All reader reviews by Anonymous
Having eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the world, I have been curious about The Ivy for some time, so on a recent visit to the UK coinciding with my birthday I decided to give it a whirl. Booking early is to be advised, I booked two weeks ahead of my visit and got the last table for that days lunchtime service.
First impressions: This is a beautiful dining room! Wooden panelling and stained glass within a subtle Art Deco aesthetic, filled with professional and friendly waiting staff. My party were quickly seated and drinks orders were taken and delivered.
The Menu: The board of fare in this this establishment reads like that of a high end Gastropub. Not a place for serious gourmands, but still a pleasant place to eat. We chose Crispy Duck Salad, Squid Salad and Seared Foie Gras for starters and Lamb, Veal and Pork Belly for Mains, with a selection of vegetable side dishes, and this is where the whole experience started to become inconsistent. The starters were excellent! My Foie Gras was perfectly cooked - slightly brown around the edges and translucent in the middle. Sublime! My main course, on the other hand was disappointing; the Pork Belly was dry and did not have much flavour. My companions expressed similar sentiments, and felt that the main courses lacked the imagination and flair of the starters. Desserts of Knickerbocker Glory, Bolivian Chocolate Mousse and Popcorn Macaroon continued the Gastropub sensibility, and also added to the inconsistency by overshadowing the main courses.
The Service: Courteous, efficient, friendly and helpful.
To sum up, dining at The Ivy is all about the experience of being there. It is a beautiful dining room serviced by very professional staff. The food is adequate, but is unlikely to impress a serious gourmand. All in all, my friends and I found the experience enjoyable enough not to begrudge the £322.00 bill (then again, we followed lunch by blowing £772.00 on Champagne and Cocktails at Claridge's) but this was based on the ambience and service rather than the food.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7