Last weekend I was lucky enough to escape from the family and take a shopping trip to Manchester. No shopping trip is complete without a posh lunch and you don’t get much posher than the Ivy. I had tried to book a table online a couple of weeks ago without any luck, but a quick call on the morning to see if there had been any cancellations saw us getting a 2.45pm table in Ivy Asia. Located on the 2nd floor Ivy Asia serves Asian-inspired cocktail alongside a selection of small sharing dishes. The decor is a mix of bold jade green with opulent gold and red. Even the toilets are over the top and feature a marble statue and floor to ceiling flower wall.
If you love people watching ( which I do ) then Ivy Asia is the place to go. The beautiful people work there and the beautiful people eat there too. The hostesses could have just come off the Victoria Secrets catwalk and everyone is just effortlessly cool. That’s not to say that you need to go dress up to the nines. As you can see from my picture above I just had a jumper and jeans on and felt quite comfortable among the Manchester set. The beautiful people also know how to do 5* service as nothing was too much trouble for them. Our waitress Bryony was amazing from start to end. She suggested the best cocktails to drink (Thai Bamboo Cutter ) and the best small plates to order. She checked in with us a couple of time during the meal to refresh our drinks and to make sure, we were enjoying the food. Bryony made our lunch with her excellent service.
The food is similar to a tapas with a selection of small Asian inspired dishes of meat, fish and rice on offer. Bryony recommended 2-3 dishes per person plus rice to share and that was plenty for us.
Here’s what we ordered :
Yellow Fin Tuna Tataki
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Prawn & Chive Nori
Crispy Duck Bao
The food comes out as it is ready so there wasn’t a rush to try to eat everything at once while it was still hot. It also gave us a breather to enjoy a few minutes between each dish. Quality and taste wise I loved all the dishes but for me, the one that I really couldn’t get enough of was the buttermilk fried chicken. Bite-sized pieces of coated chicken served with a spicy mayonnaise dip. The Crispy Duck Boa is a must to try as well. It’s a little bit like a duck filled bun that also comes with a spicy sauce to accompany the dish. I can 100% guarantee that you will not leave Ivy Asia hungry or disappointed. Even though we were both stuffed we cleared all the food from in front of us , not wanting to waste a mouth full.
Most dishes are around the £9.00 mark with rice £3-4. They did have a small selection of main dishes like sea bass priced around £26 but we prefered to go for the tapas-style small plate option. Cocktails range from £8 – £15 and a large glass of wine were roughly £7.00. The total cost for all the above food, 2 cocktails & a large bottle of water was £81.00 ( this included £9.00 service charge that came on the bill and we were happy to pay).
It’s not like me not to have a few niggles about a restaurant but apart from having to queue for the toilets for 5 minutes and I really do think 1/2 the ladies were only there for Instagram purposes, I can’t fault Ivy Asia. For me, it was the perfect mix of indulgent luxury with laid back Ibiza vibes. The food was amazing and the service was top-notch. I know that people have the perception that the staff will just be snotty and the food will be overpriced but this is so far from the truth. Whether it’s a northern charm or just they have employed a really great, friendly team, during our lunch at Ivy Asia we were made to feel like VIP’s.
Will we be returning? 110% !!! And now with the Roof Garden opening back up we have an additional reason to return and explore. If you are looking for a really special meal, in a really special setting then I highly, highly recommend Ivy Asia. Whether it’s a casual meal with friends or a romantic meal with your partner you will leave feeling like the green carpet was rolled out just for you.
I hope this review has been helpful and do let me know if you have been to Ivy Asia and your thought on the restaurant. I can’t wait to return and eat & drink all the lovely food & cocktails again.