The Ivy 333

1-5 West Street , London, WC2H 9NQ

020 7836 4751

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  • The Ivy August 2016 4
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SquareMeal Review of The Ivy

Celebrating its centenary in 2017, The Ivy is a celeb-friendly fixture of the glamorous West End scene. Yet, behind the iconic harlequin stained glass, the old girl certainly isn't showing her age – thanks to a glittering 2015 makeover that gave pride of place to a beautiful vintage-styled bar. Although the hype around the refurb has died down, there's still a warm glow of approval from readers, who praise the "utterly impeccable" service, "unflappable staff" and "buzzy, not noisy" atmosphere. The eclectic menu is a winning mix of Ivy perennials such as the "truly wonderful" crispy duck salad and classic shepherd's pie, alongside on-trend raw dishes like "delicious" yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado or salmon ceviche with tiger's milk, as well as ultra-trad confit duck or grouse with bread sauce. The kitchen’s special talent lies in the fact that it manages to cook such a varied range of dishes equally well. "The Ivy will always have a place in my heart", declares one fan, while another reckons it’s “a delight all round”.

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8.9

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 8.3

Atmosphere: 8.6

Value: 7.4

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Peter M. 24 December 2016

By mistake, I booked for 08:00 instead of 20:00 so arrived 12 hours late! Staff could not have been more helpful in accommodating us and we had a great meal, on schedule to go on to the show we had booked. Will be back Many thanks

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Kevin N. 20 November 2016

Consistent excellence, with great food atmosphere and staff. There's not much else to say. Those who have been here before, know what to expect, and in my view it rarely disappoints. When I go regularly (a I did some years back), it's like a club where you see old friends. When you go after not going for a while, it feels as if you will meet someone - even if you don't! The service is just right, friendly and efficient - around when you need them - not when you don't. More information if you need it. Just fast and friendly if not. An enjoyable lunch.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Joanna G. platinum reviewer 22 August 2016

I have been a fan of the Ivy for many years but hadn’t visited since it’s refurb last year, the Ivy Café in Marylebone is usually more convenient and serves similar fayre and I’m not that interested in celeb spotting. I was surprised we could get a table for Sunday lunch, booked a couple of hours before arrival, it used to be rammed at this time, but perhaps it is because it’s August and their usual clientele are sunning themselves in the South of France?? What a difference the central bar makes, it really opens up the restaurant and provides a welcome pit-stop for a pre-lunch drink. It felt much brighter and airier than before, it’s a shame that it was only one third full. The staff, as always were charming and efficient. I opted for the thai chicken curry with pumpkin and husband had the shepherds’ pie (he is a creature of habit and I can’t tempt him away) and we shared a delicious yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado to start. I chose a bottle of Txakoli di Guetaria, Ameztoi, which was fresh, light and spritzy and went perfectly with the sashimi and the curry (perhaps not the shepherds’ pie but I didn’t hear any complaints). The Ivy will always have a place in my heart, it has one of those menus that caters for most food cravings and executes it very well.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Sue H. bronze reviewer 19 September 2015

I was taken for a meal to celebrate my retirement. I had heard a lot over the years about the restaurant but had never had the chance to go before, I was not disappointed. The exterior of the restaurant looks unpromising. The street and the windows look dinghy and dirty, but inside is bright and colourful with modern pictures ('you are sitting by the Damian hirst' - thankfully not one of his picked animals) which somehow complement the traditional wood panels, stain glass windows and art deco light fittings. Service was attentive and friendly but not intrusive. The atmosphere is informal. The food and wine was all excellent, and portions generous. The menu Is an unusual mix of traditional 'comfort' food (sausages and mash, shepherds pie), Asian, and more sophisticated fare. The desserts were a picture and delicious too. We lingered over the food and post lunch drinks, but were not hurried at all. An excellent lunch which could not be faulted.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Cheeky silver reviewer 16 August 2015

