It’s a first time visit for the LouBou clan at the 12th Street all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant
Hands up if you know MK Buffet Village up the city. 💁🏻♀️
The unit upstairs in the Theatre District (now 12th Street) has been a buffet restaurant of various kinds (Elements and World Food Buffet are two I remember) since the leisure space opened forever ago.
And it feels like forever since I last was there.
I remember it as the place where we celebrated birthdays with huge groups of friends, chosen because everyone was catered for.
But since I’ve had the babies, the nights out are less frequent, friends gatherings become intimate dinner parties, street food events or at a local independent restaurant (gawd, we’ve got so many good ‘uns now!), and it struck me, it has been YEARS since we’ve been there. Cripes.
But some old habits die hard.
When I looked at the drinks menu and saw all the bold, lairy cocktails on offer, well, it was hard to say no. And afterall, I was about to manoeuvre two young kids around a busy restaurant balancing food and mood swings, drinks were a must!
BUSTED. A beep on my phone and we’d been spotted! Friends of ours were also dining there with their young kids too.
Now I fancy some munch.
The kids were getting fuelled up on Fruit Shoots and in expert parenting prep, we got the table filled with chips, freshly cooked cheese pizza slices and some plain pasta to get them started (yep, so many pasta sauces and kinds to choose from but it has to be plain fusilli for these babes 😂).
Then it was the adults time to relay back and forth to check out what kinda dishes were on offer. And omg there is so many to choose from.
People if you have indecisive thinkers in your group (nope, not me, nope, might be, yes, no, maybe 😳), you’re gonna lose them for ages while they decide what to eat because of the choice. Silver linings are you’ll get more time to trough without having to make too much conversation. 😂
Here’s a quickie look at some of the dishes ready to dive into. 👇🏻
So you can see, there really is a RIDIC amount of foods you can choose from. Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, with good veggie options too.
But I went, I dared. I decided.
Does anyone else always go for a plate of beige to start with when they hit buffets? It’s like I’m programmed for all the wrong(right) foods that are tasty good but hear me when I say, I regret nothing.
But if you want healthy, there’s a decent row of salads and fresh foods you can get your munch on with, including shell-on prawns and mussels. OooooOOo!
When there really is so many hot foods in the serve yourself containers to go through, it’s easy to miss what’s around you. 🤭
Did you know there is LIVE COOKING STATIONS around the buffet area in MK Buffet Village?
With real human chefs on hand to cook a dish from their menu, like you’re a freaking buffet rockstar. Yeah!
Theres a Chinese and Indian station. Pasta and pizza and even a GRILL one.
Pasta menu at the Pappa Rosso’s ITALIAN LIVE STATION (below).
Yeahhh the place that cooked up Squish and Half Pint’s a la finest plain pasta twirls. Hold the sauce, hold the garnishes, hold your nerve. These kids know what they want. 😂
Here’s the selection of meat and vegetables on offer ready to be cooked to order on the GRILL live station (below).
Chinese live cooking station (below).
With all that to try and choose from, I then binned the beige and tucked into freshly cooked Lamb Chops and Chicken Wings.
And followed that with some freshly fried fish (all cooked to order!).
Oh and more cocktails. Wahhh!
The kids at this point were using the dessert live station which includes an ice cream counter with over a dozen different flavours to choose from AND a waffle and pancake counter, for freshly cooked battery delights.
Squish eating the bluest ice cream ever (below).
Half Pint in full beast-mode with his bowl of freshly cooked waffles and chocolate sauce.
And me, well, taking a moment to try and soak in a different kind of family meal out.
Buffet restaurants and a young family? Well they are both wonderful and a bit stressful, but you gotta roll with the punches.
Yes, as soon as your butt sits down, one of the children wants more chips, more pizza, more drinks, more looking around at the food, more bathroom breaks.
But, it was fun too!
Also each member of the family was chuffing happily into lots of food (with small kids that’s a huge win) and the price, well. at £14.99 per adult (Sunday price, they vary so please check) I think it’s pretty decent value for money. Squish would’ve eaten for free (age 3) and Half Pint (age 5) would’ve been half price (not bad really, he can eat as much as an adult most meals!).
And if you really don’t think buffets are for you, or you think the food quality is naff, or don’t they have poor hygiene?
Well I’m that parent which will check a restaurant before they even look at menus or deciding to visit establishments and MK Buffet Village has a shiny 5 stars!
If buffets aint your ting, fine but for this family dinner with a twist, we quite enjoyed ourselves.
And for you fuss heads out there (probably just like me) you really will find something you want to eat, especially if you go straight to the live cooking stations.
Or the pudding section.
You know it.
And even after we had filled ourselves with pud, we found ourselves going around again, this time for bowls of sweets to munch on (big kids too 💁🏻♀️).
Just before we left, a member passed around the restaurant floor and said there was a man doing free modelling balloons and would the kids fancy one? All parents thinking, does the pope… you know the rest.
With funky balloons, full bellies and the chance to run around the huge space outside MK Theatre and the MK Art Gallery, we had two contented little people and a mum and dad who would do it all again.
All the Sunday meal fun with none of the cooking or clean up. Perfect. Thanks MK Buffet Village. 😍
Date of visit: 23.02.2020
MK Buffet Village
8 Savoy Crescent
Central Milton Keynes
For full transparency, the meal was exchanged for a fair and honest review of MK. Buffet Village.