The Ivy Asia London

Bronze Award
££££
Pan-Asian

The Ivy Asia London
The Ivy Asia London
The Ivy Asia London
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SquareMeal Review of The Ivy Asia London

Bronze Award

This glitzy Asian spin on the seemingly inexhaustible Ivy concept has launched in London 12 months after a successful premiere in Manchester and its opulent interiors should be equally at home in the City of London, in the former Jamie Oliver Barbecoa site overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral.

Everything here looks precision-tuned for Instagram, from the gold-gilt ceiling and lavish Asian fabrics to the Japanese artwork, mirrored bar with a pagoda-style roof and – most eye-catching of all – the illuminated floor lined with semi-precious gems; pink onyx in the entrance hall and fluorescent green jade in the restaurant upstairs. The moment we stepped through the door, a waiter offered to take our photo beside an antique samurai warrior.

You'd be forgiven for expecting style over substance – and admittedly we weren't expecting wonders from the rather muddled menu. However, it must be said that the cooking wasn’t bad. Ok, authenticity was awry in places but overall we were pleasantly surprised.

The bang-bang soft-shell crab salad was the perfect balance of sweet meat and bitter leaves, while yellowfin tuna tataki was a delight – simple but fresh, with just the right amount of citrus and white soy. Elsewhere, black truffle, pork and prawn dumplings – sprinkled with gold, naturally – were underwhelming, and our sea bass fillet was bony and lacking the promised punch of Thai flavours. The black cod was easily the star of the show – flaky and moist with the earthy taste of miso and a zingy ginger sauce.

For dessert we were disappointed to miss out on the samurai chocolate extravaganza (don't leave your order too late) but intrigued by tirayuzu – an Asian take on the Italian classic, using green tea in place of coffee. Light sponge and a creamy topping fresh with the tang of yuzu made for a visually bold but delicately flavoured end to a meal from which subtlety had thus far been absent.

Whether it's for a full fusion feast or just cocktails with friends, the interiors alone make The Ivy Asia well worth a visit and it’s all set to a lively soundtrack from the in-house DJ.  

About The Ivy Asia London

Serial restaurateur Richard Caring has opened his second Ivy Asia site, following the launch of the concept in Manchester’s Spinningfields in late 2018.

Caring, whose Caprice Holdings group is responsible for the flashy, celeb-baiting likes of Sexy Fish and Annabel’s, plans to open the restaurant on the former site of Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa in St Paul’s.

Caprice Holdings has swooped on three former sites of Oliver’s, having also snapped up two now-closed Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Cardiff and Oxford. An Ivy Brasserie is planned for Oxford, while the group is still figuring out which of its brands will be the best fit for Cardiff.

The menus for the St Paul's site are similar to the current Ivy Asia in Manchester, comprising Asian-inspired dishes such as miso black cod, duck massaman curry, wagyu beef tataki and a selection of sushi and sashimi dishes. The restaurant also serves up a wide range of cocktails inspired by the continent.

Caring, who is reported to have a net worth of over £1 billion, has bucked current industry trends which have seen several mid-market chains collapse in recent times. Conversely, Caring’s The Ivy Collection now comprises of 32 locations around the UK and Ireland, with each restaurant christened as either a ‘Brasserie’, ‘Garden’, ‘Market Grill’ or ‘Café’. Of course, all of these off-shoots are nods to The Ivy’s legendary original site in Covent Garden.  

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Pan-Asian
Ambience
Fun, Glamorous, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Live music / dancing, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for The Ivy Asia London

20 New Change Passage, St Paul's, London, EC4M 9AG

020 3971 2600

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 11:30-02:30
Tue 11:30-02:30
Wed 11:30-02:30
Thu 11:30-02:30
Fri 11:30-02:30
Sat 11:30-02:30
Sun 11:30-00:30

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