The Ivy, Temple Row

We’ve spent a lot of time at The Ivy recently. It’s become a fun lunch that rolls into an evening type of spot for us, generally fuelled by its cracking wine list. When we caught wind of a new set menu, we thought we’d better check it out.

The new menu, available from 6.30pm Sunday to Thursday, is short with three options for each course, but oh so sweet. Wild mushroom with a crisp potato rosti, a perfectly runny quail’s egg generously showered in grated truffle all brought together in a rich creamy sauce was absolutely gorgeous – just a winning, classic combination. Wafer thin delicate smoked salmon was super, but on balance we’d have preferred something other than rye bread. I’m sure if we’d asked for different bread, the staff would have been obliging – they were faultless as always, but it really wasn’t a biggie.

Blackened cod is a constant at The Ivy. It’s so popular that with every menu change, it apparently stays. A chunky piece of cod was cooked beautifully with a salty soy flavour served with a punchy chilli and yuzu mayonnaise, zingy citrus pickled fennel and grilled broccoli. The combination of strong flavours had the potential to be a mess, but it was actually brilliant.

A side of baked sweet potato with harissa coconut yoghurt, mint and coriander didn’t sound like a dish that would blow our socks off – we ordered more out of intrigue than desire, but it was utterly brilliant. We’d have been delighted with a plateful. A sirloin steak was perfectly cooked served with crunchy thick cut chips and a flavour packed bearnaise. A classic done well.

Desserts were seriously showy. We’ve had some terrible melting chocolate bombes over the years made with what tastes like cheap chocolate, but The Ivy version was a long way from that. The chocolate tasted quality, honeycomb added a sweet crunch and a light, milk foam topped off a cracking pud. An apple tarte fine was theatre – thin crisp pastry topped with finely sliced apple and vanilla ice cream was flambéd at the table with calvados. What’s not to love?

The only thing about the menu that didn’t wow were the CBD infused drinks. They weren’t bad at all, just not as appealing as the food. We’d recommend going off the regular menu for liquid refreshment. The set menu (two courses £28.95, three courses £34.95) is available until 10 February.

THE IVY, Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS. Tel: 0121 725 2110