How has new Derby restaurant OMOMO been doing in its first three months?

A photo of one of the wall inside the restaurant, with wooden background and black big OMOMO logo on it.
The huge black OMOMO logo decorates the wooden wall inside the restaurant. Photo: Lucia Koscova

There can be quite a lot of ups and downs in opening a new restaurant in Derby City Centre and the owner of the OMOMO restaurant, which opened only three months ago, has experienced plenty.

OMOMO was opened on January 20, 2024, by Lesley So, founder of ‘So Good Kombucha’, a former employee of Rolls-Royce and a winner of Marketing Derby’s Rising Star 2022.

She said that the restaurant has been getting a lot of support from Derby’s local community, receiving very positive feedback and welcoming a lot more customers to try their food, despite the owner saying they did not pay for advertisements.

So said: “A lot of customers have told us that this is what Derby needs.

“Something totally different.”

The inside of the OMOMO restaurants, tables and chairs and the view from the restaurant.
The friendly atmosphere inside the OMOMO restaurant with a view of the street. Photo: Lucia Koscova

They have updated their menu with more street-food dishes like Korean corn dog (crispy mozzarella cheese and fish sausage coated in sugar), Gimbap (Korea’s most popular on-the-go meal with three plant-based options: vegetable, kimchi spicy bulgogi and bulgogi), and Jajangmyeon (chewy noodles with savoury and slightly sweet black bean sauce with an option to add an egg).

They have removed the sweet and spicy chicken from their menu because it felt like a duplicate of their bestseller; Korean fried chicken with a sweet and spicy sauce that has a unique recipe developed by them.

Korean fried chicken served on a golden plate with a sauce on the side.
The restaurant’s bestseller – Korean fried chicken with a side of coleslaw salad. Photo: Lesley So, the owner of OMOMO

Other bestsellers, mentioned by Anna, an employee of the restaurant, are Ra-bokki (savoury ramyeon and tteobokki) and previously mentioned Gimbap.

Anna further mentions that people prefer the Black Sugar Fresh Milk, Black Sugar Fresh Milk Tea and Taro Milk Tea bubble teas the most.

Out of the cold options the lychee, green apple, dragon fruit and mango flavours are the most preferred.

She adds: “Derby people really seem to enjoy trying new things.”

They have also changed their opening hours and are now open every day except Tuesdays after realising they could use it as an opportunity to give staff a day off.

OMOMO opens every day at midday for lunch and closes at 9pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Monday, at 9:30 on Friday and Saturday and 6 pm on Sunday.

The restaurant has been experiencing a few bumps on the road with the weather getting warmer as they need to move their light fixings so that the windows can be opened.

Lesley sees those little mistakes as a part of the learning process when opening a new business.

The two most rewarding aspects for Lesley are giving people from marginalized communities and people new to the city of Derby the opportunity for work experience.

She says that some of their chefs didn’t have previous commercial experience and have been trained to become professional chefs at OMOMO.

Another of her goals is to bring more life to the city centre as the main streets are full of vacant stores and OMOMO has a great potential to lure in more people.

The plan for the future is to keep building up the business and have more people come and try their delicious Korean food.