Formerly known as Lola Lo, the old Post Office’s latest avatar is the hip, cosmopolitan Bar Soba. It is the brand’s sixth opening, and I was invited to a Cocktail Masterclass Evening with a sneak peek at the menu last night. Spirits were high (sorry couldn’t resist) as myself and a bunch of cool foodies descended on Derby’s newest bar to test our cocktail making skills whilst enjoying great company and tasty food.

The interior is a definite upgrade on its previous inhabitant. Whilst Lola Lo was heavily marketed for the student crowd, Bar Soba Derby is still student-friendly, yet feels more accessible to those of a wider age range. Yes the name and exterior may scream out “bar-club-drink-hangout-spot”, but you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, because that would be a massive disservice to the food.


The interior is artsy luxe with a heavy hit of urban. It feels spacious and sprawling downstairs, whilst the upstairs dedicated restaurant area is great for those who want an actual sit-down meal with table service to boot. A massive hat-tip to Team Bar Soba’s critical designer eye – the Prada (circa A/W 2016) inspired upholstered couches would make any fashionista feel at home on. Gin being the drink du jour is given a starring role, check out this stunning light display upstairs.


We kicked off the Cocktail Masterclass which I found to be interesting, informative and fun. We were put through our paces, here’s me (concentration game-face evident) pouring my heart and soul into a classic Mojito (Bacardi Carto Oro Rum, soda, muddled mint).


Here are a few awesome foodies (Angie, Jay, Kane and Jake) who also enjoyed the masterclass.

angie jay kane jake girl-bar-tender

The masterclass was punctuated with food platters, giving a snapshot of the starters available. Soba focuses on a street-food and cocktail offering. The food is reminiscent of street vendors of South East Asia, using fresh produce including buttermilk and sauces that are made in-house.


Tiger prawn tempura was light and delicious, and the chicken gyoza dumplings deliciously dense and the pastry silky smooth. A personal favourite was the (very generous) portion of Super Thai Fries (peanut sauce, Soba mayonnaise, Sriracha chilli sauce, crushed peanuts, fried shallots). I think I have just made myself hungry thinking about these fries – they were freaking excellent, so I’m moving swiftly on.

For main, I had buttermilk fried chicken Katsu curry. I loved the succulent chicken, tenderised by the buttermilk bath, which was in great juxtaposition to its golden, crunchy exterior.


The Dude tucked into Singapore Street Noodles (wok-fried egg noodles, chicken, tiger prawns, sticky pork and chilli omelette, curry, ginger, garlic). Meaty morsels were delicious; I especially thought the spiked omelette was inspired and added umami to a stunning dish.


There was a selection of desserts, including pannacotta, chocolate fondant and my personal favourite, Japanese doughnut.

chocolate-fondant pannacotta japanese-doughnut

I loved the crisp exterior of the doughnuts, and the ice-cream that was on the cusp of melting was lovely with a bite of the fried pastry.

It’s a great menu, and there’s something for everybody. If you fancy yourself as a cocktail connoisseur and want to know more about delicious drinks, then check out Soba’s cocktail masterclasses. Prices start from £25 for a 90 minute class, with extra for a scrumptious 3 course dinner.

If you’ve been (you must check out those Special Thai Fries), then I’d love to know how you got on.


Eatery name: Bar Soba Derby

Address: The Old Post Office, Victoria St, Derby DE1 1EQ

Christmas opening times for week ahead:

Tuesday                                       12–1am

Wednesday                                 12–1am

Thursday                                      12–1am

Friday                                           12–3am

Saturday                                      12–3am

Sunday (Christmas Eve)             12pm–1am

Monday (Christmas Day)          Closed

How to make reservation: online via website

Covers: 90 in the restaurant upstairs as well as a spacious bar area with plenty of seating on the ground floor.

Email: [email protected]




Wheelchair friendly? Yes.


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