I’ve been so excited for this place to open. There have been whispers of The Ivy coming to Leeds and it’s finally happened! I had previously gone to The Ivy in Harrogate (first visit and I absolutely loved it!) so the fact that there’s now one in my home city just fills me with joy. Don’t get me wrong, I will never turn down a trip to Harrogate, it’s a gorgeous town. But dinner’s out with the girls just got a whole lot fancier.
So when The Ivy Victoria Quarter contacted me to see if I would like to enjoy dinner on them in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance. I had already booked a table for my birthday next month (they are already getting full so go! Go! Go!), so to enjoy a date night with my husband midweek, I was definitely up for it!
I really do appreciate a customised cocktail menu. At The Ivy Victoria Quarter, you’ll find the Kirkstall Cosmo and Roundhay Gardens. Both named after gorgeous locations here in Leeds.
The Ivy Victoria Quarter
The restaurant itself is located in the Victoria Quarter, a bit down from Harvey Nichols and above Victoria Gate. It’s in the perfect location for you to go shopping in these places and then pop in for either brunch, lunch or dinner. I can also see this as a fabulous place to go for pre-drinks before a night out. There’s a second bar upstairs (with a DJ booth), very cosy, very stylish. Perfect for a couple of cocktails with the girls.
In terms of dining space, The Ivy Victoria Quarter has a lot of it. You have plenty of space downstairs and there’s some secret alcove seating upstairs on the opposite side of the other bar. It’s cosy but you don’t feel on top of each other. The decor in this gorgeous restaurant is something else. I expected something similar to The Ivy Harrogate. It’s similar but totally different if that makes sense. The Ivy Harrogate is light, airy with a garden feel to it. The Ivy Victoria Quarter is much more decadent. Very glamorous with an art-deco feel to it. You just know it’s going to look fabulous come the festive season.
To start off with
We began the meal with a cocktail each. I went for a classic The Ivy Royale, with Briottet rose liqueur, Plymouth sloe gin & hibiscus, topped with Champagne. Lee went for the Rhubarb & Raspberry Crumble, Slingsby rhubarb gin, Chambord, lemon juice & Fever-Tree ginger beer. Whilst waiting for our starters, we got a dish of the truffle arancini balls. You must, must, must order these when you come (you know you are). They are bloody brilliant! If I can get Lee to make me some at home, we’ll be in trouble. They are utterly delicious.
For starters, I went for the scallops. I can’t turn down good seafood. And these were bloody brilliant. With grilled chorizo and ras el hanout roasted butternut squash, it was light but comforting at the same time. The perfect decadent winter meal. If scallops weren’t on the menu, the next thing that was jumping out to me was the Truffle orzo pasta. Whenever there is truffle on the menu, snap it up! You’re treating yourself so you might as well go for it!
Lee went for the wasabi prawns with salt and pepper squid. Crunchy fried prawns, salt and pepper squid with wasabi mayonnaise and miso sauce. Again, I’m a sucker for good seafood so these were utterly delicious. Other than this, he would have loved to have tried the crispy duck salad; warm crispy duck with ve spice dressing, toasted cashews, watermelon, bean sprouts, coriander and ginger, which sounds utterly delightful!
The mains & desserts
Now for the mains. Lee’s favourite cut of meat is lamb, so he snapped up the chance to slow-cooked lamb shoulder; herb crusted, creamed potato, carrots, swede and a rosemary sauce. A true classic. The meat was cooked perfectly, it fell off the bone! I went for chicken Milanese; brioche-crumbed chicken breast with a fried egg, Parmesan and truffle cream sauce (again, I can’t turn down truffles!) This was the perfect light but filling dish. I’ve also tried and loved the crab linguine when I visited The Ivy Harrogate, which I can thoroughly recommend.
Dessert-wise, I went back for an oldie but goodie. The chocolate bomb is a must try, purely for the show. Melting chocolate bombe with a vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre with hot salted caramel sauce. A total chocolate delight and treat! Lee’s dessert of choice was the cappuccino cake, with warm chocolate cake, milk mousse and coffee sauce. Another chocolate overload and totally worth it!
When’s your visit to The Ivy Victoria Quarter?
This is honestly one of my favourite restaurants now. I cannot wait to go back for my birthday next month, which I will, of course, be documenting it on Instagram. Also, I’m getting organised with the blog and will be creating a Leeds section so you can see all my recommendations for my home city. This you’ll be able to find here soon (I’ll link as soon as it’s done). Is there any other places in Leeds you’d like me to review?
This dinner at The Ivy Victoria Quarter was complimentary in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are still my own.