Hi all, how are you doing? This Derby foodie is loving city centre working and the latest place I checked out was Portobello Café on Queen Street. It recently changed hands and is now a separate entity to Jack Rabbits a few doors down. Jack Rabbits itself has also undergone new ownership, which I’ll also be reviewing over the next few weeks.

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The vibe at Portobello is cosy bijou chic. With two window stools propped up for a nice spot of people-watching (one of my favourite pastimes), this isn’t really a lounging, sit-down place – but the best things come in small packages. The deli counter is compact, along with everything else in-store, from a cute bread basket to portable trolley boasting fresh local produce. I had wanted to plant somewhere and enjoy the food, but as it was a cold afternoon, I didn’t really want to be perched on a stool freezing. I ordered a Soya Latté and Roast Chicken Sandwich to go, then scooted off back to work.

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The coffee was good; earthy with a slight citric tang on the swallow. The sandwich was the star of my visit. It was a pleasure sinking my teeth into the softer-than-cotton-candy white bread roll. The meat was beautifully tender, succulent and cooked to perfection. I am still dreaming of it and have literally just started salivating at the mere thought (seriously). It was Aga-roasted, which would explain why it was just so darn delicious. The sage and onion stuffing was good and generously portioned, in addition to leaves and cranberry sauce. My photo doesn’t do it justice and it is times like these that I wish the Internet had a ‘Scratch-And-Taste’ function, because this is one heck of a gorgeous tasting sandwich.

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Rosie, the owner has made the best of limited space and I look forward to popping in again very soon for more of her Aga-baked treats. The Specials Board changes daily, meaning there is even more choice for discerning diners who enjoy versatility. I also spied some brownies in a glass cloche, which although I refrained from last time, will no doubt check out next time (this Derby foodie has a very sweet tooth).

Portobello also undertake catering orders, so if you’re hosting a dinner party and haven’t a clue where to start, give Rosie a call. And if Aga-roasted chicken is on the menu, you’re in for a very special treat indeed.

With Christmas around the corner, I cannot wait to check out her festive offerings; can you imagine Aga roasted turkey in all its succulent glory? (I’m in the middle of fleshing out a really cool Christmas feature, so if you like all things festive, do keep your eyes peeled.)

Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)

Food: 9

Value for money: 8

Ambience: 7

Rate or Slate? Rate.

Regular latté & Roast Chicken Sandwich (£5.30)

Address: Portobello, 50 Queen Street, Derby DE1 3DE. Tel : 01332 349 966

Website : www.portobellocafe.co.uk

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