Remember in my City Social post how I mentioned that I get to eat out a lot for my work. Well I've got another gorgeous meal to tell you about, this time at the Ivy Market Grill.
I think most people are familiar with The Ivy. It was the place to be seen in the nineties and had a reputation for being one of the finest dining experiences in the West End which has a very particular dress-code and demand that goes along with it.
If you're looking for somewhere a little easier to get a table and a little more casual, in steps the Ivy Market Grill - like the a trendier, younger sister.
We held an intimate lunch down in the private dining room of the Covent Garden branch - they also hold residence on the Kings Road and High Street Kensington.
The room itself is gorgeous - very spacious and dressed out in the iconic dark wood and blue tones that the Ivy is renowned for.
The Ivy is well known for its links to the arts world which the Market Grill very unsubtly nods at downstairs with signed photographs of some of theatre's icons adorning the walls.
In terms of the food - it was outstanding on my visit. We started with a smoked eel, fennel and rocket salad completed with chunks of fresh apple.
I love eel - I remember I used to eat cup loads of jellied eels when I was younger so it's always great to see this under appreciated fish being used by top restaurants. Beautifully cooked and perfectly balanced with the tangy green apple.
Main course was crisp sucking pork belly complete with black pudding, roast apple and roast potatoes. Pork belly must be one of the most featured dishes on this blog, I just love it! The rich jus was delicious and balanced out the whole plate perfectly. We also had a selection of seasonal vegetables served to complete the dish.
Pudding again was a real treat - apple parfait served with celery and roasted hazelnuts. I only tried parfait for the first time recently and it's fast becoming a favourite. It's deliciously light and refreshing and the frozen texture is a real surprise on first try. I also loved the texture of the hazelnuts and candied celery in this dish - really unexpected flavour combinations!
Our lunch at Ivy Market Grill was fabulous and I highly recommend you head down there. Obviously our menu was bespoke but I've seen some really brilliant reviews on other blogs including Angie and Laura so I'll be heading down again soon so I can sample the a la carte!
1 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8PS