Monday

The Ivy Chelsea...

Sunday was as much of a treat for the eyes as it was our hungry tummies...Bradley Cooper was feasting away outside after his day at Wimbledon finals - swoon!

The Ivy is the newest hotspot to hit Chelsea and as one can imagine the team behind the establishment (Caprice holdings) haven't scrimped on the décor budget. It's utterly stunning, both inside and out. 

We met with two of our friends A and K for a late Sunday lunch and even at this time the place was buzzing with people sat at the bar seating and tables filling nicely. The Caprice holding still to this day seem to have somewhat of a 'Midas touch' when it comes to knowing what their clientèle want. 

In true British Summer fashion we were treated to a decent downpour all day therefore the only available outside seating which was undercover was sadly, taken. We were therefore seated just inside of the windows whereby we could peer out longingly into their wonderful, and rather vast (for Chelsea) garden...



Our waiter came over, took a drinks order, and explained some of the 'new menu' highlights which, almost all of us round the table honoured his suggestions. To be quite honest, the whole menu reads blooming well and everything sounded right up my street so, it was no easy feat to decide...

Finally settling after a good glass of fizz our starters arrived:

Crispy prawns with wasabi for the boys, of which I had a good helping of these and personally I didn't really taste the prawns, or the wasabi for that matter. But I can tell you that the coating was crisp, dry and actually delicious. 



Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio with spiced avocado, lime, crème fraîche and coriander shoots for us girls. Unpretentious, fresh and delicious. 

Mains were a variety round the table...however in hunger haste I didn't photograph the others food.

I devoured the most delicious chicken milanese. Coated in brioche and topped with a soft runny egg and shaved black truffle. The most simple of things was transformed into a decadent, rich and thoroughly enjoyable Sunday evening supper. 



Puddings again, were a range around the table K had the (now infamous) chocolate bomb - my picture made it look awful but, Google it and you'll see how incredible it looks!

Mr D had the lemon meringue baked Alaska which I had a mouthful (or two of) and it was wickedly good...



A and I went for (poorly photographed) The Ivy classic, frozen berries and white chocolate sauce, a dish I regularly recreate at home but never quite get the sauce as good as it is here. Sweet, sour, hot, cold... perfect!



£50pp including a pre dinner drink and a decent bottle of plonk... a wonderful room (although some service blips - we found the staff a little 'upperty'!) and on this visit totally delicious food. I can't wait to head back...


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Friday

Roka - Charlotte Street


I am aware I am fast becomming a bit of a sushi/Japanese adict. But, my cousin is moving Up North, away from London, away from the hustle and bustle, away from us (sob) and one of his main loves... excellent sushi!

Due to his parting we went out for a final feasting of raw goodness at Roka which, coincidently, was one of the first places we went to when I moved down. 



A rather gorgeous summers evening meant the stylishly designed, open kitchen restaurant was flooded with light and felt rather LA-esque. So, naturally, ordered a couple of refreshing cocktails to kick off the evening with. Originally seated at one of their tables we asked if the bar seating was available (my favourite way of dining when in two's) and perched ourselves on the corner of the rather sexy knotted wooden counter.



The staff at Roka are charming and both the food and booze is presented beautifully. We started with one of Roka's newbies 'Rock Shrimp sashimi' which was delicious, incredibly sweet and super tender...


...and a plate of crunchy spicy tuna maki. 



We then went full steam ahead into the main menu. A refreshing, zingy yellowtail sashimi doused in a truffled yuzu dressing - Heavenly!



Seaweed and grilled bamboo salad in a sweet honey dressing. 




Of course, a helping of deliciously silken black cod had to be ordered and Roka's version has a wonderfully charred skin and served with a good 'snazzy chef's spurge' of sweet miso sauce. 



Scallops from the robata served with a wasabi and shiso cream were actually, sadly, really over cooked which we did mention to our waitress and in a flash we were sent out a second helping, correctly cooked and totally delicious. 


Next up a beef fillet, with chilli, garlic and spring onion. Sliced thinly and cooked perfectly rosy pink inside.


One of my favourite Japanese dishes is Miso aubergine and Roka's version didn't disappoint grilled with a sticky, sweet mirin marinade.


Roka was always a distant fond memory. It's incredible to see that still, 6 years on, it is exactly the same high standard with a superb atmosphere and cocktails to die for. Staff here are friendly without being overbearing and I certainly won't be leaving it another half a dozen years till my next visit.

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