26 June 2018

Restaurant Review: The Ivy Brasserie, Winchester

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

The Ivy Brasserie has been gracing Instagram feeds and Facebook posts with everyone talking about the hottest new restaurant in Winchester, Hampshire - but is it everything people claim it to be? I for one was very eager to find out.

I was invited to review The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester and indulge in and evening of dinner and drinks - two of my favourite things: food and wine! The Ivy is located in the middle of Winchester High Street - from the moment you walk through the door, you are reminded of vintage-esque art deco style interiors; uniformed and welcoming team; and a buzzing atmosphere. We were taken to our table and invited to try a cocktail whilst we browsed the menu. We tried the Castle Garden Collins (Vodka, Campari, apple juice, lemon juice, blackberries, sloe berries & Peychaud’s bitters topped with Hazy Hog cider) and Dark & Stormy (Gosling’s Black Seal rum, ginger, lemon & sugar) - yum!

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester has a substantial menu with something for everyone: meat, fish, veggies. There was so much I wanted to try which means I will definitely be back for more of the menu - this time I went to an old favourite which I rarely eat because it's rare to find: steak tartare which is hand chopped beef striploin with Tabasco dressing, cornichons, shallot, parsley,
egg yolk and toasted granary. It's one of my favourite starters but it's not one that's particularly common as the steak has to be of excellent quality and super fresh. I was so excited to indulge in this starter and it didn't disappoint: melt in your mouth small chunks of steak with a creamy yolk and sharpness of Tabasco sauce. I was so involved in it that I totally forgot about my slices of granary bread and only picked up halfway through!

Heidi ordered Atlantic sea scallops with pea purée, broad beans, lemon zest, sea cress and crispy shallots - they looked amazing and she gave them a big thumbs up!
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

Our wine for the night was picked by host Phil so was super lovely, and a laugh. We made his choice of wine pretty tricky by ordering both meat and fish - so do you go red, or white? I have had red wine with fish on only one occasion which was suggested by the chef and it worked beautifully - this time Phil went with a white to compliment both fish and meat. His choice was excellent - I like dry, crisp wines and Heidi is not a wine drinker but even she enjoyed a glass! Ask your host at The Ivy what wine they would recommend with your meal - you won't be disappointed.

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

It was time to enjoy our mains: Heidi picked the monkfish and prawn Keralan curry with jasmine rice, coconut “yoghurt”, coriander and sweet potato crisps; and I decided to try the blackened cod fillet baked in a banana leaf with citrus-pickled fennel, grilled broccoli, chilli and yuzu mayonnaise. I absolutely loved the variety of food on the menu and the world cuisine touches like baking the fish in a banana leaf. 

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

Our mains were delicious - well presented, just the perfect amount of food on the plate, and full of flavour. I really enjoyed my citrus-pickled fennel - it was perfect with the cod. And the curry was just a little bit spicy but not overpowering, instead all the flavours came through. The potato crisps added another depth of texture to the meal - and were really tasty!

The atmosphere was buzzing - The Ivy Brasserie was full of diners, from families with grown up children to couples, to friends. I loved listening to vintage songs whilst enjoying my dinner - it put me in a really good mood! The wine and conversation was flowing - we were having a great evening!

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

Time for dessert - what better way to end an evening than with a sweet treat? We were recommended to order the chocolate bombe (melting chocolate bombe with a vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre with hot salted caramel sauce) which is a showstopper dessert at The Ivy; and we wanted to also try the Crème brûlée (anyone else half their desserts with their bestie?).

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

First of all, the chocolate bombe was AMAZING. I'm not a huge fan of desserts but this, this gets a 10/10 from me. A ball of chocolate wrapped around vanilla ice cream gets drizzled with hot salted caramel sauce, melting in front of your eyes, and the honeycomb bubbles beneath it... You couldn't ask for much more from a dessert. It was incredibly delicious. You have to try it.

I also really enjoyed the classic Crème brûlée - there's something so satisfying about that first crack of the sugar crust!

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers
The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester, The Ivy Winchester review, Winchester bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, food bloggers

The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester gets full marks from the food to the overall experience - even if we wanted to find a flaw, we really couldn't. It's the perfect restaurant in Hampshire where you can enjoy date night; catch up with friends; and have a celebratory family meal. I've heard that their breakfasts and brunches are just as good so I'm heading back in a couple of weeks time to catch up with my girl friends and eat ALL the pancakes. Who's coming with me?

Find out more about The Ivy Brasserie in Winchester:Visit their website

*The food and drink featured in this post was complimentary for review purposes from The Ivy. All views are my own.
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