I think there was a bit of a misconception when The Ivy arrived in Edinburgh that it was a fine dining restaurant. The food itself is actually pretty casual, albeit the service and delivery is a bit more stiff.
The restaurant is designed by Martin Brudnizki who, interestingly, is also the designer behind Brasserie Prince at The Balmoral. It’s an iconic style that exudes a timeless class.
We kicked off proceedings (excuse the pun) with two of their special Six Nations cocktails, naturally being Welsh I opted for the ‘Welsh Daffodil’, while Alex backed his own nation with the ‘Scottish Thistle’.
The menu is made of lots of really classic and French dishes, including this Steak Tartare served with a raw egg. The finely diced steak was perfectly seasoned and served with brown toast and the traditional accompaniments of Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco.
The Tempura Prawns with Salt and Pepper Squid came carefully presented on a crisp white napkin (how do they keep them from becoming stained with oil I wonder?) and served with a Sriracha mayo and a wedge of lime. This is almost certainly the best tempura I’ve ever had anywhere, and I have already recommended a few friends just go to the bar and enjoy a cocktail and a portion. I know I will do this myself…
Apologies for the pictures, the next two didn’t come out very well but that’s not a reflection on the food. The Ivy Shepherd’s Pie is the signature dish at all The Ivy restaurants, so who knows how many major and minor celebs have tucked into their special recipe. They use slow braised lamb leg in their recipe, topped with buttery mash and a lot of cheese. It’s served with a side of gravy – a hugely comforting dish and definitely a slightly elevated version than the one of mu childhood (no offence, Mum).
Alex had the Monkfish & Prawn Curry which was Keralan style served with jasmine rice and sweet potato crisps. Another comforting almost pub classic that had been poshed up a bit.
Over The Line was a guest dessert for the Six Nations, the rugby ball chocolate egg filled with ganache was really clever. I’m not sure it melted exactly as they’d hoped with the chocolate sauce, and overall it was a bit sickly, even with the mint mousse, but it certainly looked the part!
Alex had the intricately arranged Apple Tart Fine – the slices of apple were wafer thin and arranged in a perfect spiral with a gentle caramelisation. The calvados flambé added the theatre.
If you like classic dishes with really good service and some elegant and classy touches, The Ivy On The Square might just be the perfect choice for you.