*Review by invite*
With a mini Beast of the East expected this weekend, you’ll want to know about hearty fare including a really, really good pie in Derby. It just happened to be at the recently relaunched Slug & Lettuce Derby, which has undergone a £320K refurbishment courtesy of parent company Stonegate Pubs.
From a change in branding, which all feels cleaner, to a more compact, playful menu, Slug & Lettuce Derby is ticking all the boxes for it to become a destination bar in Derby. I went along to see what the fuss was about – was it much ado about nothing, or worth the revamp?
I was used to being greeted by the concierge, which is no longer there; instead, Slug & Lettuce welcomes a more informal approach. We found a table, planted and had a look at the menu. It’s a great mix of dishes, from sharer boards to full on mains including linguine, lasagne and chicken tikka masala.
For main, I had battered cod and chips, (hand-battered cod fillet, chips, tartare sauce), plus a choice of garden peas or mushy peas.
Fish was tender, batter was light, and the portion was generous. I especially liked the chunky tartare sauce, and would have liked to see more mushy peas (a personal preference, not a gripe).
Dining partner had chicken pie (mash, red wine gravy, seasonal mixed vegetables). As a northerner who loves pies, I had to snaffle a forkful. The giant pie was the size of my head, a wondrous sight to behold, and the flavours were really, really good. I would have liked to see more filling, however the flavours were delicious (that’ll be the smoked cheese hovering in the background complementing the bacon). Texture was added through the addition of butter beans, which I thought inventive and cool.
Pornstar Martinis were good too. Next time, I’ll try the Pornstar Martini Tree; yes that’s a tree of cocktails, think of this as a grown-up version of the yard-stick style paddle board.
The décor is excellent and a definite improvement on its previous avatar. Leather banquettes, cosy yet expansive booths, bright loft-style lighting, a bar that seems to go on forever (a good thing), and staff that are cheery. Plus that delicious pie – what’s not to love?
Team Slug & Lettuce Derby, 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: 9
Eatery name: Slug & Lettuce Derby
Relaunch: March 2018
Address: 11 Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3FJ
10:00 – 23:00 || Mon – Thu
10:00 – 02:00 || Friday
10:00 – 02:00 || Saturday
10:00 – 22:00 || Sunday
How to make reservation:
Call: 01332 341946
Whilst in the area: Check out neighbouring Bennetts, to stock up on your candle or chocolate truffle stock (yes they have a chocolate bar in the back).