Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com

The Ivy

Nominated for Best Business Lunch 27 Comments

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We like the elegantly styled interior of this polished destination: the stained glass, crisp white tablecloths and dark wood evoke a high-class yet casual approach to British dining. In the daytime the venue feels a little dim – the lack of windows means no natural light, which is a shame when the sun is high in the sky. Still, the friendly, ultra-professional staff make up for it, remembering each and every detail of guests’ reservations, thoughtfully offering newspapers for solo diners and engaging in a little casual conversation to break the ice. The business lunch menu offers either two or three courses of varied fare, with a handful of options for each course: there’s a nice mix of seafood, meat and veggie choices, from light bites to heartier Brit food. Soft drinks are also included in the price, making this a good-value way to sample The Ivy’s signature dishes. If the set menu options don’t appeal, there are also a couple of sandwiches on offer, served with chips or salad. On our last lunchtime visit the place was buzzing, making this a lively, popular place to seal that deal and you’ll be in an out within the hour.
Business lunch Dhs120 for two courses, Dhs150 for three, including soft drinks. Served Sun-Thu noon-4pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.theivy.ae (04 319 8767)

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Dr. Raji Mathew on 04 Jun ' 13 at 04:43
  • Best for: Business lunch

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Had been here last week. Since it was the Jumeirah Reataurant Week i went for the 3 course menu. Bread and butter served and newspaper to better occupy the time. Ordered for a diet 7 UP. Egg Bennedict for starters was appetising to look at. Let me say that I have had better that too at a smaller establishment -Blue Jamioca near Geant at Ibn Battuta mall. The pork belly was also something which didn't do justice to the place. It was pretty much bland and rather disappointing. The sticky toffee pudding served with ice cream was the saving grace. With a great name and a feel of exclusivity to the place, the food didn't seem to belong here. The waiters are nice and knowledgeable about the food beig served. The meal deal was for Dhs 180 with drinks not included.

Posted by: chris on 08 Feb ' 13 at 21:49
  • Best for: Business lunch

Having first been about 6 months ago and being totally unimpressed by the food delivered I gave it a second chance last night and unfortunately again, a very average but very expensive dinner. In fact i would go as far as to say i have had better meals at far less prestigious and far cheaper venues in the Mall. The sashimi plate is actually laughable. We all 'actually' laughed!
The service was excellent, staff very helpful, they knew the menu and were attentive to our every need.
The excellence of the staff however cannot make up for a below average menu, with below average delivery and flavour.. nor can it excuse the not so average prices.
I do not recommend you go here, as they are purely playing off the brand name.. this is a pub minus the good times and good food.

Posted by: nicole on 02 May ' 12 at 03:53

Wonderfully unpretentious restaurant serving honest and beautifully executed food. The service is its true USP - entertaining and erudite yet not intrusive. This is a restaurant that I will return to time and time again. Suffers from a misconception of being expensive like Hakkasan et al - quite the opposite! For a high end brasserie offering with a fine dining feel look no further!

Posted by: AL1006 on 16 Mar ' 12 at 10:09

Posted by: AL1006 on 16 Mar ' 12 at 10:09

Posted by: JohnB on 15 Mar ' 12 at 00:32

OK, so you don't post my review if I don't give star ratings. Here they are then!

The problem with websites like this is that too many people writing reviews don't have a clue about dining out. The Ivy in Dubai is a good recreation of the London eaterie. The intimate feel has been reproduced quite well; there are no amazing views from the windows in London, for heaven's sake (none at all, actually...). If the faces and company of the friends that you are with is not enough and you want views of fountains outside, go somewhere else, it's a ridiculous complaint. Sitting in the main dining room, the Ivy doesn't feel like a restaurant in a mall any more than does The Rib Room in the same location. Another reviewer has written that they don't believe that kedgeree is a fine dining dish, and then makes it plain that they didn't even know what to expect when ordering it, by listing the ingredients with astonishment. That made me chuckle. The Ivy serves very good, solid food on the lines of its London sister. The Ivy staff are welcoming and present when needed. Definitely a recommended restaurant. I agree with your review that it's a restaurant experience more than a mind-boggling food experience (for that try, Table 9 at the Creek Hilton, THAT is the new, independent Dubai restaurant experience that you are craving).

Posted by: Susan on 12 Nov ' 11 at 10:58

Have know been to Ivy more times than I remember and it is no wonder! When I call to reserve the girls instantly recognise me by name and laugh and joke on the phone. When i arrive in the restaurant the staff come up with big smiles to say hello followed by the general manager Sunil coming over for a catch up.....what more could you ask for in Dubai, finally a restaurant with personality!!!!!!

As for the addition of pizzas on the menu - they taste amazing and i am not afraid to say that i am already planning my next visit to sit in the lounge with my twinkle cocktail and pizza - perfection!!!

