It’s been almost a year since The Ivy in Exeter opened its doors to the public – and it continues to wow customers with its culinary delights. The restaurant – located on the High Street – has caught the eye of locals and visitors alike, and has even hosted Love Island star Faye Winter.
And after launching its new spring menu, the upscale restaurant invited us to discover its new seasonal dishes. From their dark bee honey and white chocolate cheesecake to their bubbly Peartini, an invitation to The Ivy was too good to turn down.
So what’s on the spring menu at The Ivy really to like?
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The Ivy launched the menu on the first official day of spring. With a number of dishes including garden pea and nettle soup (£6.95), grilled asparagus with Szechuan mayonnaise, capers, slivered almonds, quail egg and watercress (£8.50), the twice-baked cheese soufflé with Quicke cheese au gratin, grated black truffle and cream sauce (£8.75) and a new selection of steaks, all truly capturing the essence of the changing seasons.
There’s no doubt that The Ivy has a huge selection of spring classics.
The Ivy has a list of excellent cocktails. From a Blood Orange Martini to a Passionate Spritz, picking a drink at The Ivy is quite the challenge.
My guest and I opted for the Sparkling Peartini (£12.50) and the Candy Floss Fizz (£11.50). The first thing to note here is that these drinks are definitely not cheap. If you’re looking to dine at the Ivy and you’ve just ordered these two, you’ve already spent over £20.
The Sparkling Peartini is a cocktail made with Gray Goose Le Poire, Italicus bergamot liqueur, Lillet Blanc, lemon and The Ivy Collection champagne served in a glass. There is no doubt that this is a cocktail mixed with expensive ingredients, hence the price. But, the presentation and taste of this refreshing drink was faultless.
For those with a sweet tooth, the Candy Floss Fizz is an excellent choice. The cocktail consists of fairy yarn and Prosecco complemented by Lanique RosePetal liqueur, lychee, ginger and three-year-old Havana Club rum. The cocktail is served with a big cloud of cotton candy, and again, it looks impressive.
The waitress told us that the idea behind this cocktail is that if it’s not sweet enough for your taste, you have to tear off pieces of cotton candy and add them to the drink. Which I thought was a nice feature and was very charming.
Despite the price, these drinks were very well received and I would definitely recommend them to anyone visiting The Ivy.
To start, we chose one of the roasted scallops (£13.95) and tempura prawns (£10.95). To be honest, both were great. Portions are perfectly sized and I think they are excellent value for money.
Roasted scallops are served with crispy potato rösti, mashed peas, parmesan sauce and grated truffle. The dish came with four scallops which was more than enough.
Tempura shrimp are served with yuzu-marinated cucumber with wakame seaweed, sesame seeds and kimchi sauce. Again, another great dish. The starter came with 6 prawns in total and the tempura batter worked amazingly well. I think both of these starters were excellent value for money and I would definitely order them again.
For mains we had sirloin steak (£26.95) and grilled sea bass (£24.95).
The sirloin steak is an 8oz Himalayan salt wall, dry-aged for 21 days – and as shown above – is priced at £26.95. This main dish comes with a small side salad, but nothing else. All extras; fries, vegetables or sauces, you have to order separately, which can quickly add up to a nice bill. The steak was large, cooked perfectly and tasted great so no complaints on that front. But clearly, it’s not the cheapest option.
The Sea Bass is served with fennel, green beans, salsa verde, red pepper, arugula and chopped tomato sauce. It was a great dish, the sea bass itself was very big. And, I think for what you get, it’s a great price.
We also ordered two portions of fries, creamed spinach, pangrattato, toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan ($4.25) and baked sweet potatoes, “harissa coconut yogurt”, mint and cilantro (4, 25). All the sides were lovely and I would highly recommend the £5.25 truffle and parmesan crisps.
As this is a spring menu review, we simply had to order the Black Bee Honey and White Chocolate Cheesecake (£9.25). We also opted for the Apple Tart Fine (£8.95).
After eating two dishes, I wasn’t sure if the dark bee honey and white chocolate cheesecake would be the best option as it seemed quite filling. But I’m so glad we did, because it turned out a treat! This pud is served with mango sorbet, honeycomb and an edible flower – it looks so pretty. I was pleasantly surprised by this dessert and it’s definitely one of my new favorites.
The Apple Tart Fine is one of the desserts from The Ivy that I have been watching for a while. The cook time for this one is around 14 minutes, but after two courses we were more than happy to wait. The baked apple pie is served with vanilla ice cream and calvados flambé – which I must add is quite strong in taste.
This dessert is a real favourite. The pie arrived and didn’t look like much until the waiter pulled out a small skillet which he then heated with a small blowtorch. He then poured the liquid over the pie and the dessert was like a little fire show. It was amazing and I could see heads turning in the restaurant, jealous of this amazing dessert.
For more information on The Ivy, click here.
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