The Ivy Market Grill

Restaurants, European Covent Garden
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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The Ivy Market Grill

A sister venue to The Ivy, this new Covent Garden restaurant is located on the piazza. Afternoon teas are available as well as an all-day menu.

That’s right, a branch of that most inimitable restaurant, The Ivy. The time has come at last for the current owners to cash in on one of London’s most recognisable and exclusive brands, and roll it out.

Yet this is hardly an Ivy sellout – it’s no McIvy Burger, Pret-a-Shepherd’s-Pie, or Hard Ivy Rock T-shirt of Posh and Becks tucking into rhubarb cheesecake. It’s all done in the best possible taste. But rather than being discreetly located in a Covent Garden sidestreet lined with paparazzi, this one’s bang on Covent Garden Piazza – where no ordinary Londoners, never mind A-list celebs, ever set foot.

The interior’s lovely, in a classy, bourgeois brasserie, my-family-own-Dorset sort of way. The service is, for the most part, better polished than a Bentley hub cap. And the menu’s a good read, with a pleasingly retro Continental feel to the dishes, but using mainly British ingredients.

Much research has been done by psychologists on how setting affects our appreciation of a meal: get the look and circumstances right, and school dinners taste great. Take away the white linen, silver bowls and embossed plates, and the wow factor is reduced. A prawn cocktail looked pretty, but the shellfish were merely okay. Shepherd’s pie was rich in butter, but otherwise ordinary. A fried fish sandwich didn’t really work, as the toasted bread failed to envelop the contents; butties are better untoasted. A chocolate bombe was a shell that melted on having hot caramel sauce poured over it; the result was a congealing mess. Baked Alaska also suffered from global warming, the lemon ice cream interior simply too molten. If you’re looking for a culinary superstar, go elsewhere.

Yet we liked Market Grill, and its please-all approach; it serves breakfast, afternoon tea and all-day snacks, and has a good children’s menu. We’ll return for the late opening, striking good looks and dialled-in service.

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Venue name: The Ivy Market Grill
Address: 1a Henrietta Street
London
WC2E 8PS
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-midnight; Sat 8am-midnight; Sun 8am-11pm
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80.
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Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

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LiveReviews|13
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1 of 1 found helpful
Staff WriterStaff Comp

Dined for a friends birthday at the Ivy Market Grill last night for the first time and have been a fan of the Ivy for years. It has the feel of the Ivy but more informal.  The menu has a broad range from Shepherds pie to the typical grill options with a broad range of prices. Overall the food was very good, I had the seared Scallops to start which was unusually paired with creamed corn and chorizo and we all opted for steak for our main which was superb.   As a birthday treat, I organised a medley of birthday desserts (see pic) including the signature chocolate bombe.


Overall, really great meal with great service, I really couldn't fault the experience....however for the price, I would probably prefer a night at the Wolseley or The Ivy.

Tastemaker

The Ivy restaurants seem to be popping up everywhere!  This one provides something a little different from the others I have previously been to whilst still maintaining the classic quality establishment.  We went mainly for drinks but had a couple of bit of food as well.  This was not an issue and the staff were always very accommodating.  When it got to the end of the evening they were very gracious when letting us know that it was closing time (I am sure all they actually wanted to do was shout for us to leave!).  Will definitely be back again soon.  The Ivy Market Grill is a welcome addition in a very touristy Covent Garden. 

tastemaker

Lovely restaurant and perfectly located in the heat of Covent Garden. Had a great meal and staff were very attentive. When our table was up we were offered seats at the bar and the waiter was really polite and didn't make us feel we had to rush our drinks or leave immediately. Food was really good and perfect spot for a bit of shopping too, though that probably wasn't the best idea after a few drinks!

Tastemaker

I had a fantastic experience at The Ivy Market Grill last weekend. It's in a super location for shopping around Covent Garden. Inside, decor is classy and sophisticated in muted shades of forest green, dark wood and crisp white table linen with a lush green outdoor terrace area at the front. The bar is especially eye-catching with a retro Parisian vibe about it - I imagine cocktails here would be divine! Service is incredibly efficient, like something you see in films. Every detail perfected, every request catered to and napkins laid on laps. You'll certainly feel special! 


Expect everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to deli sandwiches and a decadent afternoon tea. Prices are reasonable; you can eat and drink comfortably for around £20 or more if you want to splash out. We dined from the day menu and it was delicious. Don't expect huge portions here, but do expect high quality! I'd recommend the butternut squash & grain salad, truffle & parmesan chips or the lamb shepherds pie for a lunchtime. The menu is broad with a good selection of British classics and modern dishes, so you'll be spoilt for choice. On a weekend, I'd recommend you book beforehand because it does get busy during peak times!



tastemaker

The Ivy Market Grill is located on the cobbled edge of the piazza in Covent Garden. It is a branch of one of the most famous restaurants in London, The Ivy, which is popular with celebrities and theatre goers. The brasserie has an air of exclusivity, maybe stemming from the fact that there was a time when you weren’t able to get a table here unless you were famous.


I came to The Ivy Market Grill with a couple of friends for a birthday brunch. The service was impeccable and I would have expected nothing less. The staff are on point with everything. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive throughout the meal.


The menu is broad with a selection of modern British inspired dishes. It includes a great breakfast, afternoon tea and brunch selection. There is also a pre and post theatre menu, due to its close proximity to the main west end shows making it an ideal spot for the many theatre goers dining in Covent Garden.


Avocado and spinach benedict-This was very tasty and well presented, no complaints here! I did have my heart set on the truffled eggs but sadly we were too late and this is only served for breakfast.


Truffle chips- Delicious!


Zucchini Fritti-Crispy courgette fries with lemon and chilli. These were good, but I expected a bit more of the lemon and chilli flavour to seep through.


