Dining out doesn’t have to be just a straightforward sit-down meal at a restaurant. If you fancy mixing things up and have never eaten at a casino, head over to the Fahrenheit Bar & Grill Derby. Slap bang in the city centre and adjacent to Derby bus station, you have zero excuse not to visit this restaurant, which has been on my radar to check out since last year.
The restaurant is on the third floor of Genting Casino Derby. Your photo gets snapped by the concierge (casino rules, make sure you’ve powdered your nose), then you take two short escalators upstairs to the restaurant. It’s an open plan layout, meaning you can people-watch whilst eating, have a turn at the tables yourself if you’re feeling lucky, or just live vicariously and watch others court Lady Luck.
Dan was our server for the night who seated us at our giant booth. It’s great for a party or celebratory meal, or good for someone like me who relishes space. (My major pet peeve at restaurants is small tables, which thankfully Fahrenheit doesn’t have.)
It’s a very good menu, serving everything from pasta, salad and succulent chargrilled meat. We kicked off with crispy calamari with Asian dipping sauce. Presentation was artfully gorgeous, the slate grey plate being a beautiful canvas for tender calamari. Zingy sauce with a citrus kick was most excellent and I especially liked the balsamic drizzle on the rocket leaves. Our second starter (yes we shared both) of prawn cocktail was sublime. The cocktail sauce was spicier than usual; I loved the punch of paprika on the swallow, which was tempered by the crisp salad. I could have eaten my fill of these starters and been perfectly happy, they were honestly very, very good.
I had the twice cooked pork belly (champ mashed potatoes, savoy cabbage, crème fraiche cider sauce). Crispy skin coupled with melt in your mouth pork was a joy to eat. I’m not a fan of pork, but I’m exceedingly glad I gave in to my adventurous instinct when choosing this. It’s a grown-up dish, which is playful with the luxe champ mash. Add that cider based cream to the mix, and you know that the chef is one highly accomplished individual who can work magic in the kitchen.
My dining partner had 8oz Sirloin of British beef (medium rare, grilled tomato, mushroom, chips, Béarnaise sauce). His original choice of Ribeye was unavailable, yet he enjoyed his dish. The Sirloin was moist and the Béarnaise sauce had a gorgeous hit of tarragon.
Dessert was delightful. Baked New York cheesecake was wonderfully light, the warm cherry compôte taking this dessert to the next level. There was a generous biscuit bottom layer too, which was crumbly yet held perfectly together during the transition from plate to eager mouth.
Chocolate fudge cake was good, although I forgot to ask for it warmed up, which I prefer. I loved the presentation of the smear of raspberry sauce and the crumb wall, whilst the accompanying Callestick Cornish vanilla ice-cream was creamy, dreamy goodness that I couldn’t get enough of. This is what I dig about Fahrenheit – their attention to detail and sourcing the best ingredients (Callestick Farm creates award-winning ice-cream made with free-range milk) is second to none.
We dined on a Wednesday evening, which wasn’t too busy. Some diners went on to play post-meal in the casino. Dining at Fahrenheit Bar & Grill is more than just eating food – it can be fun night out, and coupled with delicious food, should become part of your eating out ritual. There a number of cool events that Genting Casino Derby have lined up, including Valentine’s Day with a twist, 2-4-1 cocktails and a very reasonable 2 course lunch for £9.95 (t&c’s apply).
I am still dreaming of that pork belly. Fahrenheit – adieu for now but I shall see you again very soon.
Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)
Value for money: 8.5
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Restaurant name: Fahrenheit Bar & Grill, Genting Casino, Derby
Owner: The Genting Group
Open since: 2012
Address: Genting Club Riverlights, Morledge, Derby DE1 2AY
Travel: closest train station: Derby. Derby Bus Station located adjacent to Casino
Opening: 6:00pm – 10:30pm (last orders) 7 days a week
How to make reservation: online & telephone
Call: 01332 387690
GM: Josh North
Whilst in the area check out: Intu Centre for a spot of shopping, Derby QUAD to catch a matinee, or Soundbites, a vegan grocery store which is quirky and cool.