Since The Ivy first opened it has been the city’s most go to restaurant for lunch and dinner and even breakfast – yes they do an amazing breakfast too!

Set in the Victoria Quarter with a beautifully designed terrace on Vicar Lane this stylish establishment with its nod to the Victorian era with its décor and potted palms couldn’t be in a better place.

As you enter by the heavy wooden doors you sense its exclusive appeal with its tiled floors and eclectic mix of décor and its wonderfully choreographed tables with starched white cloths, gleaming cutlery and sparkling glassware.

The Ivy Experience is one to be savoured and starts the moment the receptionist takes your coat and you are escorted to your table.

It was a cold rainy night when we visited the Ivy but the welcome could not have been warmer.

We decided to start our meal with one of their seasonal classic cocktails whilst we perused the menu. There was only one choice for me the Rose and Negroni – Negroni being my all time favourite cocktail -now would this live up to my standards? Made with Monkey 47, Campari, Aker English Rose Aperitif Rhubarb Bitters I must admit it excelled all my expectations.

My colleague chose the Rhubarb and Strawberry Bellini which consisted of Rhubarb and Strawberry Puree topped with Prosecco. It was fruity and very refreshing ideal for the summer time and very effervescent.

The list of starters was a joy to read and such a good choice. My colleague chose the Severn & Wye Smoked Salmon. The salmon was very light and melted in the mouth and was not in the least chewy. There was a generous helping of lemon and the dark rye bread was a lovely accompaniment.

I was tempted by the Twice-Baked Gratinated Cheese Souffle. It was lighter than air and had a pleasant flavour of cheese. It was not plastic in its texture but smooth and the toasted pine nuts added their own nutty flavour. As regards souffles this was perfection on a plate.

The Malaysian Monkfish, Prawn and Coconut Curry was the choice of my colleague.  There was a very generous portion of Monkfish in this dish. It was not overly spicy but very flavoursome. The crispy sweet potato was a great addition to the dish. It came with a Jasmine Rice which was light and fluffy just as it should be.

I also decided on a fishy dish. For me it was the Blackened Cod Fillet which had been baked on a banana leaf. The fish was moist and succulent, white and wonderfully flaky and the soy marinade did not spoil its taste. It was served with broccoli, yazu and herb sauce and citrus pickled fennel – a delicious new take on this vegetable.

Desserts at the Ivy come with their own special magic. I chose the Ivy Chocolate Bombe and I was not disappointed but enraptured would be a good choice of a word to describe it. A dome of ice-cream covered with chocolate arrived and then our server performed his magic by pouring the hot honeycomb and caramel sauce over the bomb – the result could have come from the angel’s kitchen it was such an example of heaven on a plate!

My colleague chose the Classic Frozen Berries with yoghurt sorbet and white chocolate sauce. No spoilers here – all I can say is prepare to be surprised when it arrives at your table. The showmanship, taste and selection of berries in this dish are amazing.

Soon it was time to say farewell to the Ivy. I must admit we were made to feel very special, as all their guests are, by the excellent staff who really know their product.

The verdict the Ivy is still the hottest dining ticket in town after all these years!

The Ivy, Victoria, Vicar Lane, Leeds LS1 6BA

Open: Monday-Thursday 8.30 am – 12.00am; Friday and Saturday – 1.00am. Bank Holidays and Sundays 8.30 am – 11.00pm

Please check time for last food orders – Tel: 01133886222


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