Chocolate Bombe- This was the bomb! A melting chocolate bomb with milk foam, vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre with hot salted caramel sauce. The waiter theatrically poured the hot salted caramel sauce over the chocolate ball to reveal the honeycomb centre leaving a bowl of delicious chocolate mess.



Tastemaker

I’ve been to this sister restaurant of The Ivy a few times now so I can almost review the entire menu (but I won't) I will tell you however that the truffle chicken sandwich in particular has a great rich flavour, with enough truffle to enhance the flavour, but not too much to overpower. It’s served warm and is the perfect way to satisfy lunchtime hunger. The fish sandwich on the other hand is a beast of a sandwich, served with chips. It’s not, as I expected, a fish finger sandwich – this is more of a fish from your local (way better than average) chippy kind of fish, with a beautiful golden batter wedged between two slices of gorgeous, fresh buttered bread. It’s a bit of a pickle to eat, but you have the option of cutting it up and making it all slightly easier, and you can slather on as much tartare sauce as you like.


For the table, you are very likely to be tempted by the truffled arancini balls and the zuccini fritti. Make sure you give into that temptation, because the arancini balls in particular are simply superb! There’s no shortness of truffle on this menu, and like the sandwich, they’re not stingy with it either. The fritti look a lot like shoe-string fries and pack a lot of flavour consideing their size, though they are quite salty, and get saltier the further you get into the bowl, though I still adored them.


On one occasion, after a gorgeous meal when I didn’t quite have room enough for a dessert but still fancied a little something, I chose to treat myself to an Espresso Martini; a favourite cocktail of mine. It seems like an appropriate end to a meal for me. The Ivy Market Grill’s Espresso Martini is even more appropriate as a meal ender because of the addition of indulgent salted caramel, thus transforming it from a nightcap to a dessert digestif. Perfect! 


You will probably have seen on instagram the videos of the now infamous chocolate bombe: a melt at the table dome of chocolate which collapses under the drizzle of a rich salted caramel sauce to reveal a beautiful dessert beneath. The thing about this dessert is it satisfies almost everyone of your senses. Visually it is more than just a treat. It arrives, unassuming, plain and modest. Then comes the hot salted caramel sauce and in an instant, you have an exciting display of innovation and gastronomic excitement!  That’s the treat for the eyes, but the treat for the mouth is even more spectacular. My other half actually cried a little bit when he first tasted it. Seriously. 


Very good food enjoyed in a beautifully decorated interior. Went for mid-week lunch and enjoyed delicious scallops for starter accompanied by a very good selection of wine. Highly recommend this restaurant for either lunch or supper.

Tastemaker

This was my friends chosen venue to celebrate her 60th birthday. It's lovely. Fairly basic grill menu, - I had a perfectly decent steak, and solid service. I particularly liked the 'snacks, of zucchini fritti & teeny tiny arancini balls. We had some puddings that left an overall positive Impression but after the cocktails, wine and dessert wine my memory is, fair to say, a little hazy. Think it is quite pricey but strikes me as a very reliable choice you could trust, that would cater to a mix of tastes in a middle of the road way.

Tastemaker

The Ivy Market Grill feels undeniably 'Ivy', albeit more light and buzzy. The brasserie look, in my opinion, is done better than at the nearby Balthazar, which relies too heavily on dark wood and fittings. The menu reads amazing. Without being adventurous, it mixes the timeless classics (shepherds pie, potted shrimps, etc.) with just enough oomph. I found it hard to choose what I wantto order and I'm normally very decisive. Luckily, as chance would have it, I'm going back for lunch in a week's time, so I know already what I'll be getting then. I had grilled tuna as my main, which is basically a deconstructed and slightly glorified salad Nicoise. It was good, cooked more medium than medium rare I've asked for, and I've actually had better grilled tuna Nicoise at Côte Brasserie on an odd occasion. My frozen berries and white chocolate desert was also good, but not amazing, and felt sweeter than the original The Ivy version. The service... What do I say about the service... It was actually pretty lousy. It took us very long to place our order. Whenever we did get the attention of the waiting stuff, they were friendly and nice, but then… they were gone. It felt like all throughout our dinner we had no single waiter assigned to us, as all the different people were coming and going. The Romanian waitress who served us desert and sherry was so tired she looked like she might collapse on us, and complained of being on her feet for hours with no time to rest. So service was one major downside. But The Ivy Market Grill has so many good things going for it, that I really wish they fix the service issue. I’m definitely coming back for that lunch to inspect.


Food was great and the service was good. Not quite as intimate as the Ivy itself but great for a meal with a few friends. 


No better place for a (slight hungover) breakfast meeting than the Ivy Market Grill. Probably one of the best full English I've had in ages combined with a very tasty bloody mary. The Ivy Market Grill has a great setting next the the Covent Garden Market. The heated terrace outside has a very Parisian feel to it. Service however is not good at all. But then again, for some reason I wasn't expecting the best service at a restaurant run by a stuffy Private Member's Club.

Tastemaker

We came here to entertain some friends visiting from Canada and The Ivy Market Grill did not fail to deliver! Not only were the cocktails brilliant (notably the Old Fashioned and Salted Caramel Espresso Martini) but the general ambience and staff were fantastic. The restaurant itself had a very old time British feel but not so much so that you felt out of place. And I must mention the dessert, we opted for the Chocolate bombe between the 4 of us but by the time we tasted it, we all wished we got one each! Best dessert we’ve all had in a long time, also special mention to our waitress, a young northern girl who was so friendly and bubbly; very much added to our evening!

Staff WriterStaff Comp

A late supper (which we were late for!) but no drama from the staff were very friendly and efficient. A lovely atmosphere and extensive menu. Worth a repeat visit.