The Ivy Asia, St Paul’s
This is the first Ivy Asia in London, one has been a hit in Manchester for a while now. You’d be right to assume Richard Caring (Sexy Fish, Annabel’s, Scott’s, 34 etc) plans to roll these out like the rest of his Ivy branded restaurants. UK domination, it certainly is.
Best of all here is the design. There’s nowhere quite like it. Just look at the floor. It’s luminous pink when you walk in and are greeted by a woman wearing a cheongsam (a Chinese dress) standing in a Japanese pagoda. Upstairs to the dining room the views of St Paul’s are impressive but it’s the glowing green floor there that wows.
The menu is vast with yummy bits like salmon 3 ways (£13.50); nigiri, tartare and spicy rolls and black truffle, pork and prawn dumplings (£10.75) topped with gold leaf, naturally. Grilled tiger prawns (£8.50) come in a sweet chilli nuoc cham glaze which is lush.
My favourite bite contains no meat, which is a first. Crisp tofu scattered with cress sandwiched in a bao bun with miso mayo on the side (£6.95) will make you consider Veguary, or whatever it’s called.
Beef sirloin with crispy shallots and sesame (£26) reminds me of my love for good ol’ beef. The thick strips of meat are soft, sweet, sticky and a blushing shade of pink. I swoon.
For pud, a blend of Champagne jelly, rosé Champagne ice cream, minted melon and melon liquer (£8.95) is sickly sweet and overly bitter. In a light-up jar it glows like the floor, which is fun. Orgasmically-better is warm mango and yuzu doughnuts (£7.50). The coconut dipping sauce is something I’d like to drink by the jug load.
On our way out we wave goodbye to the 12 foot samurai warriors dotted about the place, one even stands at the urinals in the gents. What a bizarre and totally fabulous restaurant.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant