Newly opened restaurant Ivy transports diners to the Riviera
Gaia Group's pricey new outlet serves large portions from a Mediterranean menu
Hot on the heels of Townhouse, the Gaia Group has opened another new restaurant, Ivy (tel: 2383 4028), which has taken over the space previously occupied by St Betty. The space oozes sophistication, with intricate woven wood panels, plush pistachio-turquoise coloured banquette seating and a marble bar by the entrance, perfect for the well-heeled looking for a luxurious respite from shopping at IFC Mall.
The food here is more focused than Townhouse, and the prices seem high – at least HK$95 for a glass of wine, most appetisers are about HK$140 and mains are about HK$300, so be prepared to dig deep.
Ivy aims to transport diners to the French Riviera, with a Mediterranean-themed menu. For starters the beef tartare (HK$218) tempts taste buds, arriving at the table with an organic egg yolk cooked sous-vide so it comes out of the half shell gooey rather than runny. It is added to the mix of minced beef, paprika mayonnaise, cornichons, and toasted pine nuts that give depth to the flavour and texture.
The cured salmon (HK$148) is a pretty dish, and rather citrusy with orange segments, tomato cubes, raw button mushrooms and small pieces of avocado on top of thin slices of salmon seasoned with pink peppercorns.
For the main event, the 400-gram entrecôte ribeye was plenty for two people. The beef was well-marbled, making it near impossible to ruin. On the evening we visited, the side of French fries was not available, so we were given a choice between pommes mousseline (mashed potato) and potato gratin (both HK$68). We opted for the former, which tasted more like butter than potatoes. Another side of spiced spinach (HK$68) was heavily seasoned with cinnamon that made it taste more sweet than savoury.
We had a little room left for desserts, but again, they were expensive at more than HK$100 each. We settled for the vanilla soufflé (HK$138) and 20 minutes later we were shocked, because even though the menu said the fluffy dessert was for two people, it was served in a ramekin so large that at least four people could have dug into it. And because it was so large, the inside was not cooked through.
Ivy opened over a week ago so there’s time for them to make a few adjustments, though we hear it’s already packed during lunch.