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“Prime candidate for Gordon Ramsey's kitchen nighmare”
Review of Cucina

Ranked #4 of 582 Restaurants in Derby
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$14 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Child-friendly, Kids, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, After-hours, Lunch, Buffet, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Italian trattoria, serving homemade fresh food 5 days a week. Family run, local institution, opened by Alfonso Mallardo, and now run by his two sons. In the evenings, we serve a mixture of Italian classics, and some more adventurous specials. Pop in for lunch for a quick bowl of pasta or platters of antipasti.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Prime candidate for Gordon Ramsey's kitchen nighmare”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

I booked this restaurant as it had a high rating on Trip advisor.
We arrived at the appointed time. No welcome, no recognition of any booking.

We were seated right away. Menus were presented.

The waitress was attentive.

The menu was basic. This is an Italian restaurant with no olives. Don't ask for them.

Garlic bread starter was ok.
We asked for an unbreaded calamari starter but not the Frankie and Benny bought in breaded type. Unbreaded calamari was not possible. I will let you guess why not.....

The mixed side salad stater was poorly presented, lacking in flavour and the very poor quality cheap and nasty Balsamic vinegar really did finish it off. Considering this was supposed to be a quality restaurant - why skimp?

Service was painfully slow. I considered leaving, as one couple did without getting their food, but thought it rude to the owner to do that.

Main courses - I had a steak medium rare. It was medium rare. But the quality was poor considering it was £16

My wife had a chicken salad. The chicken was cooked ok, it was uninspiring.

I did not ask for the dessert, we would probably still be there.

As I feel it was unfair just to leave a report here without addressing the owner, we did just that.

Remember that customer reviews are subjective. He would not accept any of our views as feedback.

His terse comments left me feeling, in no uncertain terms, that my view as a customer counted for nothing. He was always right.

He blamed any delay on being the opening night of a refurbished restaurant. This was odd as I had booked and it was never mentioned. If it was the opening night why not mention it when arriving. Why not have extra staff to try annd take up the strain.. Why not make it a special evening, domething to be proud of rather than the lucklustre and frankly appalling servicee we did receive

I would recommend this restaurant for an episode of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nighmares.


  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
10 Thank Satellitejack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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561 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent Restaurant”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Thank goodness Derby has finally got a decent Italian restaurant. This is a nice family run place. Proper Italian. No ding-ding microwave food here i.e Frankie and Benny's ersatz 'Italian' corporate American chain.

Everything is cooked properly. I've now eaten here several times and can't fault it. Reasonably priced too. Very nice Italian fella front of house who welcomes you and shows you to your table. Italian chefs in the kitchen. Like I said proper Italian.....unlike the place on Friargate which is 'Italian' with a Dublin accent.

Tucked away on Green Lane. If you blink you'll miss it. It doesn't actually say it's an Italian restaurant from outside....just La Cucina (which means The Kitchen in Italian). From Victoria Street go up Green Lane (where Debenhams used to be) and it is on the right just after the new Thai place. The fancy dress shop is further up Green Lane on the opposite side of the road.

People are gradually getting to know about this restaurant so best to ring up and book a table. I love it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Seafarer1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Could be better”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My girlfriend and I visited Cucina last month on a Saturday evening.

Looking through the internet to try and find a menu, we were surprised we couldn't find one. Nevertheless we were still looking forward to the meal based on Tripadvisor reviews.

Starting with the positives... upon arrival the décor is welcoming, the place had a quaint Italian feel to it. The food was good, in the top 5 Italian meals I've had for taste and very generous portion sizes (one of the biggest fishcakes I have ever had!). If this review was based on food quality and quantity alone it would get a 4-5 star review... however I consider the whole experience and unfortunately this was let down by other elements of the evening.

Negative points... the service was very, very, very slow. We waited more than 40 minutes after ordering for our starters to arrive, followed by a similar wait in between starters and mains and another wait to get the bill. We did get an apology from who we assumed was the owner when he passed us whilst waiting on tables, which was welcomed, but when you finish your drink well before your starter even arrives you really just want to start your meal.

A further disappointment was the food and drinks menus. The food menu was a little limited which is only a minor disappointment for me but I can imagine other diners would prefer more choice. The wine menu disappointed me more. The wines on the menu looked like they could be nice but unless you were drinking the house wine you had to buy the full bottle. I'm used to seeing this on more expensive wines but when you only have one option by the glass, and only in red or white (no rose) it's a bit limited. Even mid-range wines were only available by the bottle.

A slight gripe at the end when we received the final bill we noticed that we had been charged for 6 glasses of wine rather than 4, when I politely pointed this out to waiter there was a small debate where I had to re-iterate a few times that we only had 2 glasses of wine each, he finally accepted that we were right and brought back a reduced bill.

Final negative... the staff seemed overwhelmed with the amount of customers. At one point, who we thought was the owner, shouted (in Italian) at his kitchen staff and with it being open plan you could see and hear it all - not very professional. Also at the end of our meal there were two separate couples that had been waiting for a table for at least 15 minutes and seemed to be getting a little agitated at the lack of attention shown to them.

The evening overall was ok as per the 3 out of 5. They need a website or at least an online menu. If service speed picked up (more staff?) and there were more choices of wine by the glass I could see me coming here again, however as it stands I won't be back in the foreseeable future.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Robbo83RD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
148 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

Visited with friends based on trip advisor rating. Small, family run trattoria with friendly service.

Shared a couple of garlic breads and anti pasti platter, lovely, the garlic bread was fresh, hot and overall one of the best we've ever had. Two lasagnes - generous portions, arrabiatta pasta, side salad and belly pork with crispy crackling served on rhubarb with asparagus and rosemary roasted potatoes - all gorgeous and tasty. A bottle of red, 3 bottles of lager and a glass of rose all for £90.

Excellent in every aspect and can't wait for a return visit soon.

2 Thank fatandfrantic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

ate here last month, simply fantastic, service was great, very friendly with a lot of character. love the open kitchen, food was amazing, one of the best meals i've had.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank travis_derby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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