Before entering the restaurant, you are struck by the well-dressed and festive looking entrance on The Hayes.
It is extremely inviting and offers something of a safe haven from the frightful winter weather. As the door swings open, you are greeted by friendly staff who are ready and waiting to take and store your coats.
We arrived 15 minutes early and despite our table being ready, we opted to sit at the bar, choosing one of the gorgeously presented cocktails to soak up the atmosphere. The cocktails are modestly priced and on par with nearby venues. The bartender was extremely knowledgeable, giving us a recommendation of the Mermaid’s Dream (£9.75). The attention to detail given to selecting the ingredients and creating the spectacular cocktail was duly noted.
The restaurant was humming with diners and with the carefully chosen background music playing, it was the perfect blend. It was busy, but not noticeably busy in a way that would impair the service.
If you’ve not been to an Ivy restaurant before, you may not know about their beautifully decorated restaurants. Diners can relax in comfortable leather banquettes and enjoy the interiors, including striking artwork, curated and inspired by local Welsh landscapes and fauna as well as Cardiff’s heritage and history – adding a unique local twist.
As well as the main restaurant and central bar situated on the ground floor, The Ivy Cardiff features a stunning first floor bar complete with striking and colourful interiors.
The Ivy offers an array of dining options. You can choose from the ala carte, set menu or from the vegetarian & vegan options. There is also a separate wine and drinks menu, which our server helped us match to our chosen dishes.
We opted for the very reasonably priced set menu. You can choose between two courses (£16.95) and three courses (£21), which is available Monday – Thursday until 6.30pm. When speaking with family and friends who are yet to experience The Ivy, I think there is a misconception that fine dining costs the world – well it doesn’t.
To start, we opted for the Bang Bang Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Soup. Both dishes were tastefully presented and were absolutely delicious, as you might expect. We cheekily swapped halfway through to see what the other tastes like.
For mains, we both went with the Steak, Egg & Chips (£3.95 supplement). The rump steak was full of flavour and cooked to our liking. As someone who often opts for fillet, I was pleasantly surprised, I didn’t leave a single piece or cut. The portion size left us fully satisfied and hand on heart, it was a fantastic take on a classic.
We weren’t rushed to dessert or to any of our courses. One of us remained on the set menu with the White Chocolate Mousse, which was again, delicious with its hint of white chocolate and raspberries.
On the recommendation of our server, we also tried the Chocolate Bomb (£8.95). I won’t spoil it for you. Order it, it’s an experience of its own and we are so glad that we did.
Overall, we had an absolutely fantastic time dining out at The Ivy Cardiff. Even though it only recently opened in November, it is already a hit with locals and visitors to the city. If you are looking to visit, don’t delay booking, as chosen dates and times are quickly filling up fast.
The Ivy, Cardiff. 69/70 St David’s, Cardiff CF10 1GA. 029 2233 8940. Book online.