Sometimes bad service, food not that great sometimes
Red Hot Buffet is a buffet restaurant located on Goosegate, in Nottinghams Hockley district. It is within easy reach of car parks, buses and trams, although Goosegate itself is largely pedestrianised.
You might have guessed from the name that it's a buffet place, but it varies from many of the others in Nottingham in that it offers a range of food from all over the world . Chinese, Italian, Indian, and a few select English dishes are usually offered, and on my last visit yesterday I also noticed the recent addition of several Caribbean inspired dishes.
I've never had to reserve a table here (though I have, on one busy Friday night, been told that whilst I could eat, I'd have to be out within an hour as my table was needed to seat a reserved group) and usually find I can walk in and be seated within a few minutes.
The decor is nicer than many of the other buffet places in the town . Tables have glasses, cutlery, napkins etc all arranged tidily, but they also have the nice little touch of candles and artificial flowers, at least in the evenings. The walls are decorated with colourful murals, and overall, the place is bright, clean, and welcoming. There is a bar at one end, but I've always elected to just order drinks at the table. I always find my drinks order is taken fairly quickly.
In terms of drinks, I know they do have a fairly large wine and cocktail menu, however I have to confess to being rather boring and sticking to lager on my visits, simply because I know I tend to go for the spicy stuff, and I need something cold, wet, and refreshing, without the alcoholic content of wine. I'm afraid I can't comment on the drinks prices, as my dad is the one that pays when we all go out, so I don't get to see the receipt.
In terms of food, you just go around the buffet section and help yourself, there is certainly an impressive range, with all kinds of food covered, and a good range of vegetarian dishes for non-meat eaters. Every time I visit there is something new to try, for example yesterday they had recently added some Caribbean dishes, including a very succulent and tasty jerk chicken. It's not award winning food by any means, but most of it is decent quality, filling stuff, and it always seems to be at just the right temperature . However, it does seem that they get some of the very simple stuff wrong - they have the sauces located near the stir fry bar, and the mayonnaise was all curdled and yellowing, looking absolutely foul. Mayo really should be refrigerated .
I was also disappointed with two of the salads I tried yesterday, both from the new Caribbean range. The first was an avocado and pineapple salad, and unfortunately the avocado was not at all ripe - it was so hard I couldn't get my fork through it. I had the same problem with the mustard-coated sweet potato salad - the sweet potato was so hard I couldn't comfortable bite into it, and seriously came to question whether it had been cooked at all.
It's not all bad though, some of the food is a real winner - standout dishes in my opinion would include the black bean and garlic mussels, the vegetable cheese gratin thingy, the matter paneer, and the Chicken Tikka Masala . I also thing they do very well with the salad range, with there being plenty of healthy options . I also think that they perform very well on deserts - yes, they have jelly and the ubiquitous black forest gateaux, but they also have an excellent pannacotta, a lovely tiramisu, and some wonderful traditional Indian desserts. My real favourite though has to be the apple crumble, a very simple dish rendered excellent by the simple addition of cinnamon, raisins, and crunchy cashew nuts.
Service here can be very hit and miss . I visit here with my parents, daughter, and boyfriend once a month, and can tell you that some days it's wonderful, others it is utterly crap. Last night, for example was wonderful - a genuinely friendly young polish lady who seemed to be enjoying her job. She kept replenishing our cutlery, unobtrusively enquiring as to whether we needed more drinks, and was very prompt at whipping away the used plates.
In busy nights however, we have found the service rather bad . In one incident, we actually left without ordering or eating anything, as the waiter merely waved vaguely in the general direction of a group of tables (all of which were reserved) rather than walking us to them. As they were all reserved, we stood there for a few minutes feeling a bit confused, until the waiter, with a visible eye roll to his colleague, came over to us and asked us, in a rather brusque manner, why we were not seated. We found this very rude, and did walk out on that occasion and eat elsewhere .
The toilets here are very clean . However, they are up a flight of stairs. In addition, the buffet area itself is down a few steps, so therefore I would not necessarily recommend this place to disabled customers.
Prices are as follows, with children under ten half price :
Mon - Thurs £7.99 £11.99
Friday £7.99 £13.99
Saturday £7.99 £13.99
Sunday £8.99 £11.99
It's not the cheapest buffet in town, but it DOES have the best range of food in my experience, though this is closely followed up by Peachy Keens at a tenner a head in the evenings .
Overall, a decent enough place, though both service and food can be a bit hit and miss at times. 3 stars is a fair rating, I think - though the majority of the food is good, it seems they get the simplest little things wrong, and that mayonnaise in particular is just wrong.
Summary: Fair value for money.