Address: Shop 2075, 2nd floor, IFC mall, Central, Hong Kong
Official website: http://www.gaiagroup.com.hk/ivy
Walking past IFC mall, I noticed a new restaurant IVY had replaced its predecessor St. Betty’s. IVY is a new project from the Gaia group featuring French Rivera cuisine; food that has a mix of French and Italian influences, which I was eager to try out. On arrival, the staff was very organised and quickly sat us at the table. Many of the servers spoke french, which added authenticity and enhanced the atmosphere of the restaurant. Seating was very comfortable, modern and spacious, and included banquets and round tables. Each table was welcomed with a plate of crudités; some sea salt, tomatoes and a lemon, rather confusing. The server explained that we were to squeeze lemon juice on to the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt; quite unusual and didn’t really fit the ‘French Rivera’ style of sophistication and refined dining. Though, the tomatoes were very tasty and did start making us hungry.
We started with cocktails that came with central price tags HKD$ 100-200, and were good but not great. The Grape Mojito (picture above) was very good; sweet yet refreshing with the right amount of rum, but the Collins was a bit too strong for my liking. The food though was magic. We had 2 starters and 2 mains then shared a dessert.
Starters: Escargots and poached octopus
The escargots were very tasty and not too small, with a good garlic butter sauce. The poached octopus, beautifully presented, was tender and perfectly cooked. What a perfect start! Definitely made me anticipate the mains.
Mains: Smoked quail and Confit salmon
These were both very tasty dishes. The Smoked quail was again perfectly cooked, with a slight char or smoked flavour. The balsamic dressing helped enhance the quail flavour and the small mushrooms and beans added a needed crunch to the dish. The Confit salmon is a very difficult dish to pull-off, and IVY had done it! Perfectly tender and pink on the inside, and just falling apart when you cut into it; it just made your mouth water.
Dessert: Triple chocolate tart (picture above)
The dessert menu focused on more classic yet simple choices, such as crêpes and creme brûlée. We tried the triple chocolate tart which had a thin and good cocoa tart base and a luxurious chocolate filling. The strawberry coulis was not too sweet and had a good consistency. The creme Chantilly also helped cut the richness of the tart.
For a new restaurant that has opened for less than a month, IVY is well organised. The kitchen prepared our orders promptly and correctly (did not confuse orders), which can sometimes happen for a new restaurant. Overall, a great first impression and will definitely come back for more! Highly recommend you all give it a try.