The Ivy has always been instantly associated with celebrity. Being the shallow and easily impressed individual I am, I was bloody excited when my Dad said he was taking me to The Ivy as a birthday treat. I’d been once before a few years ago for a Sunday roast and it was surprisingly good, with some of the best roast potatoes I’ve ever had. Also, we were sat next to Jools Holland which made it particularly memorable, and potentially clouded my memory of the food.
I was excited to go back to find out whether the food was as good as I remembered. The Ivy does classic dishes very well, but it’s not about to get any Michelin stars. I couldn’t tell you the genre as it doesn’t seem to know what genre it fits into, with everything from caviar to gnocci to British favourites like fish pie.
Dad and I went before the theatre so got the special pre-theatre menu. It was £21.75 for two courses which is pretty reasonable, but also not the sort of prices that make this a place for everyday dining. To start I had a mushroom risotto which was light but a little oily. The balance between the taste of salty parmesan cheese and the earthy mushroom was perfect though. Dad is on this crazy diet (it’s a lot like this) so he went for some healthier options. He had pepper and ricotta salad, which he said was fresh and tasty.
For main, I had braised pork meatballs with cheesy polenta. It was very very good with a lovely tangy tomato sauce doused over the meatballs. Dad had a fish pie which wasn’t beautifully presented but Dad said it was delicious with a good fish to potato ratio. I’m not normally mad about puddings but as the bill was being footed by Dad it’d be foolish to not take advantage of a free three course dinner. I had an INCREDIBLE creme brulee, with raspberries which had a glorious blend of textures and tastes. Dad had iced berries with hot melted white chocolate generously poured over them (he’d let the diet slip a bit by now).
It came to £85 with a glass of wine, which isn’t exactly cheap for a dinner for two. But I really enjoyed the celeb spot element (we saw Alicia Douvall, which probably doesn’t actually count) and the excellent service made it feel like a much more expensive restaurant. It’s an experience that all Londoners should have, even if you’re not the sort of person that visits the Daily Mail online. (Don’t lie, I know you do too). Even if you feel wary of going to celebrity haunts, just pop in for the creme brulee.