On our last night in London and this trip, we wanted to try a restaurant that was a staple in London culture. The Ivy, established in 1917, certainly fit that criteria so we made a last minute reservation. Upon entering, you’re greeted with massive flower arrangements, and staff that was equally as lovely. Windows were all stained glass, very unique and beautiful. With crisp white linen on the tables, the windows really added that pop of colour. The decor was a mix of old school with modern flare, I think it worked really well.
There was a good selection of wines and cocktails, and our server was quick to ensure we had a drink asap. The dinner menu included a little bit of everything, I would be shocked if someone couldn’t find something that interested them. It wasn’t an easy decision to make a selection! For my appetizer, I decided on the “bang bang chicken”, it was accompanied with a peanut sauce and chili. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was incredibly surprised at this dish. The chicken was pulled, and was cooked perfectly. With the added crunch from the vegetables, this dish was a knockout. The portion was a bit large for an appetizer for me, but I couldn’t let any of it go to waste! I am tempted to say this dish would be my new favourite appetizer that I’ve had! Getting hungry just thinking about it now.
After filling up on my appetizer, I decided to order a second appetizer instead of a main course. Keeping with the Asian inspired dishes, I ordered the “Bo Kho”. It’s appearance was much less exciting, very plain plating. The flavour was overpowered by the coconut rice, which was good, but I was expecting more than simply coconut flavour. The beef was extremely over salted and fatty, after eating half my mouth started to burn.
My partner ordered the signature dish for his main course, the shepherds pie. Upon arrival, it looked nice, it was traditional meat and potatoes (no peas or carrots). He had one bite and unfortunately put his fork down. The dish was pure salt, it was all you could taste. He’s not one to send food back, but this was such a let down that he did. When a dish is that salty, I think it is important to make the kitchen aware of it. My thought is that it’s always better to season with the minimal amount of salt, and then if certain guests prefer more it is easy for them to add it.
It was so strange to have the first half of the evening be perfect, and then the second half to be less than average. I’ve never experienced both the food and service take such a turn at the same time.
Clearly the kitchen and servers are fantastic, and know what they are doing so what happened?? For my rating, I want to spilt it into 2, first course and second course. First course easily gets 5/5 stars, second course 1/5 stars. To average, 3/5 stars.
Until next time,