"Fab new quality restaurant in Richmond"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
I like the original Ivy in London and I was impressed when I reviewed the new café version recently in Wimbledon. So I was keen to see what the new restaurant in Richmond was like – as it has taken over the large corner site which for so long was a large and popular All Bar One.
It’s been busy since it opened and on two previous occasions I failed to get a booking. But on Saturday we popped in on the off-chance after an afternoon in the cinema and we were lucky. They found us a table although the place was buzzing,
It’s impressive. It has The Ivy’s character stamped all over the place – the colourful botanical and bird paintings all over the walls, the Art Deco globe lamps, the shiny bar area and all around elegance. It’s nicer than the Wimbledon branch as it’s just one big airy room. While the trademark diamond leaded lights are on the door, they have kept the large windows clear so the light floods in.
The hostesses – in their slinky red dresses – are efficient. Some of the serving staff were more professional than friendly but it was a good service. There were all sorts of diners – couples, girl groups and family groups. I guess it gets more intimate and romantic in the evening.
I had an Aperol Spritz (£9.50) and my companion had a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini (£8). His choice was the superior one – a perfectly chilled, foamy-topped drink embellished with three tiny coffee beans. I had cocktail envy.
Of course it has the classic Ivy menu with favourites such as its shepherd’s pie and steaks. To start I had the tempura prawns (£9.95) and there were five plump prawns in a lightly spiced and perfectly crispy batter with a generous garnish of shaved vegetables and a sweet chilli dip. My companion’s seasonal soup (£5.50) – minted pea – was poured theatrically over the ricotta in the dish.
For the main course, I choose a traditional salmon and haddock fish cake (£13.50) complete with a poached egg and a spinach sauce. My side of fat chips (£3.50) was superhot. The fish cake had a deliciously soft, melted cheese interior and the haddock was distinct. My companion’s braised venison (£16.50) was in a rich, dark gravy with tiny carrots and onions.
At £74.76 we thought it was reasonably priced, bearing in mind the fantastic environment and the high quality of the food. I suspect that this will become my new Richmond favourite – if I can ever get in again.
KimT reviewed The Ivy Cafe Richmond on Mon 21 Aug 2017