Ah The Ivy… Even saying it out loud makes us giddy with excitement. We decided to end 2015 on a high, and what better way than to pay a visit to London’s most talked about restaurant. Having closed its doors way back in January to give it a face-lift, we were eager to go along and see what had been done. We knew that many of the fixtures and fittings had been auctioned off for charity so what was to be waiting for us beyond those famous double doors?
You are greeted by the giant triangular shaped bar which takes up the centre of the dining room and although large, the room still felt airy and open. The seating, mixing both leather and velvet mohair, is comfortable and nicely spaced, with more booths and corner tables, while the traditional crisp linen, silvery cutlery and attentive service remain. As is expected.
The menu, still with its favourites of Shepherds Pie and Sausages & Mash, it has also swayed to the new ‘grazing’ way of eating that seems to be a trend that is here to stay. Asian small plates and ‘sea and shells’ are new inserts to appeal to slightly younger aged patrons. We opted to stick to the classics as we know this is where our hearts lie with The Ivy.
To begin: Pork and Veal Meatballs, Cornish Crab Bisque, Caramelized Tropea Onion Tart and Seabass Ceviche were ordered. Each dish perfect in size and perfect in taste. The meatballs was soft, tender and held their own. The Onion tart is by far one of the best we have ever tried. The lightest pastry with a delicious filling. The bisque was outstanding. The aroma it let off is second to none and the depth in flavour is one we so greatly crave still.
For mains the Shepherds Pie (of course!), Crab Macaroni, Cep Risotto and Crackling Roast pork with sides of Cheesy Mash and creamed spinach. Every signature dish was beautiful. Firstly the pie. with meat swimming in a thick gravy topped with buttery potato was divine. The pork was equally stunning and was rich in flavour. The risotto from the special vegetarian menu was generous and the rice was cooked just right.
The highlight for us though has to be the desserts. The Baked Alaska cooked at the table was a fantastic way to end the meal. Hot fruit and meringue encased the ice cream wonderfully. The de-constructed cheesecake was terrificly light with a delicate flavour, which made us want to lick the plate clean.
Bravo to the Ivy is all week can say. Bravo.
1-5 West Street, London, WC2H 9NQ