THE IVY KENSINGTON BRASSERIE
It's a Wednesday night and we're wandering around Notting Hill. It's clammy and I'm 100 degrees from the Jubilee line and in desperate need of finding somewhere to eat. After strolling around and back through South Kensington we walk past the prettiest restaurant I have ever seen. Covered in flowers and bunting. I then realise that it's The Ivy. A place that's been on my 'list' for a while. Thinking it would be far to expsensive to do on a whim, Andrea looked up the menu and found that there was a set menu (a classic Tayler and Andrea move) and working out we had 15 minutes before the menu ended. We luckily got a table outside as inside even though it was beautiful 1) It was really warm so you have to take the opportunity to sit outside in England at every moment you can and 2) you weren't allowed to take any photos inside.
Entering the Garden it was like something out of a fairy tale, the trees were full of fairy lights and all the tables were white and blue. We sat down and realised that the original set menu that we looked at was different to the one we had been given and this was because it is BBC Prom season and at the Ivy they celebrate and hold pre prom dinners. Nevertheless the set menu was still so reasonable. 3 courses and a gin cocktail for £28 or two courses and a cocktail for £24. We decided to go full out.
For the cocktail I had the Last Night Lady; Beefeater 24 gin, shaken with orange blossom, peach pulp, Briottet Crème de Peche & fresh lavender sweetened with agave. Delicious. So sweet as I am not normally a gin person but with all the sweet elements it was really enjoyable. Andrea ordered the Classical St Clements; Tall, long & refreshing with Beefeater dry gin & freshly pressed lemon & orange juice.
For starter I had the crab salad, which was so refreshing. It was perfect for a starter but because I love crab I wish there had been a bit more of it but that's just me being greedy! Andrea chose the tomato soup which was accompanied with red peppers and black olives. The flavour of the soup was incredible. When being served, the waiter poured the soul into the bowl which had all the peppers and olives at the bottom. Like treasure waiting to be found at the end of the meal.
Mains was tough to choose from because Andrea and I were both stuck between two of the same dishes. In the end I chose the roasted fillet of salmon and Andrea chose the roast chicken breast. Both were divine. The waiter asked me how i would like the salmon cooked and I do like mine cooked all the way through. It was though it had been in a water bath and then pan fried because the fish managed to stay perfectly moist but with a perfect crispy skin. The orange in my dish really went well with the saltiness of the fish and made the flavours pop together. I quite liked having a sweet element in the main. Andrea's chicken was also very nice and was similar to a small roast - minus the gravy!
There were tree choices of desserts; cheese, ice-cream and creme brûlée. My heart went for the ice-cream as it did come with a hot salted caramel sauce. Andrea went for the creme brûlée. I do have a sweet tooth but my dessert was extremely sweet as it was pure vanilla ice-cream and when the hot sauce hit the ice-cream it melted very quickly so you ended up with a pool. It was still lovely to finish of the meal though.
I heard the table next to us where complaining about the service at The Ivy, but honestly I can say that the service that I experienced was amazing. They were so attentive always filling up our glasses with water and were always asking if there was anything we needed or extra menus to look at. If you don't want to go to the Ivy during Prom season their normal set menu is an amazing deal of 2 courses for £16.50 or 3 courses for £21. How amazing is that?
Looking for a summer night out?
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie
96 Kensington High Street