Fill In Kitchen, Derby REVIEW

Fill In Kitchen is now closed.

Please head here for other great Derbyshire restaurants.

[AD – PR invite] Fill In Kitchen is a brand new, pop-up street food venue in Derby city centre serving up the most incredible food. Think perfect chicken katsu, Neapolitan pizzas and Mughlai cuisine from the streets of old Delhi. It’s a really interesting concept of upcycling empty venues (in this case the old Zizzi’s) and giving up-and-coming food vendors a chance to expand.

I went along to meet owners, Bruce Wilson and Sean Masters… and obviously try lots of food!

Food at Fill In Kitchen Derby

There are currently three different independent food vendors in Fill In Kitchen. All are ordered via one app – or directly from the counter if you’d rather have a little chat with the chefs about the food (and if owner Bruce is about, he is a font of foodie knowledge).

Fill in Kitchen pop-up uses the old pizza oven from Zizzi's

Nea Pizza serve classic Neapolitan wood fired pizzas, usually made by Maria (based on home recipes from Naples!) and Manuel, an experienced pizza chef. It’s hard to beat a classic Neopolitan pizza – with its characteristic thin base, sweet tomato sauce and mozzarella. They also serve pizza fritta – perfect for lunch on the go and so refreshing to see a place doing something fresh and exciting in Derby.  

authentic wood fired pizzas

There’s Indian street food from Dabbawala – a company Bruce met in Delhi years ago. The lamb kofta consisted of freshly cooked bread, fried in ghee (clarified butter), brushed with coriander oil, topped with smoked aubergine paste and Indian chutney, perfectly seasoned lamb kebabs then topped with fresh salad, pomegranate seeds and raita.

Fill In Kitchen Derby lamb kofta

And finally, and probably my favourite, Maki Kazzo from Shoreditch in London. I was lucky enough to sample their chicken katsu – perfectly crispy chicken served with rice and fresh salad topped with zingy kimchi and pickled ginger. This was sheer perfection.

chicken katsu at Fill In Kitchen

After trying all the samples, I absolutely didn’t need dessert. And I’ll be frank, if I’d seen this on a menu I don’t think I’d have been tempted – but OMG you need to try a toasted brioche bun with ice cream! Especially when it’s topped with raspberry coulis, caramelised white chocolate and candied pistachios. An absolute taste sensation!

pop-up street food Derby

Fill In Kitchen is more a food venue than a bar – so perfectly family friendly – but there’s a full range of soft drinks plus beers, wine, pre-mixed cocktails like passionfruit daiquiri and mocha martini. Most of the drinks are served in cans to be easily recycled. And all of the other packaging is compostable (even what look like clear plastic cups are actually made from sugar starch!).

Overall I loved the concept. It’s brilliant to see something fresh and exciting in Derby city centre. Look out for live music from local bands at weekends.

Fare Traders refresh empty restaurants to give a kick start to small businesses

The Fare Traders concept

Fare Traders turn sad, empty spaces in great city centre locations to create pop-up street food kitchens. The first one is in Derby, in the old Zizzi’s building on Friar Gate. The décor has had a little refresh – but most of it is as Zizzi’s left it. Literally the ultimate upcycling project – so great sustainability credentials.

This provides a boost to high streets and gives up-and-coming chefs and small food businesses an opportunity to test their concept on a wider audience. I met the founders, Bruce Wilson, a Chef Consultant who is there to give strategic advice to the chefs and food businesses and Sean Masters who is a Brand Strategist. Both spoke passionately about supporting small businesses to grow and develop. For us foodies, projects like Fare Traders means there’s something new and exciting to eat (and gives a much needed boost to tired city centre streets).

Go for:

Really delicious street food.


Fill In Kitchen, 16-17 Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1BX

Open 11am to 11pm, serving food all day. Also available for delivery. Cashless. No bookings – just walk in.

I parked at ParkSafe on Bold Lane, less than a five minute walk.

Family friendly – high chairs available, baby changing facilities in the disabled toilet. Pushchair friendly.

October offer – every Tuesday (all day, all evening) throughout October there’s a huge 33% off the entire food and drink menu. Just pop to the counter to collect a discount code before ordering on the app.

Things to do in Derby

Derby is a much underrated city. It might not be an obvious choice for a short break but here’s why I think it’s a great weekend destination. Whether you’re looking for family friendly activities, culture and history or just places to eat and drink, there are so many great things to do in Derby. Situated…

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By Molly Scott

Derbyshire blogger - bringing you the best places to eat, drink, spa and stay in the wider Derbyshire area. Champion of the most fabulous independents.

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