Colmore Row is increasingly becoming a foodie hangout that seems to get better and better every month. The area’s most high profile relative newbie, The Ivy, has had its fair share of column inches and social media hullaballoo – mostly good, some not so much – and while there’s no doubt the launch party was a belter, what of it now things have settled down? We popped along to check it out.
From an interiors point of view don’t expect a watered-down version of the London restaurant. Renowned designer and Caprice Holdings regular Martin Brudnizki, who was responsible for the London and LA restaurants, has given Brum its own identity which suits the building and its location perfectly. With serious investment throughout, expect bespoke wallpaper and artwork, a stunning onyx bar, brass handrails and amazing loos with an attractive mosaic floor. The private dining room ensconced on the second floor is a great space, too.
The menu is strong on seafood and there are also some British favourites, such as the shepherd’s pie, you might recognise from the original restaurant. We sampled a classic dish of scallops with pea puree, broad beans and crispy shallots which was fresh and zingy with a nice hit of citrus. Soft goat’s cheese came recommended and worked a treat with a fresh inventive salad.
We detoured off-piste for a dish from the specials menu which delivered perfectly pink lamb, a creamy flavour-packed mushroom sauce and great mashed potato. A side of tenderstem broccoli which restaurants seem to treat as an afterthought a lot of the time, had been given the attention it deserved and was cooked perfectly with a drizzle of lemon oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Sides of sweet potato and creamed spinach didn’t feel like the poor cousin either.
We’d have liked the apple tart fine for pud, however it would have taken 25 minutes which was pushing it a bit, so tried the sorbet – perfectly nice – and the cute mini chocolate truffles.
As an experience The Ivy ticks all the boxes – stunning interior, a warm welcome, attentive staff, great food – and is a fantastic addition to the city’s food scene. We’ve been back twice since we reviewed and have a table booked next month. Says it all really.