SquareMeal Review of
The Ivy Café Richmond
As a legendary celeb-magnet, The Ivy’s watchword has always been exclusivity, but this elegant chain of grown-up neighbourhood cafés manages to capture some of original’s seductive charms without seeming derivative. All the telltale signs are here, from the spot-on service and decadent food to the ‘see and be seen’ thrills, while each branch brings echoes of The Ivy look to its lavish ‘café’ setting: counter seating lit by vintage table lamps, art-deco hints from bevelled mirrors, geometric flooring etc. Just about everything on the pitch-perfect menu screams ‘eat me’ and it’s all brilliantly executed – from scallops atop truffled mash or crispy duck salad to shepherd’s pie, fishcakes and no-frills steak with béarnaise sauce. For a spectacular finale, order the chocolate bombe, which the waiter dramatically defuses with hot salted-caramel sauce. If there’s one other thing that The Ivy group does well, it’s showmanship.