- May 21, 2018
Few restaurants arrive in the city with quite the flurry of excitement as this, and as long standing fan of the original in London I was equally fascinated to see how it would be. Well there is no doubting the level of investment in the structure, it simply looks amazing, lavish, luxurious and vibrant, a place to see and be seen for certain. But does it meet the expectations when it comes to the real essentials of dining out: good food and great service?
Well on my first visit I can say that it does both. The service is both seamless and charming, classic detail at every point and all delivered with a smile. Mr L joined me for lunch and our seat by the windows on a sunny day was perfect. A glass of house champagne proved a great place to start and despite both of us swearing not to drink much, a bottle of Gavi slipped down a treat.
We started with a nest of zucchini frittura, the best I have had since the sad loss of The Latin In The Lanes years ago. Mr L moved on to a dish of scallops which he declared perfect, and it certainly looked that way. I chose a favourite, steak tartare and it too was just right – tender steak, properly prepared and seasoned and served with good toast.
Lavish, luxurious and vibrant
For my main course I chose the daily special of swordfish, a beautifully presented griddled steak with a sweet red pepper sauce and black olives, and on the side a dish of peas and sugar snaps. It was very good indeed. Mr L had blackened cod cooked in a banana leaf and he moved swiftly through the flaking pearlescent tranche with a smile on his face. He liked his creamed spinach too but decided that he had not made the right match for his fish, needless to say he demolished the lot.
For dessert he had the frozen berries, a light summery dessert – but I was having none of that purportedly healthy stuff and had the chocolate bomb, a dessert that comes with theatre as the hot salt caramel sauce is poured onto the chocolate case to reveal the ice-cream and honeycomb below.
Most importantly though, and it may come as a surprise, this is not an expensive place to eat. Many of the main courses are the same price as the average pub menu these days and they have introduced an excellent three course lunch menu at £21 for three courses, which I will be back to try very soon. The menu revealed a very competitive afternoon tea and a list of breakfast dishes that would get me up and out at dawn. Additionally this is generous food, no dainty doll’s house portions here and that certainly made me smile. The Ivy in the Lanes is an affordable treat and I will be back. Anyone fancy breakfast?
The Ivy in the Lanes, 51a Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1A
theivybrighton.com, 01273 082200