Harden's survey result
“An old favourite, but the diffusion-brand has tarnished its name” – it feels like this Theatreland legend is steadily being sacrificed for the greater good of its growing stable of spin-offs. Many supporters do still feel its “comforting” menu delivers “reliable, traditional British food” in a “classy and buzzy” setting and that the trip is “still worth it (especially if you can get into the adjoining Ivy Club)”. But scores here are heading inexorably south across the board, supporting the many former regulars who feel the place “misplaced its soul, serving food that’s decidedly average at best” and “lost its caché” to the extent it’s “a shadow of its former self”.
“I know it’s not the celeb haunt it used to be and is now a bit touristy, but they still make you feel like a king” is still a widely held view on this epic “Theatreland classic” (the original in what’s an increasingly sizeable national chain); and for its many fans a visit here is still a “warm, life-affirming experience”. However, it feels to some regulars like the appeal is becoming “all about the room” and its “glamorous” decor, amidst growing unease that Richard Caring’s group is just “milking it” nowadays – ratings slid across the board this year, and its comfort food cuisine “is as it always was, nothing special… just now even more expensive!”.
“When you step through the doors, it’s reassuring to know you’ll be well-fed and treated like a king” at Richard Caring’s “sophisticated” Theatreland legend, whose revamp a year ago stemmed years of decline, and where “so long as you don’t expect to be challenged by the grown-up comfort food, the old favourite dishes don’t disappoint”. True, the celeb crowd primarily frequent the neighbouring Ivy Club nowadays, and true, it’s no longer in the survey’s Top 40 Most Mentioned restaurants, and true, this is now the flagship for a fast-expanding chain of spin-offs, so it’s no surprise a few reporters now dismiss it as “just a chain restaurant for out-of-towners”, but actually catty comments are most notable by their absence.
“A lesson in how to improve a legend!” – Richard Caring’s “perked up” Theatreland star has staged an impressive return to form since last year’s revamp: “the old menu classics – bang bang chicken, shepherd’s pie, etc have been spruced up” (they needed to be!), service is “discreet and professional” and – “even without the buzz of all the c’lebs who are now upstairs in the adjoining club” – its vibe, romance and glamour have rediscovered their mojo. That said, there is a large band of refuseniks for whom it has “lost its verve and originality” – it doesn’t help that with spin-offs sprouting all over town it can now “feel like a high-end franchise” rather than the unique destination of yesteryear.
The Ivy Restaurant Diner Reviews
"We were here 30 years ago and probably will not return for many years. The tables are cramped. The menu is so-so. The food is not memorable. Pricing is not outlndish but still expensive."
"No longer has the ambience it had"
"I love the original Ivy. Great cocktails, food and service. I find some of the tables very close together however my request to be seated at an alternative table, if necessary, has always been accommodated with no fuss. Although not as selubrious as it once was it is still somewhere where you are made to feel special."
|Wine per bottle||£36.00|
1-5 West St, London, WC2H 9NQ
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-11:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-10:30 pm|