Everyone needs a treat every now and again; and this week I had the opportunity to indulge in a big one.
This week, on one of my very precious (and rare) evenings away from the hospital and all things midwifery, I got the chance to try out The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie – and I was so not disappointed!
My cousin, Chloe, and I turned up to The Ivy in the heart of Cambridge Centre on Monday night and were warmly welcomed in – coats hung up for us and shown to our table in the beautifully decorated dining room.
We started our evening with a cocktail each (well, it’d be rude not to!) Chloe had a Cam Collins which was Gin with Rosemary & Basil and a cucumber soda, and I had a classic Peach Bellini (it’s classic for a reason, right?!) while we pondered the menu.
I have never been good at making decisions, and this menu made is even more difficult! I could easily have ordered absolutely anything on that menu – literally, anything!
Starter-wise, I was incredibly tempted by the Tuna Carpaccio, the Tempura Prawns and the Asparagus with Truffle Hollandaise; but the Crispy Duck Salad won for me – Warm crispy duck with toasted cashews, beansprouts, coriander, ginger and, very uniquely, watermelon, all dressed in a delicious five spice dressing – it was completely stunning! I struggle with starters when they are too heavy, and this was perfect; it was meaty and a really generous portion, but didn’t spoil my appetite at all for my main course. The duck was cooked brilliantly, with a wonderful balance of fresh crunchy beansprouts, soft, sweet watermelon (which was a really unique flavour to add to duck and I really liked it!) and the added bite from the toasted cashews – seriously yummy!
Chloe had the Smoked Salmon and Crab starter which also looked delicious, with a generous dollop of crab and dill cream and little bits of rye bread to go with it all.
When it came to the main course, I struggled making a choice as much, if not more that I did for the starter. The Crab Linguine sounded divine, the whole grilled lobster was also really calling out to me, but as I am a proper meat-lover, when the opportunity presents itself, I simply have to order a proper steak.
I always think it’s a bit cruel to order a steak when reviewing a restaurant, because if you get a steak wrong, you get it really wrong, but The Ivy Cambridge lived up to all expectations and then some! Their Fillet Steak was absolutely stunning – I ordered it Medium Rare and it was cooked perfectly. The peppercorn sauce I ordered to go with it was absolutely delicious and went with the steak wonderfully without overpowering it, which is always a good thing!
Chloe also ordered a steak, and so we ordered a couple of sides to go with them. The Creamed Spinach with toasted pine nuts was really yummy, soft and fresh, however the Truffle & Parmesan Thick Cut Chips were an absolute winner for me – they were completely more-ish, perfectly seasoned and had just the right amount of truffle & parmesan – seriously yummy; I could eat them every day and be a really happy girl!
Alongside our steaks we also cracked into a bottle of the house red wine which was light and soft and really, really drinkable. Our wonderful waiter, who really was fantastic, kept our wine glasses and water glasses full the whole evening; neither of us lifted a bottle all night.
When it came to pudding, I didn’t struggle at all with my choice – there was one clear front-runner in my eyes – the Chocolate Bombe; Vanilla ice cream with chunks of honeycomb, covered in a chocolate ball, which melts to reveal the ice cream when a hot salted caramel sauce is poured over the top…serious food porn!
The whole evening felt like a real treat – indulgent and rich without being too much. The Ivy itself has been decorated and set up really well, with soft music playing throughout the night – it’s the perfect environment for a special occasion, a date night or a catch up between two friends.
Chloe and I hadn’t seen each other since before she got engaged a few weeks ago (and I’m a bridesmaid!) so we had so much to catch up on – we chatted all evening with no interruptions (except the arrival of our beautiful food and refills of our glasses which were so so welcome!) and at no point did we feel rushed to clear our table – we were made so welcome and genuinely had such a special evening. We were able to raise a glass to her engagement, and talk all things wedding dresses and venues, whilst filling up on fantastic food and drink, with friendly and accommodating staff and in such a beautiful setting.
Thank you so much to the staff and team at The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie – We had an amazing evening, and will definitely be back (apart from anything else, M is very jealous so I will need to bring him along soon enough!)
*We were invited to this dinner as guests of The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie, so this meal was gifted, however as always all opinions are my own.
The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie can be found on their Website, on Facebook, on Instagram and at 16 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB. They are open Monday to Saturday 8am to midnight, and Sunday 9am to 11pm.