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Masa Restaurant (Derby, England)

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1 Review

Address: Masa restaurant wine bar, The Old Wesleyan Chapel, Brook Street, Derby, DE1 3PF

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      06.07.2012 19:47
      Very helpful



      A good restaurant with great food but sadly not that busy

      Masa, Brooke Street, Derby

      Where is this restaurant?
      This is a first class restaurant just on the edge of Derby city centre. Parking is pretty easy on the road beside the restaurant and is free after 6pm which is when most people would want to go to a restaurant.

      When is this restaurant open?
      Masa is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
      On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Lunch is served from 12.00 till 14.30 and Dinner is served from 18.00 to 21.30 (10om on Fridays). On Saturday food is served from 12.00 and the full a la carte menu is available after 6pm.On Sundays the set menu is served all day from 12.00 noon till 9 pm. The restaurant can be booked by phone 01332 203345 or on line through www.toptable.com where you can earn points for booking and reviewing restaurants.

      A Bit of History
      The building that is now Masa was for over its 200 year history a Methodist Chapel. At one time it was a Baptist church before changing to a Wesleyan Chapel and once it was almost destroyed by fire. The building remained a chapel until 2002 when the cost of maintaining the 200 year old property had become beyond the tiny worshipping community and the final service was held in May 2002.Masa is in this beautifully converted Grade II listed Chapel.

      The building has retained many of the original features of the chapel including the pulpit area and many of the original pews are used as seating for the tables where you eat. The building has a down stairs where you sit and enjoy your drinks or cocktails and there are some tables there too. Upstairs is like a theatre balcony and is half the size and tiered so you can look down over the lower floor bar area. The tables are set around the pews which are curved around the semi circular balcony.

      The ambience

      The restaurant has always been very quiet whenever we have been which is a shame as the food is excellent The restaurant now has a great reputation for its fine food and the restaurant has been awarded two AA rosettes for its quality. The head chef is Jose Vega and together with his team they do produce some very fine food. It would be great if there could just be a few more diners in the restaurant as I do wonder how they manage to keep going with only about 5 tables a night each time we have been.

      The Service and welcome

      As you arrive you are greeted in a friendly manner and invited to sit in the comfortable chairs to enjoy a drink and then you are shown the menus. When we went for the taster menu we were given a plate of 'amuse- bouche' to tempt our palate with our drinks but at other times this was not offered. While you are enjoying your drink you selecting from the menu and then your order is taken. On our most recent visit we went for the set menu which is £18.50 per person for three courses. This is really just a limited version of the full a la carte menu.

      Once your meal is ready you are taken upstairs, your drink carried for you on a tray, and shown to your table. Last night we were brought a tiny cup of hot creamy tomato soup complements of the chef which was a lovely touch. We were then brought a tray of three different breads to choose from and these were served by the waitress on to our plates. We were offered a second piece a few minutes later as we greedily gobbled our first pieces up.

      The food:
      A I have said we went for the set menu of three course for £18.50 and the starter choices were Soup of the day which was tomato and basil which I think was what we were given as a complimentary taster just before but we had all chosen the: Goat's cheese crème brulee with puree of courgettes, parmesan crisp and pine nuts, which is priced at £6.50 on the a la carte menu.

      This came on a rectangular flat slate with a ball of the goat's cheese set on the puree with a long thin parmesan crisp resting on the ball. Along the top was a row of toasted pine nuts set on the jelly. It looked like a work of art and tasted delicious.

      The main course choices were a risotto or the one we all chose which was Breast of Chicken with leek and potato cake, oyster mushroom and spring cabbage fricassee, tarragon and garlic which was on the a la carte menu for £14.50.Once again this was beautifully presented and tasted superb.

      Finally the dessert choices were a chocolate tart with ice cream and a wickedly evil chocolate sauce or Ile Flottante (meringue poached in milk) roasted rhubarb, honeycomb tuille, caramel sauce which were both about £3.50 each on the a la carte menu.

      My husband and I chose the chocolate tart and our son had the Ile Flottante and both were judged delicious.

      All the food is freshly prepared to order so there is a bit of a wait between courses but nothing out of the ordinary.

      The Service
      They waitress was lovely. She was very efficient and slick in her service but very friendly when we asked her anything. Any time we wanted anything someone was there but they were not annoyingly effusive and in your face. The service charge is not automatically added to your bill so you can choose what you want to leave and also add it to your card using the machine or maybe leave cash, it is your choice which I like.

      We really love the food in the restaurant and think the set menu is great value for the food you get. Everything is beautifully cooked and so well presented with all the lovely little touches and garnishes.

      It is a shame that more people do not know about this fabulous restaurant as it is certainly one of the best in Derby. The building had been restored with sensitivity; the setting is calm and has an element of quiet luxury about it.

      The service is understated but extremely efficient. The food is freshly prepared and presented in a very special and tasteful way. The restaurant is the only one in Derby City centre to receive this accolade so it is quite special.

      I trust that this has been of some interest to you and if you want to know more they have a website http://www.masarestaurantwinebar.com/ind​ex.htm

      This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name


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