Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Masa - Derby.

Housed in a gorgeous 200 year old chapel on the edge of Derby's City Centre is two AA rosette restaurant, Masa.
After chatting with head chef Matt over Facebook, me and mum took a trip over one Sunday lunch to sample the menu that he offers. 

Masa is one of those places that I'm sure you've all heard of - for all the good reasons of course! Their fine dining menu attracts diners from all over the region plus you can get married here too!



Me and mum arrived around 1pm on a cold rainy afternoon after getting a little lost trying to navigate using my phone. Once we got here though, we realised exactly where it was and that we'd been taken the long way round!
That was all forgotten though after stumbling across the magnificent building before us. Beautiful. 

We headed into the bar area where other diners were sat waiting for tables. I was happy to feel the warmth after walking in from the bitter British weather, I was expecting it to be really cold in here with it being an old building. We took a pew (wink) and ordered some drinks with the waitress. We didn't get a very warm reception from her though, seemed like she'd rather have been anywhere else at that moment in time! I decided to have a mocktail, which I wasn't impressed with but this is what it looked like anyway:



Soon afterwards we were taken upstairs to the restaurant - I honestly had no idea as to what we were about to see. A lovely open plan, light and airy room complete with plenty of original features.



We were handed menus, plenty of choice for all including several vegetarian and gluten free options. The Sunday menu is available as 2 courses for £19.95 or 3 courses for £24 - both incredibly reasonable prices for a restaurant of this standard. Value for money.

An amuse bouche was served comprising of an incredibly tasty Yorkshire Pudding - crispy on the edges but spongy in the middle (just how I like them) and drizzled in a sweet currant jus.



This was shortly followed by miniature home made bread cobs served with two types of butter.
Again, very delicious nibbles. The bread was warm meaning the butter was able to melt and spread with ease. Soft and fluffy inside with a flaky crisp shell.



To start, I had Croquette of Goats Cheese with Heritage Tomatoes and Pine Nuts - we all know by now that Goats Cheese is a big big thumbs up in my world. Mum chose to try something different to mix things up opting for the Pan Fried Duck Egg with Asparagus and Rapeseed Mayonnaise. I actually learnt on chef Matt's Twitter that the Rapeseed Oil used for the mayonnaise is the same Brock & Morten oil that I used not too long ago. See review here. The presentation was stunning on these dishes and really stood out to us.
Both full of flavour but mum struggled with hers towards the end saying that it becomes a little too rich. 
But we both thoroughly enjoyed.




For main course, mum chose to go more traditional than myself by having the Duo of Derbyshire Beef served with a Trio of Onions and Partmentier Potatoes. She really raved about this dish even stating that the Onion Ring was the best one she'd ever had as it was so crispy and light,
The Beef was excellent quality and cooked perfectly. You could cut it like butter. All of the flavours complimented each other beautifully.
I chose to have Roasted Breast of Chicken with Wild Garlic & Ham Hock Risotto and Asparagus Puree. I'm really fussy when it comes to Chicken as I get a bit freaked out by any dis-colouring or oddities. This Chicken Breast was spot on. It was pure white, so moist juicy and tasted amazing along side the Risotto. This gave the dish a saltiness from the Ham Hock and the crunch from the Asparagus was very much welcome.





Now, there's absolutely no way I was going to pass on dessert after such an impressive starter and main course! There's a little less choice from dessert, two options along with Ice Creams and Cheese & Biscuits. To me, they aren't 'proper' desserts.
We chose one of each and plonked them in the middle of the table to share. A Trio of Chocolate with Strawberries & Raspberry powder and a Passionfruit Panacotta with Pistachio Puree, crumb and Yoghurt Ice Cream.




Again, two superbly presented desserts giving such a visual impact. The Trio of Chocolate is very chocoholics dream. A warm, chewy Brownie, a ball of rich ganache and a smooth ice cream. We all know that Chocolate and Strawberries/ Raspberries are a match made in heaven! 
The Panacotta is a new dessert to me, having never actually tried one before! This dish was all about the textures which worked together in harmony. The light crisp of the pasty along with the velvety Panacotta (set perfectly) and the crunch from the Pistachio Crumb all piled on the spoon with a dash of the Yoghurt Ice Cream. Wow.

Throughout our meal, the service which we received from the restaurant staff was top notch. Always making sure we had drinks/ water, checking all was okay with our meals and explaining what we were being served. I think it's really impressive when the front of house staff are able to explain to you what you're about to tuck into, it shows that time has been taken for the kitchen and FOH to communicate/ work together.

Overall, the experience that we had at Masa was incredible food wise. The Sunday Lunch menu is excellent value for money and isn't one to be missed.
It would be nice to see the chapel spruced up a little as the interior is beginning to look a little shabby in places but nothing alarming at this moment in time. 
Masa is definitely work that short trip outside of the main City Centre.

Take a look at their website for yourself: www.masarestaurantwinebar.com
Have you been to Masa? What did you think?

Thanks for reading,


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