EVERY person I told I was going to the new Ivy Asia in Brighton was filled with jealousy and asked me to tell them how it was, writes Ellie Smitherman.
The hype surrounding the restaurants is well known and when word got out that we would be getting one in town I was just as excited as everyone else.
Rave reviews have always followed the Ivy brasserie chain and its Ship Street location is no different, but how would its new Asian-themed neighbor compare?
I was fortunate to be invited to The Ivy Asia a little over a month after it opened to see the new location and sample some of the dining offerings.
As soon as we entered the building we were greeted by smiling staff in the foyer and soft music.
The restaurant was packed considering it was mid-week dinner time, with tables on both floors.
A DJ booth is located at the entrance and overlooks the beautifully decorated space.
Decorated from top to bottom with colorful artwork, Asian fabrics, wallpaper and antiques. Green onyx floor tiles shine in the elegant, nightclub-like restaurant.
As we had arrived early, my guest and I sat at the bar while waiting for our table to be ready.
We chose two of the Asian-inspired cocktails on the menu.
The K-Pop Passion (£14.75) caught our attention immediately, but after just glancing at the description before ordering, we were completely repulsed when the bartender lit the passion fruit bowls. It was certainly a sight to behold as it glowed on the martini glass.
The drink itself consisted of Absolut Vanilla Vodka, passion fruit puree, orange juice, kumquat liqueur and a side of Bottega Gold Prosecco – it was The Ivy Asia’s answer to a pornstar martini and it was delicious.
Not long after, we were shown to our table, stylishly decorated in keeping with the green and blue jewel color scheme.
When we received our menus I was quite impressed with the huge range of dishes available to us, a decent mix of meat, vegetarian, fish and vegan options.
I chose the shrimp tempura sushi rolls (£10.25) of which there were six. Overall it was delicious and very nicely presented, the rolls each have a piece of shrimp and avocado that complement each other well.
It was a good introduction to the wide range of sushi and sashimi dishes on offer.
My guest, who is a vegetarian, opted for the vegetable tempura (8.50) and was equally impressed, especially with the generous portion size.
The main courses were delivered promptly and in beautifully prepared dishes.
I chose the salt and pepper filet with lime (31.95) which was juicy and delicious, especially when dipped in the salt and pepper dip. Mine was accompanied by the kimchi egg fried rice (5.00) which was just as delicious with a spicy kick.
However, this was a stark reminder that my chopstick skills are lacking… we both had to admit defeat and ask for a knife and fork.
Fried aubergine (£9.25) was my guest’s main choice and she was equally happy with her choice. She also opted for steamed broccoli (£5.25) which she thought went really well with the toasted sesame dressing.
The last course, dessert, was truly spectacular when it came out steaming. Red Dragon’s pudding range (£22.50) was incredible, with a mountain of soft ice cream, cinnamon-sweetened donuts, bananas, berries and honeycomb pieces. Different toppings and chocolate sauce were also provided which meant the combinations were endless.
Each course was delivered quickly and every waiter we encountered was pleasant and friendly, accommodating our every need.
As we prepared to leave, we had full and very satisfied stomachs after a lovely evening.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/21176106.ivy-asia-brighton-great-food-stunning-setting/?ref=rss The Ivy Asia Brighton: great food in stunning surroundings