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Testers Keepers: IVY Restaurant Secret Diner review by Ariana Williams

Posted on 16 January 2023

The IVY Garden, Marlow is a deceptively large eatery in a beautiful decorated Victorian building adorned with a variety of plants. The interior is based on nature with plants, flowers and wildlife decor all linked to the ivy emblem: Even the attractive menus are embellished with pictures of wild animals.

We were greeted with friendly waiting staff who offered to take our coats; You are given a ticket so that your attire is easy to retrieve at the end of the meal. You are promptly attended to by a waiter who is assigned to the table. The waiting staff are polite, helpful and smartly dressed, adding to the atmosphere. The service was very prompt with all food being presented efficiently with limited waiting time between each dish.

There are several menus, so it took me a while to find the menu for vegans/vegetarians. However, the information for food intolerances is clear. I opted for an avocado cocktail starter. This delicious, well-presented salad dish contains red peppers, lettuce, pomegranate and is dressed with a flavorsome spicy barissa sauce. This dish could easily be selected as a main meal and was worth the £8.95 price tag.

Other guests opted for starters including a truffled wild mushroom dish with a delectable potato rosti smeared with a creamy mushroom sauce, topped with quail eggs and grated truffle. While another opted for a smooth and delicate double-baked cheese souffle made with a variety of cheeses, topped with black truffle and cream sauce.

All the dishes were beautifully presented, a reasonable size, and were all worth the price due to their high standard of ingredients. Starters at The Ivy cost from as little as £4.95 and increase to £9.75.

For my entree, I opted for a mushroom burger adorned with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, vegan cheese and sauce. This was served in a bun topped with giant gherkins and had a side of chunky chips. All the ingredients worked well together adding to the smooth, delicate taste. The burger was lovely and tender but not overpowering. The chips were of a high standard: They were chunky, not greasy and with the right amount of fluffiness and crunch. Most mains cost £15.95. Though pricey, it’s worth the amount due to the high standard of ingredients, quantity and presentation.

Other selections of equally exquisite dishes include: Eggs Royale and chips, Shepherd's Pie and chicken Milanese. The eggs Royal consisted of smoked salmon, poached hens' eggs, toasted muffins, topped with a hollandaise sauce and sprinkled with watercress. The Chicken Milanese containes brioche-crumbled chicken breast, topped with fried egg, smothered with a parmesan and truffle sauce. Finally, the Shepherd’s Pie containing slow braised lamb and beef, marinated in a red wine sauce and topped with cheddar potato mash.

For those able to manage a pudding; One excellent dish is Frozen berries with yoghurt sorbet covered in a rich, warm white chocolate sauce. Another is a very exquisite chocolate bomb. This contains vanilla ice cream with honeycomb, smothered with hot salted caramel. These delicious and delightful desserts are pictured below.

Desserts at The IVY range from £4.95 to £9.95. All wonderfully presented and equally delicious. I would like to see more vegan desserts though. The overall experience at The Ivy was positive due to the excellent service, rapid changeovers between each course, tasty dishes and amazing presentation.

One of the few drawbacks is that you only have a specific time frame in which to eat your meal. A table of four is given 2 hours to complete the meal. Another setback is that it is not disabled friendly; There are steps into the building and the restrooms/toilets are up a flight of stairs.