Probably the most famous restaurant in London has come to Cardiff and opened its doors last month in the heart of the city centre. It’s just as lavish and extravagant as its 31 sister restaurants all scattered across the UK that make up the IVY collection.
The dining area was continuously busy with a warm friendly atmosphere from start to finish. The table was a cosy corner, but we were still able to see the bar and the drinks being expertly curated. All the staff were exceptionally helpful and extremely professional and polite.
The IVY collection are known for their cocktails as much as their dining so to start we thought we would taste them. The IVY sling was very impressive to look at and tasted just as good, the bitters added a great depth to it so that it wasn’t too sweet before our meal.
We started with the truffle arancini from the nibbles section of the menu, they were served in a cloth napkin lined bowl and were small balls of crunchy delights, exceptionally flavoursome and really whetted our appetite for the starters.
The IVY Italian red wine accompanied our food perfectly, with the waiting staff continuously checking that our drinks were topped up and flowing. The time between courses was just enough to let our food digest and enjoy the wine.
Our starters of choice were the duck salad and the tempura prawns with salt and pepper squid. Again the presentation was impeccable, yet it attracted the eye to dive in and get eating. The portion sizes were really substantial too, the dipping sauce for the prawns had a great bite to it and the duck was………………
One of the specials was beef………….., it was at the pricier end of the menu, but well worth every penny. It was cooked medium rare and topped with a mushroom cream sauce. The gravy that came with it was exceptionally tasty and added a homely richness to the dish and the potato rosti fell apart in the mouth. The sirloin steak was also cooked perfectly, the meat melted in the mouth and was full of flavour, The truffle and parmesan topping added a great strong bite to the chips that married so well with the steak. The plates were all but licked clean, the food was wholesome, the portions substantial and we were very much full at this point, and then we saw the desert menu!
An awesome variety of sweets that would have ticked the box for even the non-desert kind of people. The malted banana ice cream seemed to have everything going for it, a mixture of chocolate brownie and fried bananas, and it really didn’t disappoint. Neither did the blackberry ice cream sundae which resembled a posh Eton mess. Both were finished off in record time, even though we didn’t think we could fit another morsel in.
As a final digestif we tasted the salted caramel espresso martini – the perfect night cap for an evening of immense flavour, taste and ……………..
The Ivy Cardiff has really added an extra element to the dining experience in the city, it’s a perfect celebration venue but is also an amazing bar for cocktail treats with friends. We will definitely be recommending it and will be back to visit again soon.