Bar Soba opened in Derby in December 2017, quickly establishing itself as a popular night-time destination for weekend drinkers. The brand, which comes from Scotland, chose Derby as it’s second English location and prides itself on its cocktails, and, perhaps more surprisingly, its Asian street food.

Having been lucky enough to head down on opening night, the Love Derby team had sampled the street food before and were suitably impressed. However, a few months down the line, and with some interesting new concepts available to try, we decided to give it another go, and 4 of us headed along to try their Boozy Brunch.

At £25 per head, guests receive 4 drinks from selected cocktails, prosecco or beer, alongside a sharing platter to start, and a main course. This is fantastic value when you consider 4 cocktails would cost over £25 alone!
So, on a bitterly cold wintry afternoon, we headed down full of anticipation for what lay ahead.

Bar Soba have moved in to the space Lola Lo used to occupy and have transformed the building into a cool, relaxed and urban space with a long main bar, gin room and upstairs restaurant.

Our first impression was good with a chilled vibe and welcoming staff who greeted us warmly and showed us to our table.

Sitting in a booth opposite the main bar, the manager Stu talked us through proceedings before taking our drinks orders. With one of our party not partaking in the alcoholic side of things, the staff were accommodating, converting the strawberry daiquiri into a mocktail, which we were assured was absolutely delicious. The rest of our group worked our way through the drinks list during the meal, tasting mojitos, prosecco, Peroni Red, and the iconic Drumstick Caipiroska, one of Bar Soba’s most popular drinks. All of the cocktails were expertly crafted, very consistent and did the trick. Four each of those, and we tottered away quite happy at the end of the meal.

But of course, the main attraction with any restaurant visit is the food. And what food it is! Every party starts off with a sharing platter, filled with gyozas, chicken wings, prawn crackers and prawn pakora. Perhaps the best way to give a verdict on this platter is to tell you that within 5 minutes of the platter landing on the table, there was nothing left beyond chicken bones. The prawn crackers were well flavoured and weren’t greasy at all, whilst the pakora and gyozas were crunchy and hot. The sauces served with the platter were also good with 4 different options to try.

There are plenty of main course options on the menu with something for everyone and all requests for menu alterations were accommodated – always a good sign that food is freshly cooked on the premises. Highlights were the “authentic” selections such as the Singapore Street Noodles and Thai Prawn Curry. The noodles were extremely tasty with fresh vegetables cooked alongside perfectly soft noodles and tender chicken and prawns. The curry had a very warming spice to it that gave off some decent heat and was creamy and rich.

Katsu sauce is possibly one of the greatest things to have been invented and Bar Soba’s version is no different. The Chicken Katsu burger was nice, but very little sauce had been added to it, with a small condiment pot of it on the side. The accompanying chips were nice, nowhere near the Super Thai Fries I have had here before which are mind-blowingly brilliant.

We had a fantastic meal. The staff were friendly, accommodating and checked in with us just enough, the restaurant is chilled and a great place to spend a few hours with good friends. The drinks, and cocktails especially, are really, really good and the food is fresh, high quality and tasty.

The whole Boozy Brunch experience is something new for Derby – a lunchtime package representing great value that doesn’t rush you to finish.

We will be back and think you should give it a try too!

Posted by: Love Derby Editor on March 7, 2018
Bar Soba Derby, Victoria Street, Derby, UK
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