Trying Out Bar Soba Derby’s Asian Street Food & Cocktail Masterclass

Shortly before the Christmas holidays began, I was invited along by Bar Soba to go and check out their venue, shake up some cocktails and dive into their Pan Asian Street Food inspired menu head first.

Being the foodie that I am, I was more than happy to pop along with my other half and get stuck in.

Adorned in the brightest Christmas jumper you can imagine, I went along and met some other lovely locals and had a good old natter. Angie, Ria, Jake and I surrounded a long table with our guests and speculated what the night would behold.

Dan, the General manager, caught up with us all and explained we’d be crafting a trio of alcoholic beverages along with trying a selection of dishes from their Asian inspired menu. We also got the chance to explore the venue too but more on that later.

Having been a loyal customer of its predecessor Lola Lo, a tiki themed cocktail bar and nightclub, I was intrigued as how Soba had transformed the building and give it a new lease of life.

I think my favourite part of the venue was the Instagrammable decor; the furniture, the neon lights and the industrial, graffiti vibe which makes for the best photos.

I especially love this pink neon I Love You/I’m Over You sign which can be found on the upper floor of the venue. There are two floors to Soba with the ground floor having the cosy, cocktail vibe whilst the upstairs holds a large seating area for dining.

Once we had all arrived and caught up, it was time to get cracking with a relaxed cocktail masterclass. First up was the Drumstick Caipiroska which is Soba’s most popular cocktail on the menu and I see why…

Laced with A LOT of Stoli Vodka, this concoction really did taste like a Drumstick but obviously a lot boozier; which I didn’t have a problem with at all. This cocktail went down far too easily which I wasn’t sure was such a good thing. I could sip on these all night and feel nothing for an hour or two and then it really hits you!

We all had the chance to shake up one of these classics with me and Angie (Sticky Beak Blog) drinking the examples made by the bartenders (oops).

The next ones on the list were Mojitos and of all different flavours! I managed to sneak the first one made by the profs which was a coconut one made with Koko Kanu and my God, I fell in love! Me and coconut have a love affair that I just can’t comprehend.

After a few of us had muddled up a storm, it was my turn and I fancied something classic so I asked to make a Strawberry Mojito which they easily obliged. Adding spiced rum, strawberry syrup and garnished with a strawberry, I was mildly surprised at the ease of whipping one of these up!

Kane made an Apple & Ginger Mojito which was a flavour combo I would never thought of adding to a Mojito but my gosh, it worked so well. The added warmth from the ginger was something that I welcomed and the tart apple and lime added a zesty undertone – perfecto.

After a pretty hefty intake of booze, it was time to tuck in some street foodie goodness! The first things we got our hands on was a platter laden with a selection of their small plate dishes.

Tiger Prawn Tempura, Bang Bang Chicken Wings, Prawn Crackers, Gyoza Dumplings and something I was desperate to try, Cheeseburger Spring Rolls – yes they are as insane as they sound.

Although I didn’t try the Tempura Prawns ( I am not a prawn kinda lady), the rest of the dishes were all cooked to perfection. The gyozas were silky smooth and packed with tasty vegetable fillings, the crackers were light and crunchy and the chicken wings packed a punch like no other.

The Cheeseburger Spring Rolls deserve the biggest round of a applause and, to me, the star of the show. They were gooey with cheese, the seasoned mince was succulent and strangely, this combo complimented the crispy filo pastry wonderfully.

Onto mains, I had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Katsu Bun which was an easy choice for me; I’m a Katsu fan girl and I am not sorry one bit. The fries which accompanied were lightly seasoned and wonderfully crispy – these were especially good dunked in Soba’s own mayo creation. The chicken bun was crunchy, tender and a dream paired with Katsu sauce. If you poured the sauce all over the chicken like I did, you will get into a bit of a mess but that’s the best part, licking your fingers after finishing.

Feeling pretty stuffed and a teeny bit tipsy by this point, I was a very happy lady; especially when they offered us some tempting desserts to try.

Within minutes, a selection of Japanese inspired desserts were placed in front of us. These included the Japanese Fried Doughnut, a Coconut Panna Cotta (OMG) and Chocolate Fondant.

Surprisingly, the Coconut Panna Cotta wasn’t my favourite, it was the Deep Fried Doughnut. The Panna Cotta was light, smooth and had a slight essence of coconut but the Doughnut gave me all the hug from inside feels.

It was crispy on the outside, warm and doughy on the inside with a sugary crunch. Now imagine that paired with vanilla ice cream – it reminded me of being by the sea and eating fresh doughnuts.

Last on the agenda was our final cocktail aptly named Bubblicious which was a lot of fun both in flavours and whipping it up. It was served in a coupe and tasted like a Hubba Bubba dream. This drink was short, strong and foamy, a Barbie’s dream!

By this point, I was pretty much drunk, full of delicious food and had the best time. Thanks to Bar Soba for inviting me over for a pre-Christmas treat; I can’t wait to come back and see what veggie dishes I can get my hands on!

This review was written and provided in exchange for our food and drinks but the opinions, photos and words are all my own!

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