Image: The Boar/Emily Neville

Opening of new Coventry buffet restaurant: Umami World Kitchen

The opening of Umami in Coventry brings restaurant-goers a diverse cultural experience with a broad array of foods, particularly from Chinese, Italian, Indian, and Malaysian cultures. The menu consists of an all-you-can-eat world buffet and a range of beverages, from speciality cocktails to bottomless soft drinks.

Advertised as a “celebration of global flavours”, this dining experience embraces a brilliant balance between attentive staff and servers alongside a strong degree of customer autonomy. Customers are able to peruse the cuisines on offer for a period of two hours, for prices between £19.99 and £21.99 for adults. Additionally, there are both student and NHS discounts which knock 10% off the bill.

The venue, which previously hosted COSMO (which closed in 2018), on Corporation Street, has been renovated to the tune of approximately £1m of refurbishments and is going to also house shopping units below the first floor restaurant. Inside Umami, the restaurant is kitted out with a range of textures, including marble, wooden fittings and stonework.

As you enter the dining hall, there is a clear hustle and bustle as the tables centre around the main buffet area where the chefs are hard at work preparing the food. The decor is trendy and tasteful, and the leather chairs are delectable to sink into.

Looking at the cocktail menu is an overwhelming experience, and the drinks are presented eloquently in time to dig in to your first plate from the buffet. The first thing I noticed as I entered was the chocolate fountain, but I knew I had to save dessert till later.

Bordering each of the aisles of food are light-up section titles such as “Carvery” or “Indian”. The food is presented well, with a range of self-serve options as well as fresh produce cooked right in front of you.

The dishes were hot and frequently refreshed by a focussed serving team. Meanwhile, finished plates were quickly swept away and new cutlery replaced often.

In my opinion, the best dish on offer was the pork belly, which was juicy and came with a delightfully crunchy crackling still attached. However, choosing between the array of side dishes, such as chicken biryani rice or garlic broccoli, would be an impossible task.

Being able to create one’s own plate with the perfect selection of dishes is what makes buffet eating so much fun, and this is certainly accomplished at Umami World Kitchen. So, make your bookings for their opening weekend from Saturday 2 December 2023, or consider the possibility of walking in next time you are in the city centre to make use of their lunch or dinner openings.


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