When I was invited to try the new menu at The Ivy Kensington Brasserie, I couldn’t have been more excited. I was in the car on my way back from graduation and due to fly out to Asia the next day but still I replied immediately to see if I could make a reservation before I left – the menu looked too good to miss! To make this year’s BBC Proms even more special, The Ivy Kensington Brasserie has partnered with the brand Aspinal of London to create a “Best of British” experience for diners. This includes a two or three course set menu plus a cocktail poured from a limited edition Aspinal of London union jack hip flask at your table!
Keep on reading to find out more about the new menu…
First thing to decide was which cocktail to choose. I was slightly put off by the fact that they described the cocktails as “his” and “hers” based on the ingredients (i.e. whisky vs. G&T) but hey ho. I opted for “hers”, Scheherazade’s G&T, which consisted of Plymouth gin, Fentimans pink grapefruit tonic & elderflower, garnished with rosemary & grapefruit oils. This was poured from the Aspinal of London limited edition union jack hip flask by the waiter and it was quite the spectacle! It was definitely a special experience and made me feel like a VIP! These hip flasks are available to purchase from the restaurant for £40. Now onto the food…
To start off with, we both opted for smoked mackerel on granary bread. I often find the taste of mackerel to be a little too strong but that wasn’t the case here. The strong fishy flavour was balanced perfectly with lemon & pepper on two slices of soft bread. Most instances where I’ve ordered some sort of pâté in the past, to my great annoyance, there has not been enough pâté for all of the bread. The Ivy already gets a big thumbs up from me for awesome portion sizing.
I was uming and ahing between the steak & chips or the miso glazed pork belly for a good while as I had to keep telling the waitress to give me another two minutes. In the end, my friend opted for the steak and I went for the pork belly. I am so so glad I did because the mix of flavours were unlike any I’d ever tasted before. The meat was both tender and succulent and the shichimi crackling, Asian salad and matcha mayonnaise on the side were more exciting than expected. I think the photo describes the dish better than I could in words!
For dessert, we ordered crème brûlée. Now, let me tell you a story about creme brûlée that has stuck with me for years. When I was on my year abroad in Paris, my friend and I went to a restaurant that had been highly recommended to us. Everything was going great – until dessert. My friend ordered creme brûlée and what ensued was nothing short of a disaster. She insisted that the crème brûlée was below acceptable crème brûlée standards and proceeded to tell the waitress repeatedly: “C’est molle, c’est molle!” (It’s soft, it’s soft!).
After much arguing with the waitress and eventually the manager, the crème brûlée was removed from our bill. I remained silent throughout this ordeal, both mortified and impressed by my friend’s balls. Anyway, I guess my point is, I get pretty nervous when ordering crème brûlée these days. Of course, The Ivy didn’t let me down as this crème brûlée was perfect: the top made that satisfying crunch sound as I cracked it and the rest was smooth and creamy. It was also a pretty large portion, which is always a plus 😉
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not just the food that’s amazing, but the decor and the atmosphere, too. This is a really lovely establishment with friendly and attentive staff. The decor oozes relaxed luxury and there are lots of plants and flowers dotted around the place. This is the perfect place to celebrate an occasion or if make your BBC Proms night extra special. Book a table before 7pm (in advance!) to make sure you get to your performance on time and enjoy this spectacular menu.
– This menu is only available until the 9th September! –
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie