THE teenagers are growing up fast. My wife is, all of a sudden and much to her horror, the shortest member of our family of four and checking out at the supermarket every week is becoming an ever-more horrifying experience.

Eating out used to be much cheaper too. But these days the youngest members of the house are devouring adult-size portions and leaving us yearning for that time in the not-too-distant past when the children’s menu and colouring books did the job perfectly well, thank you very much. At least they’re not on the alcohol. Yet.

All-you-can-eat establishments provide an excellent, cost-effective solution - even if the chances of sneaking the pair of them in under the full-price height threshold of 150cm are now slim to non-existent – and there’s one in Swindon which has become a bit of a favourite.

Swindon Advertiser:

The venue between the railway station and town centre on Holbrook Way has seen three names above the door over the past decade – what was once part of the Cosmo chain and then a JRC now offers up cuisine from around the world under the banner of YC Global Buffet.

With indigestion having taught us a painful lesson or two the past, we made sure we arrived with empty stomachs and promises that, one, we’d pace ourselves, and, two, we’d fight off the urge to grab that fateful last plateful. It doesn’t matter how tempting the mains are and how many you want to try, you have to save room for at least one dessert.

Swindon Advertiser:

YC Global Buffet is billed as a pan-Asian restaurant and although there are offerings from closer to home (you can have Yorkshire puddings and chicken nuggets alongside your Thai green curry, covered in tomato sauce if that’s what tickles your tastebuds) this continent dominates the 100-plus dishes on offer.

After receiving a warm welcome and ordering drinks, it was time to tuck in. When we visited on a Sunday evening (when the adult price is a pound cheaper than the rest of the week at £14.69) the 200-capacity restaurant was probably a third full and largely made up of families. The atmosphere was a happy one, with liberated children transfixed by the chocolate fountain, piling ice cream scoops on top of tiny cones and treating themselves to weird Fanta/Coke Zero hybrids from the bar. The adults could rest easy in the sense that, while also getting their money’s worth, they weren’t going to be the ones facing the epic amount of washing up that must go on in these places.

Swindon Advertiser:

YC Global Buffet says it cherry-picks its ingredients locally and aims to bring some of the wonders of the world to Swindon.

Whether its dim sum, hot and sour soup and aromatic duck from China, Thai tastes such as massaman curry or ginger tofu, spicy, hot or sweet Indian curries or sushi selections from Japan, you’ll be able to help yourself to something that hits the spot – and lots of it.

Swindon Advertiser:

Most of the food is laid out in trays with serving spoons in the centre of the restaurant, but there is also the chance to have steaks and seafood grilled to perfection at the live teppanyaki cooking station.

The staff seem to be on the ball and the food, despite sitting around for a while, remains hot, fresh, tasty and varied. You can take a chance and be pleasantly surprised – although the look on our son’s face told us he won’t be having the sushi again any time soon.

Swindon Advertiser:

As it turned out, trusty dishes like beef in black bean sauce, chicken tikka masala, rogan josh and tender slices of pork topped the vote on our table.

By the time I’d helped myself to black forest gateau, followed by ice cream scoops topped with obligatory sides of jelly beans and Haribo, the hard graft I’d put in on a 10k run a few hours earlier had been well and truly undone.

Swindon Advertiser:

Admittedly, this eatery won’t do an awful to help combat Swindon’s obesity worries. But that’s not really what it’s there for. It’s a great place for a celebration (birthday boys and girls have the chance to eat for free), a trip out with the family, or to line your stomach ahead of a big night out, and the vast choice on offer pretty much guarantees something for everyone.

Once we’d finally waved the white flag and dragged our weary frames away from the table, the bill for just £67 including four refillable soft drinks was as palatable as the food had been.

We’d been fed and watered several times over while broadening our taste horizons, so it’s a safe bet that we’ll be going back for more.


Where: YC Global Buffet, Linden Court, Holbrook Way, Swindon SN1 1BE. Tel: 01793 495666

When: 12 noon-11pm (Mon-Sat); 12 noon-10.30pm (Sun)

Our rating:

Food: 7/10

Service: 7/10

Ambience: 6/10

Parking: Plenty in town centre, Sheppard Street is 2mins walk

Disabled access: Yes

TripAdvisor rating: 4