The Kings Road has been off my radar for years. I used to work over this side some 10 plus years ago at a hotel near South Kensington. I had a friend who worked at Reiss on the Kings Rd, so there was the odd visit to a local pub but nothing much more than that.
Fast forward to 2017 and I now work for a company which has a site on the Kings Road, so I have been reintroduced. So recently I stopped off at the Chelsea Ivy Brasserie which is essentially a chain these days. Opening new branches at a dizzying speed, before the paint is dry at one, there goes another one popping up. This will be my third Ivy visit having done Kensington High Street and Liverpool Street.
This visit was not offensive, but not mind blowing either. Whilst good service, decent food and reasonable prices make an appearance, it feels soulless. The team hit all the service cues but with little personality. The food is ok, but as it’s from the strong original celebrity brand Ivy in Covent Garden, there is an expectation that it should pack more. That said, it is still a nice place to visit every now and then.
To start our dining experience we went for a starter of tempura prawns with green papaya, cucumber, edamame and matcha tea sauce to share. For our main course, I was feeling the pan-Asian vibe so went for blackened cod fillet, not to be confused with black cod. It was baked in a banana leaf with baby pak choi, shaved radish, toasted sesame and yuzu mayonnaise. The code melted in the my mouth and its sauce was not too over powering. My guest went for something a little bit more traditional and opted for the fish and chips. The cod was in a very delicate bitter, with chunky chips. What was also quite nice, was the fact that it came with a wee bottle of vinegar. We also shared a side of tenderstem broccoli with lemon oil and sea salt.
It’s a big menu, but with a lot of classics from all over the place. Not quite British, not just French, not Asian – just something for everyone. What you definitely have to check out when you visit is the sprawling garden towards the rear. I suspect in the Summer this is a beautiful space.