The Ivy Market Grill 22

1 Henrietta Street , London, WC2E 8PS

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SquareMeal Review of The Ivy Market Grill

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.

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7.3

Food & Drink: 7.5

Service: 7.0

Atmosphere: 8.0

Value: 8.0

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Amy M. platinum reviewer 11 May 2017

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: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Samantha W. 20 March 2017

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.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Hollie F. silver reviewer 21 December 2015

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!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Angela H. 17 December 2015

I visited the Ivy Market Grill restaurant as part of a group of six on Saturday 12th December – a family event much looked forward too. Within two different courses, I found two hairs. One, unfortunately, made it into my mouth, an utterly disgusting and nauseating experience, I am sure the majority would agree. However, The Ivy Grill management feel this is “did not highlight any deviation from acceptable food handling practices”. They left a poor waitress to manage our distress and assured us that they would be in touch with us the following day. They slept on that apparently and decided not to bother, a jolly good idea of theirs to move us on from the restaurant so no one would overhear! On the evening, having found these hairs I was left feeling fairly nauseous, they took away the offending plates but I could not face any replacement (I would suggest trust was low by this point) so they did not charge those to the bill – rightly since neither of them had more than a couple of mouthfuls – whilst my companions ate their meals the manager brought me a glass of champagne. As I have mentioned to them a glass of champagne, although normally delightful, does not cleanse one’s palate of hairs, it does not fill one up or remove the nausea of these things, most particularly, it does not make everything alright. When chased for a response their email seem a veiled suggestion that I had placed these hairs within my meal (to what ridiculous end?) Since the first offender in the duck salad starter was long and black and firmly attached to a sticky piece of duck, and I have short fair hair, this would be an achievement. The second offender – which actually was a blond hair – was firmly incased in the battered piece of fish – what Houdini tricks would have to be deployed to achieve this? A ridiculous response from them, a clear side step of responsibility and in all this an utter lack of good manners and grace. I share this here to at least alert others, and I will continue to retell not out of malice – life and mistakes happen – but out of very real alarm that The Ivy Market Grill feel this is acceptable, they have taken no responsibility for their mistake and indeed seem to feel it is appropriate to sidestep ownership by blaming the poor twit pulling hairs, that clearly belong to someone else, out of her mouth.

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