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Drink Food

The Buji Bar Derby REVIEW

[AD] Last night I was invited to sample the offerings of one of Derby’s newest bars, The Buji Bar. Situated in the historic Royal Building on Victoria Street. If you are old like me, the best way to describe this is almost opposite the old Debenhams. Now this is a really up and coming area of the city. Just on the edge of the Cathedral Quarter, The Buji Bar is about halfway between The Cosy Club and Revolution de Cuba so could easily be incorporated into a night out.

inside The Buji Bar Derby - wall of framed mirrors

As you’d expect from the name, there are highly Instagrammable interiors at The Buji Bar. I loved the neon signage and the wall of framed mirrors.

neon sign reading 'This must be the place'

Derby’s newest cocktail bar

There’s a tempting cocktail menu at The Buji Bar. Some familiar classics, like Pornstar Martinis, Mojitos as well as more unique offerings such as a ‘Biscoffini’, a creamy mix of Baileys,  whiskey, caramel, Biscoff sauce and crumbs.

I was immediately drawn to the Rosetta, an elegant, mix of vodka, lychee, guava, lime and rose petals served in a dainty martini glass. It was so delicious. It was great to see a similar version listed under the mocktails, obviously minus the vodka!

a cocktail in a martini glass sprinkled with rose petals with a bougee bar in the background (The Buji Bar Derby)

My friend ordered the Tony Montana, a blend of white rum, mango juice and mango fizz, strawberry, lime juice and fresh strawberry. The cocktails are priced at either £8 or £9 although there is currently an offer on for 2 for £12.

two cocktails at The Buji Bar Derby

In addition to cocktails there is house red or white wine, a few beers and spirits. As well as plenty of soft drinks including some more unique options such as cherry crush. There’s also barista coffee, priced at just £2.50 which is some of the cheapest good quality coffee in the city!

Click here for other great places for cocktails and here for the best bottomless brunches.

Food at The Buji Bar

The menu is separated into small and large plates – which we (wrongly) assumed meant starters and main courses. Our food all arrived together – so whilst I’m sure you could do starters and then mains – just be aware you would need to specify that. Partly because of that, but we over ordered massively. This was far, far too much food for two people, but it does mean I can report back on lots of dishes! The portions here are huge. It’s all good quality food cooked freshly and excellent value.

a table laden with food - The Buji Bar Derby

Here’s what we ate….

From the small plates menu, “Azure chips” – seasoned, skin on chunky chips with garlic, soy, red chillies, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Azure fries - The Buji Bar Derby

Perfectly crispy, thin slices of seasoned fried aubergines served with a deliciously piquant herb infused tomato salsa. These were so moreish! Both of these dishes were gluten free as well as obviously being vegetarian.

crispy aubergine slices

The absolute star of the show for me was the Korean BBQ chicken. We were brought this as a complimentary dish to try and I completely understand why the owner, Dan, wanted me to try it. It was insanely good! Genuinely the best fried chicken I’ve had anywhere – topped with the most incredibly tasty sauce.  

Korean BBQ chicken at The Buji Bar Derby

The ‘large plates’ menu are complete meals – so come with a really big portion of rice (or chips with the burgers) and accompaniments.

My vegetarian friend ordered the Garbanzos curry made with chickpeas and aubergines served with Arabic rice and Lebanese bread.

vegetarian curry

I picked the Katsu chicken. This was the most amazingly crispy fried seasoned boneless chicken pieces with an authentic Katsu sauce, served with Arabic Rice and purple slaw. This dish was gluten free.

Katsu chicken

Everything we had was delicious. There’s also options of burgers (and from what I’ve seen on their social media, these are seriously good – in its previous incarnation the venue was Feed Me Burgers so they know their stuff), an incredible Argentinian steak dish and an interesting sounding fish dish.

Desserts at The Buji Bar Derby

We were far too full for a dessert at this point, but the very hospitable Dan sent over a portion of baklava to share. I love baklava. It reminds me of holidays and I’ve eaten my fair share of it over the years, and this was a really good version.  

baklava at The Buji Bar Derby

If you have room there is a small but very tempting dessert menu featuring freshly cooked waffles (both the Bueno and Biscoff options sound incredible), and on a Sunday they also serve French toast made from buttery brioche.

I’m hoping that The Buji Bar will eventually open as a brunch option, but in the meantime they open from 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And actually I can’t imagine a better option on a Sunday than some freshly made French toast and a good coffee or cheeky cocktail.

Service was great throughout the evening. I’m afraid I didn’t catch the waitress’ name but she was so delightful. Really polite, charming and helpful… and she makes amazing cocktails!

We went on a Thursday night and it was pretty quiet which is a huge shame. This is exactly the sort of place Derby needs more of in my opinion. Cute, welcoming and serving some really unique, great quality food. Lovely people and a great concept – I really hope they do well.

neon sign reading 'It's Only a Crazy Dream Until You Do It' - The Buji Bar Derby

Go for:

Fabulously bougee cocktails (I can’t recommend the Rosetta enough!) and delicious, generously portioned fusion food. The Korean chicken in particular was amazing!

The Buji Bar is less than a two minute walk from Primark so would be a perfect option for a mid/post shop coffee or cheeky cocktail. (Just note the opening hours below). It’s also in between the Cosy Club and Revolution de Cuba so worth stopping by next time you’re in town for cocktails.

Details:

The Buji Bar, 6 Royal Building, Victoria Street, Derby, DE1 1ES, 01332 987 110

Currently shut Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday – 5PM – 10PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 2PM – 11PM (food served until 9pm).

Fully accessible – no steps and fully accessible ground floor toilet.

Nearest car park is St James car park on St James Street. However, we parked in the Assembly Rooms and this was about a five minute walk away.

If you don’t want to dine in, there’s also an amazing takeaway menu – see their social media or website for more information.

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