A couple of ex City colleagues and myself decided to try the newly re-opened Ivy for a catch up over old times. We chose the Ivy as it had recently reopened and had been a favourite haunt of ours 'back in the day.' We were not disappointed. We all agreed that the worst aspect of the original was the pokey bar where one had a drink before dinner. That was gone and, in its place, was a central, open plan bar with stools for diners. It immediately reminded me of the layout at Scott's, another excellent Richard Caring eaterie and it's a concept I personally like as it raises the atmosphere. As for the food - it was like stepping back in time with some old Ivy favourites, many simple fare (Shepherd's Pie, Fish and Chips, Sausage and Mash), alongside some more ambitious dishes. Between us, we tried a cross section and nothing disappointed with the sashimi starter and Calves liver both superb. Highly recommended especially if you wanted to compare it to the 'old' Ivy, pre refurb.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

squaremale silver reviewer 31 July 2015

I haven't been here for quite a while, and it was my first visit since the refurb. Previously it did everything it aimed to do very well, and I was delighted to find it's still doing that. It's now a very different interior, but happily the good bits about the room are retained, including the stained glass and the wood panelling. The new central bar is great and the table layout is good too. The comfort food remains consistently pleasing and the service was arguably better than ever, and certainly as friendly, welcoming and helpful as it's ever been. If you've tired of this place, which I must admit I had done to some extent, you should try it again, it really has been rejuvenated.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Continental Diner platinum reviewer 03 May 2013

Now the Ivy, of course is the quintessential “place to be seen” restaurant and has been for longer than most would like to admit having been around to remember. Now, few people – still today – dare say anything remotely negative about it for these reasons. I was not a great fan of the launch of the Ivy Club next door, as I felt it kind of defied the idea of the place, which I had understood to be a Club without being a Club formally. However, surely there is commercial justification in both. Both the Ivy and the Ivy Club are beautifully maintained and have a certain glow which modern fine dining places do not have and the menu is truly fun as British classics sit alongside more serious dishes. Service can be sketchy, but if you look at the length of the services there are other places in London who have less justification for this. The most important think is to go with people you like, as it may be a bit slow, a bit noisy and a bit cramped but if you are having a good time anyway, the Ivy is a very good backdrop for a good time.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Maggie bronze reviewer 25 April 2013

I was lucky enough to be taken for lunch at the Ivy as a complete surprise. I was over the moon to finally be experiencing one of the most iconic restaurants in London. There are quite strict time slots for the tables so we arrived promptly at midday for the first lunch sitting, there appeared to be no rush and the dining room was yet to fill up as it was so early. The service is professional but bordering on stiff and i would have liked a little more focus from our waiter but unfortunately his eyes were elsewhere whilst talking to us. The venison on the menu caught my eye immediately and i wasn't disappointed, the meat was cooked to perfection and tasted absolutely delicious. My Mum had the Ivy's famous Shepherd's pie and said that the flavours were wonderfully rich and that she thoroughly enjoyed this classic English dish. The restaurant quickly filled up with a healthy mix of business meetings and social gatherings which only added to the atmosphere. We were mostly left alone during our meal and didn't really want for anything so were grateful for the lack of intrusion. We didn't have time for dessert (our timetable, not theirs), and just as well as our main meals had been just right. It was short but very very sweet and i would go back again ensuring i made time for all three courses.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 28 January 2013

Given all the hype around this place (nowadays less so than it used to) you'll be surprised the fist time you go there (after having managed to get a table – again somewhat easier today than before). Why ? Because inside you realise it is basically an upscale brasserie type restaurant. The menu offers you decent food offerings which are well made and cooked – but this is not a gastronomical experience. A great place to go for pre/post theatre/cinema and people watching (although again slightly les so these days)

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Nicki o. 06 January 2013

I dined for the first time at The Ivy for my Birthday last year. It was a surprise, so once my shock & horror dispersed at my attire I found I had nothing to worry about. The relaxed atmosphere was welcome along with the superb service and the food was, it has to be said, the best I have ever eaten. I was also surprised at the pricing. For a top London restaurant I was expecting double the cost. I will be back!

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  • The Ivy PDR June 2015 1
  • The Ivy PDR June 2015 2
Private Dining Room
Capacity: 60