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1 Henrietta Street
With its smart terrace overlooking Covent Garden piazza, a dapper bar and populist all-day menu, this offshoot of The Ivy has plenty of all-round appeal. You'll detect a little of that famous Ivy magic in the air, thanks to confident service and an appealing buzz around the handsome room. Fans will even spot versions of The Ivy's signature dishes on offer, including shepherd’s pie, chargrilled hamburgers and crispy duck salad with watermelon. Other sound choices range from chicken milanese topped with a fried egg to juicy mussels cooked in cider, or slow-roasted lamb shoulder with creamed potato, garlic and rosemary sauce, plus simple grilled fish, steaks and comforting desserts, such as apple tarte fine. Cream teas for the tourists and quick-fix theatre menus are also popular options, while breakfast could be a rollicking full English or trendy crushed avocado on gluten-free caraway toast. The bookings policy is informal, with some spaces saved for walk-ins if you're feeling lucky.
Best Child-friendly Restaurants in London
Pre and post-theatre dining
SquareMeal 2 Stars
1 Henrietta Street
020 3301 0200
Covent Garden Tube Station 239m
Charing Cross Tube Station 356m
Covent Garden 83m
Vaudeville Theatre 100m
Mon-Sat 8am-12am (Sun -11pm)
The Ivy Market Grill boasts two wood-panelled private dining rooms, each adorned with photos of stage and screen stars. The Pygmalion Room seats up to 40 guests, while The Galatea Room seats up to 24 guests. One set menu must be chosen for all guests, and complimentary menu cards, place cards, flowers and tea lights are provided as standard.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
Admittedly, I was never the biggest fan of The Ivy proper and I certainly haven’t beaten a path to the door since the relaunch. But as The Ivy Market Grill has been billed as a little more relaxed and I was with a familiar friendly client, I thought I might give it a whirl.
So, unless you are towards the back of the restaurant which is slightly more formal and has linen, there really isn’t a good table. Either you are literally crammed in the tiniest booths for two, next to the bar, where people are sitting, with an aisle that is unforgiving and ungenerous as to force a eugenics policy of skinny staff or, you are towards in a wider thoroughfare where they are dragging buggies etc. We got the double whammy of being put by the door that the wait staff use to deliver food to the terrace. My companion was whacked in the elbow twice.
I plumped for the traditional signature dish of Shepherd’s pie (with beef?), only to send it back because it was tepid. I had to wait some time for the second plate to come, whilst my friend was eating his grilled, boneless chicken, which he enjoyed and had nearly finished by the time mine came. Still wasn’t that hot, but was an improvement on the first. Nor can I say it was worth the wait. It was average at best and I like my own more as mine seems to have more nuance of flavour.
The wait staff are polite, if not a little abrupt as they rush around coping with a very busy restaurant, creating a small nor’easter as they hurtle down the gangway between tables. The restaurant itself is beautiful, reminiscent of a train termini of the 1930s, but certainly not a comfortable environment. Neither of us were drinking, nor did we have starters or coffee and the bill was under £50, but I can’t say I will be rushing back in a hurry.
Food + drink: 5
I have to confess that the usual reasons for choosing a restaurant weren't top of my mind last week. I was having lunch with my favourite ex-boss, who I haven't seen for nearly a decade. I didn't want to go to the newest opening, where I couldn't be sure of the food, service, prices. I wanted to eat somewhere that I know is good (and consistent), where the atmosphere is always buzzing and the service dependable. And let's be honest, I was in the mood for shepherds pie.
Which is precisely why I chose one of the Ivy restaurants - I knew exactly what to expect. And once again, the group behind this incredibly successful chain did not let me down. Decor? Lovely. Service? Efficient and friendly without being obtrusive. Food? Delicious. Atmosphere? Buzzing.
I didn't have shepherds pie in the end. I had the seabass special. Which even on a packed Thursday lunchtime was cooked perfectly.
As a PA I have booked the new Ivy Market Grill countless times now and have received such good feedback every single time! the atmosphere, food and value for money are all really great!
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