Over the last few years, Derbyshire’s food scene has flourished, to include a huge range of culinary styles – as perfectly demonstrated by our selection of the 8 best Asian restaurants in rural Derbyshire.
Derbyshire is well-known for its abundance of country pubs and locally farmed produce. But, what is less widely known is that the county is also home to a wealth of creative, dynamic and exciting authentic Asian restaurants.
Stepping outside of Derby city centre – which is already celebrated across the country for its exceptional Asian restaurants – we’ve used this blog to showcase our selection of the 8 best Asian restaurants in rural Derbyshire.
1. Thailand No. 1
Right in the heart of Matlock, Thailand No. 1 is one of the town’s most popular restaurants – and with very good reason.
Its menu features a long list of fresh and healthy authentic Thai cuisine, served in an elegant and welcoming setting. The restaurant even gets its herbs and spices sent directly every week from growers in Thailand.
The food is packed full of rich and complex flavours, and there’s a huge range of dishes to choose from, including ample options for vegan and gluten-free diners.
2. Sushi Kaji
There’s a reason why we named Kaji as Derbyshire’s best sushi restaurant (albeit, admittedly, the only sushi restaurant we’ve found in Derbyshire so far!).
Sushi Kaji is one of Buxton’s newest restaurant additions, and we’re delighted to see it! The menu features a wide range of sushi and starters, alongside hot mains.
The sushi list has all your classic favourites – including an abundance of nigiri, uramaki, futomaki and sashimi – and the restaurant’s hot dishes include teriyaki chicken, ramen, katsu curry and fried rice, just to name a few options!
3. Emma’s Thai
Located in Ilkeston, Emma’s Thai is celebrated as one of the best Asian restaurants in rural Derbyshire, serving up fresh, delicious and traditional Southeast Asian food.
Emma’s Thai is all about authenticity, with precise attention to the dishes’ flavours and ingredients.
As much as we love their regular menu, an absolute stand-out is the restaurant’s Eastern Banquets menu. This gives diners the opportunity to try a five, six or seven course menu of rich and exciting dishes.
Expect to see classic favourites like chicken satay and Thai fish cakes paired with flavour-packed dishes including Pud Thai (traditional stir-fried noodles with bean sprouts and spring onions), Gaeng Kiew Waan Gai (chicken Thai green curry cooked with aubergines), and beef pud num mun hoy (stir-fried beef sirloin with ginger, peppers and oyster sauce).
4. The Balti
The Balti in Matlock Bath was the first Indian restaurant I ever visited. I was a really fussy eater as a teenager and ordered plain chicken tikka, I was instantly hooked! I remember my friend Laura having Chicken Tikka Masala and me trying a bit of her sauce… again instant addition!
The meals at The Balti never fail to disappoint and though I still always opt for the Chicken Tikka Masala, Olly is more adventurous and has tried many tasty dishes. Our favourite starter is the Chicken Chaat Puri. I have failed to find a better one anywhere else.
It’s hard to find a restaurant with friendlier staff and a more attentive service. Plus, alongside the hospitality, the food has always kept us coming back.
5. Tom Yum Thai Kitchen
Belper’s Tom Yum Thai Kitchen is located in the town’s North Mill. This historic building and its exposed red brickwork gives the restaurant a distinctive aesthetic, and a cosy, laid-back vibe.
The ‘Tom Yum experience’ is all about showcasing heritage fine Thai cuisine, and all of its rich, complex spices. As a result, the menu is brimming with rich flavours, and acts as a celebration of fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant’s ethos ‘Your Community, Our Kitchen’ is a testament to both its deep appreciation of traditional Thai cooking, and its pride in the local area.
6. Ayubowan Restaurant
Ayubowan Restaurant has a number of branches in the region including, right in the heart of Derbyshire, its Glossop outpost.
In fact, this is the OG restaurant of the Ayubowan family, which first opened in 2013. Designed to offer ‘an escape to warmer climates’, Ayubowan Restaurant serves up authentic Sri Lankan food (with a few signature twists) in a stylish, modern-yet-relaxing setting.
On sunnier days, diners can also make the most of the restaurant’s outdoor seating area. We highly recommend ordering a few cocktails and some Sri Lankan tapas, for a fun alternative to the usual pub grub and beer garden!
7. Curry Cottage at Lovers Leap
As its name suggests, the Curry Cottage restaurant is set in an unmistakably traditional Derbyshire cottage. This cottage is perched right at the heart of the iconic Lovers Leap, giving the restaurant some pretty magnificent (and rather unique!) scenery.
From this rather unconventional base in Hope Valley, the Curry Cottage team prepare a wide range of classic Indian dishes, prepared with love and following authentic, traditional recipes.
What’s more, although this is an establishment that chooses not to serve alcohol, the team happily allows diners to BYOB, making this a great affordable meal out with friends or family.
8. Khomkhai Thai Cuisine
We’re heading back to Buxton, for another of Derbyshire’s favourite Thai restaurants.
Khomkhai Thai Cuisine is named after the restaurant’s head chef, Khomkhai, who was born in a small town in the Esan region of Thailand. This area is renowned for its unique take on traditional Thai recipes, and Khomkhai’s cooking is a wonderful showcase of both this region’s culinary flair, and her mother’s recipes, which have been passed down from generation to generation.
The menu at Khomkhai Thai Cuisine features everything you’d hope to see at a Thai restaurant, alongside a few intriguing signature Chef’s recommendations. These include everything from sweet and sour seabass, to Bangkok sweet chilli crispy chicken, and duck with a tamarind sauce, to spicy panang monkfish.
We hope you enjoyed this round-up of our favourite Asian restaurants in Derbyshire.
If you’re keen to explore Derbyshire’s food and drink scene, or are looking for your next weekend treat spot, what other recommendations would you like us to share?
Or, if you think there are any local Asian restaurants that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear your recommendations! You can share your must-visits with us in the comments, or get in touch via our socials.