The Ivy

British, International·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of The Ivy

Gold Award

“Exactly how a restaurant should be”, says one fan of The Ivy, which has been a Theatreland evergreen for more than a century. While some feared that the brand’s roll out (there are now almost 40 outposts across the UK) would dilute the potency of the Ivy magic, the original site has retained its ineffable air of glamour and sophistication.

A sparkling facelift by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio in 2017 (which coincided with the restaurant’s centenary) has helped to keep the space looking polished; once guests step behind the famous harlequin stained glass, they are greeted by a stunning vintage-styled bar at the centre of the room, while table lamps, plush banquette seating and plump cushions make for sophisticated finishing touches.

The Ivy’s diverse and crowd-pleasing menu truly has something for everyone, thanks to its mix of classic British dishes, Ivy signatures and Asian flourishes (which the restaurant has been doing for years, but feels particularly on trend at the moment).

Despite the breadth of the offering, the kitchen manages to cook each cuisine with equal aplomb. If you’re a stickler for tradition, opt for fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce, or duck confit slicked in orange sauce bursting with sticky citrus flavours.

Those feeling a little more adventurous can mix and match with nori-dusted popcorn shrimp paired with a tongue-tingling Sriracha mayonnaise or the crispy duck and pineapple salad, given extra crunch and kick from a smattering of chilli-laced cashews. Otherwise, there’s always the legendary shepherd’s pie, now with the option to add melted Mayfield cheese on top.  

Desserts range from the retro likes of knickerbocker glory and baked Alaska to more modern propositions, such as the delightfully fluffy mint chocolate mousse bar (essentially a posh take on a Mint Aero). The Ivy’s expertly mixed cocktails and enviable wine list are further draws, while the “utterly charming” staff will make you feel like you’re a regular – as indeed many of The Ivy’s clientele are. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, International
Ambience
Cosy, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Romantic, Traditional
Food Occasions
Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions

Location

1-5 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NQ

020 7836 4751 020 7836 4751

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-23:30
Tue 12:00-23:30
Wed 12:00-23:30
Thu 12:00-23:30
Fri 12:00-23:30
Sat 12:00-23:30
Sun 12:00-22:30

Reviews

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63 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Dennis D

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Top for classics.

pauline S

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

great good and unusual and different.

Graham D

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Relaxed with superb service 

Anon

28 October 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 1.5
Value 2

I was enjoying my evening in the private room at West St doing a company event. At the end of the event I went to the bathroom downstairs before waiting for some friends in the lobby. As I was coming up the stairs I heard the maître d speak really horribly to one of the bouncers and he clearly seemed to be bullying the bouncer. On seeing me he apologised before going back into the restaurant. 10 seconds later he opened the door and told me he thought I was cute. It felt exceptionally unprofessional and made me honestly feel uncomfortable- a really disappointing end to an evening that was otherwise really well executed by the Ivy Team.

Anon

24 July 2022  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 1
Restaurant manager needs to chill to improve the atmosphere

We have previously eaten at The Ivy Market Grill, Henrietta Place, Covent Garden and had a good experience there. It was also good value for money. 

Here at the original The Ivy, West Street Covent Garden, it is best described as, food and service okay but overpriced. Our bill came to £250 for 3, which included one bottle of house red at £40. We were there on 23rd July 2022. 

I would not have posted a review except to comment on the restaurant manager, so overtly showing his agitation that we were still seated and drinking 2 hours after being seated, and asking us 10 minutes later to accept and pay the bill within 15 minutes. Which was presented within one minute and the card machine presented less than one minute after the bill! The table next to us was empty.

For the money we spent there, it should not be made so obvious that we are on a factory conveyor belt to maximise profit. And the restaurant  manager, who was asked by my friend what was his problem, and responded, "I am focused. I watch everything", he needs to relax more and hide from public view any agitation he feels. Including how he speaks with his staff. Then it will give a much better atmosphere and higher rating of value for money. 

Anon

24 July 2022  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 1
Restaurant manager needs to chill to improve the atmosphere

We have previously eaten at The Ivy Market Grill, Henrietta Place, Covent Garden and had a good experience there. It was also good value for money. 

Here at the original The Ivy, West Street Covent Garden, it is best described as, food and service okay but overpriced. Our bill came to £250 for 3, which included one bottle of house red at £40. We were there on 23rd July 2022. 

I would not have posted a review except to comment on the restaurant manager, so overtly showing his agitation that we were still seated and drinking 2 hours after being seated, and asking us 10 minutes later to accept and pay the bill within 15 minutes. Which was presented within one minute and the card machine presented less than one minute after the bill! The table next to us was empty.

For the money we spent there, it should not be made so obvious that we are on a factory conveyor belt to maximise profit. And the restaurant  manager, who was asked by my friend what was his problem, and responded, "I am focused. I watch everything", he needs to relax more and hide from public view any agitation he feels. Including how he speaks with his staff. Then it will give a much better atmosphere and higher rating of value for money. 

Anon

12 November 2021  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 1
Atmosphere 3
Value 1.5
Very poor service

We arrived on time but our table was not ready. When we sat down people who arrived after us were attended to before us. We had to wait for nearly 20 minutes before our main course plates were removed, this only after I complained. The table next to us had had their three courses and left before our main course was finished. We did not have time for a third course as we needed to get to the theatre. The food was ok but overal we were extremely disappointed and felt we were invisible. I would not have paid a tip but it was included in the bill; even though as an apology the cost of our starters was deducted from the bill we will not recommend or eat at your restaurant again.

Kellie S

06 August 2019  
Simply put, The Ivy is a classic and their Shepherds Pie accompanied with a glass red is to die for.

Stacey P

11 July 2019  
Amazing food, good service, nice decor. Classic!

John G

29 June 2019  
Great atmosphere and well cooked food.
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Call The Ivy to make a booking on:

020 7836 4751 020 7836 4751

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