Words by Samantha Harman
As hardworking writers, editors and directors, occasionally it’s nice to down tools and spend some quality Zoom free time together to reflect and enjoy the success of Discover Magazine, and where better than the restaurant everyone is clamouring to get to than The Ivy Asia? I admit to having no expectations or googling anything before arrival, I wanted fresh eyes and my own opinion to feedback my honest reaction.
From the moment you walk through the doors, the experience begins. The restaurant is an assault on the senses, in a really good way. The former bank lends itself well to the theatrical decor with its high ceilings and ethereal feel. Whoever designed this fabulous interior deserves an accolade, every single detail evokes a feeling of decadence and Asian magic, it is a visual wonderland. For a start there’s the metallic wallpaper, coupled with an enormous cherry tree which slightly overhangs and is an explosion of pink and an immediate talking point. Then there’s the floor which appears to be made from slices of semi precious stones and is backlit, adding an amazing glow to the already perfect surroundings.
The small details do not end there, the napkins at the table had bejeweled clasps around them and myself and the Discover team were given a gorgeous booth to sit in, which was away from other diners allowing a private feel to proceedings. Once I had picked my jaw up off the floor after my initial entry (not very cool I know) I was able to peruse the menu, which is varied. Collectively we decided on the sharing menu which gives a taste of lots of different dishes and the option we chose was priced at £55 per head.
If you thought the theatrics would end with the decor, then you are wrong. One delicious cocktail later, the first round of food arrived. Long dishes of scallops and king prawn dumplings, easily eaten in two bites. How did we want our wagyu beef cooked? Medium rare of course. What came next was totally unexpected. Presented in a large dish with a porcelain monkey attached to it, who was holding picture perfect lettuce leaves, with a bowl of aforementioned wagyu beef which you wrap inside one of the leaves with the most delicious sauce. Then came the Bonsai tree, complete with dry ice, beneath which sat perfectly presented plates of sushi. My favourite was the Shitake and Eryngii Gunkan w Black Truffle and Gold, although every single Sushi roll was on point. Just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get any better, along came a large silver duck shaped receptacle containing our pancakes and crispy smoked shredded duck and all the gubbins.
I’d like to tell you this establishment is awful because I’d like to always be able to get a table, but I’d be lying. This place is going to be busy from now until eternity. Every single thing is a solid 10. The drinks, food, service, staff – even the toilets with large octopus mural and signature round velvet Ivy seating. My word count restricts me from saying all I’d like to, so I will simply conclude with this, Book now.