It may feel a little jarring thinking about Christmas when it feels positively tropical outside. Christmas Day is actually less than 86 days away (sorry to freak you out), which is why I have zero qualms of bringing up the C word on a balmy Friday afternoon.

I was lucky to check out the alternative Christmas menu at Cosmo Derby. Nestled on London Road in the heart of the city, Cosmo Derby serves pan-Asian cuisine, taking inspiration from all over the world. From Mexican and Chinese, to Indian and British, there is something to suit all palates, including a diverse delegation from NATO. I’ve dined at Cosmo Derby before. If you need good food fast, a buffet is always the right place to be, which is where Cosmo Derby delivers time and again. On this occasion, the alternative Christmas menu was up for tasting.

I’m a self-confessed Christmas-ophile. I love Christmas as much as Aiden Byrne’s cooking (which is a LOT). There are some who don’t want to be walloped around the head with all things Christmas, and it is to those, that this alternative menu will appeal.

Sweet potato and butternut squash soup garnished with fennel, coriander, pumpkin seeds.
Sweet potato and butternut squash soup garnished with fennel, coriander, pumpkin seeds.

We tasted a variety of starters, mains and desserts. First up, sweet potato and butternut squash soup (garnished with fennel, coriander, pumpkin seeds). I’m staving off a cold, and the buttery warmth of the silky squash went down a treat. Fennel with a hint of aniseed and earthy coriander complemented the sweet potato concoction. I find I get full up on soups real quick, and this was definitely the case, having at its core, two key ingredients high in fibre.

Pigs in blankets chocolate sauce.
Pigs in blankets, chocolate sauce.

Pigs in blankets (chocolate sauce) were innovative. Chocolate continues to be a popular ingredient used in savoury dishes. Here, it was combined with the salty bacon and seasoned sausage meat rendering it to be a winner.

Steamed buns, lamb, tomato relish.

Other starters of classic prawn cocktail and steamed buns (the latter filled with mini lamb burgers, tomato relish) were also very good.

Turkey curry, green curry sauce, rice.
Turkey curry, green curry sauce, rice.

Turkey curry (green curry sauce, rice) was spicy, creamy and wonderful. Braised beef stew (crispy shallots) and honey glazed roast ham (dauphinoise potatoes) all made for excellent alternatives to your traditional stuffed turkey roast. Standout dishes included the smoked salmon (salmon cooked two ways, teriyaki sauce) and chicken (fresh orange, citrus sauce).

 

Braised beef stew, crispy shallots.
Braised beef stew, crispy shallots.
Salmon cooked two ways, teriyaki sauce.
Salmon cooked two ways, teriyaki sauce.
Honey glazed roast ham. dauphinoise potatoes.
Honey glazed roast ham, dauphinoise potatoes.

It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t indulge in desserts. Crème brulée with a hint of saffron was delicious and served warm (I’ve only ever had it cold, but warm worked well). Sticky toffee pudding was nutty and very good.

Crème brulée.
Crème brulée.

The flavours, of dishes on offer were spot on. And that’s where Cosmo Derby stands out from the white noise buffet crowd. The team of chefs know their flavours well, which is how a solid, excellent menu has come about.

Sticky toffee pudding.
Sticky toffee pudding.

If you’re a social butterfly and can’t face another Christmas dinner, do pop down to the restaurant for what will undoubtedly be a highly enjoyable meal. For more information about Cosmo Derby Derby, hop onto website www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk now or call 01332 295300 to make a booking.

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