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“Not a good experience.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Derby Arms

The Derby Arms
Ranked #48 of 171 Restaurants in Epsom
Price range: $12 - $29
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Special occasions, Bar scene, Scenic view, Kids
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Late Night, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Not a good experience.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

We live within a short walking distance of the Derby arms and used to visit on a regular basis. However, we stopped going as the food had gone downhill. We did visit recently, the first time in a couple of years, in the hope that things had improved — especially as it is on our doorstep.

After ordering our starter arrived very quickly — before our drinks had arrived, which was odd. The starter was nice enough, I had a Kofta kebab which was pretty good. Halfway though our starter our drinks finally turned up.

After the starter was cleared away we were then presented with the bread… which was baffling as this should have turned up before the starter.

Shortly after (a little bit too quick for my liking) our main course turned up. A beef pie for me and a salad for my wife. I took one look at the pie and called the waitress over. The pie crust was anaemic and the egg glaze had actually run into the middle of the crust and formed a small layer of ‘omelette’. I had never seen anything like it. When I lifted the crust up with my knife, it was almost raw underneath. I complained about this and sent it back.

It came back just a few minutes later and didn’t look any different. It was still very pale and the eggy middle was still there. I suspect it was placed under the grill for a short period of time which didn’t address the fact that it was quite a bit under-baked.

My wife wasn’t faring much better either — she complained that her salad was limp and tasteless. The waitress offered to get us another main course, but we decided that we’d seen enough and asked if we could just pay for the starter and drinks.

A few minutes later the manager of the restaurant came to our table. To be fair, he was superb and handled it as well as possible. He acknowledged that they just didn’t get it right and said that he didn’t want to see us go away hungry and asked for the chance to do the main course again. He personally guaranteed that it would be good and he also said we wouldn’t be charged for the main courses.

My wife changed her main course to a mushroom and cheese tart — I decided to stick with the beef pie. My wife was very pleased with her meal, which was tasty. My pie was dramatically improved. The pastry crust was properly baked, with a good golden colour and with the egg-glazing properly applied. The filling was quite tasty although not particularly generous: it was more carrots and sauce than beef.

We did end up having a nice evening — but I felt that no chef worth his salt should have ever sent out the first incarnation of that pie. You didn’t have to be Paul Hollywood to see that it just wasn’t baked right.

So, in summary we had our starter, before the drinks, which then was followed by the complimentary bread. Our main course was returned twice before managerial intervention came to save the day. On the basis of this experience it doesn’t look likely that we will return again soon — maybe we’ll give it a try in another two years time. I can’t really recommend this place, although special kudos does go to the manager whose intervention saved it from being a disastrous occasion.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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577 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    128
    179
    110
    80
    80
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great food, great service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

Great food, prompt service ( I usually go on a weekday lunchtime) - tend to book if we are 6 or more but don't need to if just 2 of you. Wide choice of food, and particularly good to have 2 courses for £12.50 at lunchtime certainly on weekdays, I have not been at the weekend.
Friendly service, prompt , I have always had starter within 20 mins and second course within another 20.
I note other reviewers have said it is pricey but I think it is good value this near to London, and cannot beat it on a hot summer day on their terrace. Great ambience.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Alison A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A good meal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

A nice meal but they often run out of the popular choices like fish and chips and steak when is a busy race day. It's quite expensive, but the service is good and the food is always nice.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Windy2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice restaurant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

Very good food and a nice selection of draught beers.
Is certainly of the best you can get in the area of Epsom.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank achris77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Confusing Pub”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

This pub is so confusing - it gets it so right and so wrong. They are under new, and very nice, management so it may just be teething issues however; Sunday we waited over an hour between courses and to be honest the food was not great. Fish & Chips the chips were cold, mashed potato was cold. I asked the waitress to heat it up and she did but to be honest it was still cold and by then I just felt so bad for them I gave up. We ended up having one meal removed from the bill.
Saying all of this; I have been there for starters and sharer plates whilst sitting on their lovely decking drinking their beautifully kept ales and had fantastic food.
The best part of this pub is definitely the staff; they are attentive, always smiling and work really hard.
I would suggest a visit but maybe leave out Sunday lunchtimes until they get it right.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Bert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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