by guest reviewer Ben
Check out my latest review of Jimmy Spices in Peterborough
As it was my birthday recently, I decided to go into Peterborough city centre for a few games of bowling, followed by food. As it’s next to the bowling alley, a friend suggested going to the new Jimmy Spices World Buffet restaurant and since they currently have a two-for-one promotion, we decided to give it a go.
Bowling had taken longer than anticipated we get to Jimmy Spice’s at around 9.15pm and the restaurant was half full. On entering, we were greeted by front of house staff who we informed that we had a table booked. Rather than show us to our table we are abruptly told to pay in full first and then to go to our table. I’m not sure if this is the done thing with buffet restaurants but I don’t ever remember having to pay upfront before. We pay the money and are then pointed to the table and told if we want drinks to go to the bar. We all felt the service wasn’t a good start to the experience
Having been to the restaurant when it was previously occupied by the To Ho Chinese restaurant I’m afraid to say I wasn’t particularly impressed with the new decor. Inside Jimmy Spice’s is very open plan with no intimate dining areas when you’re with a partner.
We all went up to the buffet and started serving ourselves using the small plates provided. Chefs are cooking away and are helpful and attentive however the layout is a little muddled and the choice not particularly overwhelming. In the far end you have salads and Italian dishes, consisting of pasta, chips that looked like they had been sat a few hours, pizza and thats about it. Moving round there were then some fried chicken wings, spring rolls, oysters and further on is a selection of Indian, Thai and Chinese dishes ranging from from beef with black bean sauce to potatoes and baked fish. Moving round again there were pakoras, samosas and other assorted fried food. Last but not least was the large circular bar for dessert including chocolate cake, ice cream and fruit!
The food was all tasty and hot, so an improvement on the initial reception. I think the Italian selection was a bit of a let down as far as quality and selection goes, just from looking at the pasta I decided to avoid it as it appeared to have been sitting there a while. Every time I went up there was no-one in the Italian food area. Out of the 10 or so dishes that made up The Indian/Thai/Chinese selection (the ones that I managed to try at least) had a good flavour however I have to admit I have had better from local takeaways.
Dessert was an odd affair. A few of us queued up and began watching the chef take scoops of ice-cream, mashing them together with a choice of chocolate buttons, mini eggs, minstrels the list goes on, so course I decided to give it a try! Having added a couple of mini chocolate cakes I was well on my way. I came back to the table with my mashed up ice cream to find others in our party had plates of Haribo!! Anyway the small desserts and the crudely mashed up ice cream (although not very appetising) were nice and a change from your standard ice cream dessert.
Overall I wasn’t keen on the venue, the service was virtually non-existent apart from the chefs behind the counter. Maybe the buffet format doesn’t warrant table service, but it felt odd dining without it. The food was to a decent standard but I have had much better from takeaways and other established local restaurants – I just don’t think these type of random buffet restaurants work that well. Food is dotted all over the place, people going every which way to get to a dish, food left for too long and that lack of a good service really puts me off on this occasion. Admittedly it worked out about £7 a head under the two-for-one offer which is hard to criticise, but at the full weekend price of £14.99 I certainly think that is a little expensive for the experience.
Have you been to Jimmy Spices? Let me know how you rate the restaurant in the comments box below!