Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“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.
Richard Caring’s famous Theatreland idol – now the original of a fast expanding brand – emerged from a massive overhaul too late to be rated (just before the survey closed). Too often a let down in recent years, a handful of first-days reports say its “beautiful refurb” is “superb in every detail” – “wow, wow, wow!”
This former Theatreland idol still wows fans with its “slick and polished” style and “predictable” nursery fare; those who remember the glory days when this was London’s favourite restaurant, though, may find its current performance “embarrassing” – time, they say, “for a complete overhaul”.
The Ivy Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Food better than expected but still pricier than it should be"
"Food can be disappointing and service haphazard, but there's no denying the buzz."
1-5 West St, London, WC2H 9NQ
|Number of Diners:|
Mon to Wed 12 noon to 11.30pm, Thur to Sat 12 noon to 12 midnight, Sun 12 noon to 10.30pm
Last orders: 11.30pm, Thu-Sat midnight, Sun 10.30 pm