Luxe interiors, cool crowds and masterful menu creations await at the Ivy Cafe Richmond, the newest location in the family of famous eateries
Words Helen Brown
Favoured among the famous since it opened in 1917, The Ivy brings the inimitable atmosphere and vibrant interiors – for which the brand is renowned – to Richmond. This legendary celeb-magnet has a certain charm and a focus on exclusivity, which is echoed to a tee in this latest addition. From the exceptional service and decadent menu, to the ‘see and be seen’ thrills of an Instagrammer’s dream, the Ivy Cafe Richmond delivers knockout after knockout.
We sink into the eatery’s signature burnt orange booths whilst perusing the decadent cocktail menu and admiring the Richmond-inspired artwork. We opt for two Richmond Park Royales – when in Rome – which is a balanced blend of Briottet Rose liqueur, Sipsmith Sloe gin and hibiscus topped with Champagne. It’s beautifully presented with a single red rose petal sitting on top. We tuck into a warm basket of truffle arancini; satisfying crisp on the outside with a rich, oozing centre. My dinner date goes for prawn cocktail; a nostalgic nod to the 70’s menu staple, whilst I decide on Atlantic sea scallops with pea purée and zingy lemon zest. Both are delicious and light.
For mains it’s a salad of sesame crusted tuna with a refreshing accompaniment of cucumber, edamame and mandarin. The tuna is seared to perfection. It melts in the mouth and is complemented beautifully by a spiced avocado sauce and a zesty lime crème fraîche. My friend tucks into a comforting bowl of mussels. The sauce is rich and salty with the warm tang of cider in the background.
Suckers for any kind of food ‘theatre,’ we both delight as the waitress pours hot salted caramel sauce all over my companion’s melting chocolate bomb. The dark shiny sphere melts away, revealing lumps of honeycomb and a scoop of vanilla ice cream swimming in milk ‘foam’. It is fun to watch and incredibly decadent, but slightly too sweet for my liking. The flourless chocolate cappuccino cake however is spot on; the rich, chocolatey slice arrived warm, accompanied by a light and fluffy milk mousse and a small jug of sticky, coffee sauce. It was a triumph. An exceptional end to a great meal, because of course, if there’s one thing that The Ivy does exceptionally well, it’s showmanship.