Das ist gut! Why the new menu at Leicester’s Rutland & Derby’s is turning heads
The winter menu at The Rutland & Derby in Leicester city centre is catching eyes all over town. It’s laid-back, unpretentious and Germanic, offering tasty small plates such as German salami, spiced whitebait and pretzels alongside wurst, pizzas (try the ‘flammkuchen’) and mains like chicken schnitzel with lemon aioli and salsa verde. The list of dishes is both original and perfect for a casual city drinks-led pub, encouraging beer and wine sippers to graze, experiment and socialise while eating. It’s no surprise that the R&D’s food sales are going really well.
A big reason why the menu is proving so popular is because it is so thoughtfully and lovingly put together. R&D director Sam Hagger explains: “I love to travel – if I can down tools for four days and visit somewhere in Europe, I’m a happy bunny. I recently visited the Rhine Valley and I adored nipping down back streets, finding bars and ordering a stein of beer along with this wonderful sort of sociable German food: pretzels, hotdogs, the odd small plate…. sipping the beer and having a chat.
“When I got back I told our chefs we should do something similar. Following my chat they catered for a corporate party and presented the Germanic theme to its guests. It went down a storm, so we added several of the dishes to our standard quirky pub menu.”
People are loving the result, especially because Sam and team are also working hard to make everything that comes out of the kitchen, from the pretzel with pickles to the lamb rump kebab, is perfectly presented. “We’ve printed ‘#instagrammablefood’ at the bottom of the menu,” says Sam. “Basically, our rule is it doesn’t leave the kitchen unless you’d be happy to post it on Instagram.”