Going out to eat is without doubt my favourite thing to do. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, light snack, brunch, coffee, afternoon tea- you name it, if food is involved I’ll be somewhere in the vicinity.
When it comes to regional/national cuisine, I don’t discriminate either. Italian? Mama mia! Bonjour French patisserie and hello to good old fish and chips. So when eating at a restaurant turns into gorge yourself at an all you can eat buffet, naturally my inner fat child is about ready to burst with excitement.
The one downside about all you eat buffet restaurants (for me anyway) is no menus. If you know me, you’ll know I love to read menus long after I’ve chosen what I’m going to be daintily demolishing. I just love the evocative language and turns of phrases that menu writers choose to employ. They make something as unappetizing as mystery meat stew sound- well- mysterious in a good way!
If you’re unfamiliar with all you can eat, here’s all you need to know:
1. Wear comfortable clothing. Do not aim to look absolutely fabulous; instead go for causal cool. Think floaty, stretchy and nonrestrictive. Leggings or maternity wear are always winners. Jeans are surprisingly restrictive and anything clingy is a no. Opt for less droopy sleeves as they may get in the way whilst trying to pile deliciousness onto your plate. Trainers are good when considering footwear. In fact, treat all you can eat similarly to the gym/long distance when thinking about clothing. Something safe and comfortable to allow for maximum performance.
2. Do not starve yourself all day in preparation for all you can eat. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when anticipating all you can eat is to not eat all day till you arrive positively famished at the doors of the restaurant using only your sense of heightened smell to guide you towards sustenance. Starving yourself will cause your stomach to shrink throughout the day and mean that when and if you finish your first plate of food you’ll be too full to move on to mains or desserts. Instead, you’ll be doomed to look on at all you can eat diners in the know enjoy eclairs and Indian food alike.
3. Do not overfill your plate. The thing that frustrates me every time I go to these places are the people that fill each plate till it resembles a the leaning tower of Pizza. It’s ALL YOU CAN EAT. Just go up again after you’ve finished a reasonably filled plate. That way you don’t look massively greedy and your food will still be warm whilst you eat it. It also means the inevitable mixing of foods won’t occur.
All you can eat is a very enjoyable experience if you follow these rules. Remember, these types of restaurants are no place for judging, so if you are still going after 10 rounds, no one will accuse you of gluttony- don’t be shy. Take a little of everything, that way you get to try everything without overfilling. Choose a restaurant that isn’t dirt cheap, paying a few extra pounds is worth it for more choice, fresher food and better service.
Final rule: Eat ALL YOU CAN*.
*Avoid at all costs if you’re dieting.