Posted by: Aditya Rajaram on 03 Nov ' 11 at 09:31
  • Best for: Business lunch

I waited a long time to go to The Ivy. I was worried that the quality of an institution like The Ivy may not have carried over to Dubai. I asked around and everyone had praises for it. So, I decided to venture out and indulge in a 'Business Lunch.' Because I am a foodie, I dont normally do business lunches because I like to get whatever I want and mix and match my food. However, I felt the Ivy would not dissapoint in a well planned business lunch and at AED 150, it was a good deal. Little did I know that I would be bowled over by the service so much that I said hell with the business lunch, I am going to treat myself...and treat myself I did.

First Course: The Steak Tartare: Now anyone that asks you how spicy you want your steak tartare means they know how to make a cracking one...they did. I was literally licking my plate.

Second Course: The Halibut: I could not understand how my Halibut could be sweet and savoury, crispy and yet tender. It was a true delight. Next time I want to try to the Sea Bass. (I heard their burgers are tremendous!)

Finale: I normally dont like desserts but the most charming server that I have ever come across told me that she will not take no for an answer (in a way that your grandma wont let you leave her house without stuffing your face). So I ordered, I wanted something healthier but yet yummy - I went for the Scandanvian Iced Berries with White hot Chocolate sauce. I know, with a name like that could you go wrong? Absolutely not. Embarassing myself yet again by licking that plate I brought a smile to the staff who after all, just want to see us diners have a ball with the food.

People, this was just a quick lunch, can you imagiine if I went all out on dinner??? Poor Wallet. Alas, I will be back. Hungrier and ready to go all out.

Thank you Ivy and thank you Dubai for holding up the quality of a great institution.

Aditya Rajaram

Posted by: William Manning on 23 Sep ' 11 at 10:31
  • Best for: Family friendly

Great for a business lunch or a family and friends get together in the evening. Awesome staff, unlike many others in Dubai, no arrogance like LPM.

Posted by: Mary on 22 Sep ' 11 at 18:09

I went there a couple of weeks ago and it let me down.. I was expecting something much better than what I had.. The service was average.. I asked a few questions to the person in charge of my table and i could see that he wasn't confident about the answers, on the other hand, the runner seemed to know more about the menu than the other person.. And the food nothing extraordinary at all.. I had the salmon fishcake with spinach and a sauce that didn't taste really good. My two other friends also didn't like their dishes either.. I really like the place, the ambience, but i can imagine than in a busy day it might get really crowded.

Posted by: Sunil Kumar on 31 Aug ' 11 at 13:29
  • Best for: Family friendly

A memorable dining experience in all ways, it is definitely not a fine dining suffocating restaurant like many others in Dubai, The Ivy is setting benchmarks for many restaurants in Dubai.

Posted by: Dr. Raji Mathew on 27 Aug ' 11 at 17:29
  • Best for: Business lunch

Refined ambience, oozing class and tradtion.. Spacious interior with not more than 1 or 2 tables occupied this afternoon. Ordered for orange juice, kedgeree for starters and while for the mains it was fish and chips. They do the best fish and chips in town, I was informed so I thought of trying this English fare in the best of restaurants, years after last having it at school.
Kedgeree made of haddock, salmon, poached egg, oyster mushroom, rice curry and served with mango chutney. I enjoyed the meal though feel that the mango chutney was not necessary. The fish and chips was one whole batterfried haddock on a bed of mashed peas, served with tartare sauce, lemon, ?moul vinegar and thick cut chips. I could hardly finish it.
Service was non-intrusive and quick. Newspaper offered while I waited for the food.
The bill
Orange juice: Dhs 15
Kedgeree startrer portion: Dhs 60
Fish and chips Dhs 125

Posted by: Jeff on 07 Aug ' 11 at 17:35

Ate here twice in one week and loved it. The staff remembered me from my first visit - very impressed!
Baked Alaska was extremely good!
Already planning to return for many occasions.
Keep up the good work which believe me, does not go un-noticed!

Posted by: Thomas on 30 Jul ' 11 at 18:36
  • Best for: Romantic

Special restaurant for a special occasion. My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner this evening, could not have been a better evening.

Posted by: Susan on 30 Jul ' 11 at 18:18

Having read the reviews I was a bit worried when my friend invited me to dinner at The Ivy...especially considering I have been to Ivy London on many occassions. How wrong I was to worry, we all had such a lovely evening!

From the minute we arrived we were make to feel welcome by warm welcoming staff. After being shown to our table our attentative and well informed waiter assisted us with both food and drink choices.

We were recommended the duck salad to start which had received bad reviews initially however it was very good, the different flavours were great. For main course the thai baked seabass was devine and desserts were the best I have tasted in a long time.

I was extremely impressed with what the Ivy had to offer, the decor and atmosphere were great for a Saturday night - I would love to see it on a Thursday or Friday. the staff and well trained and friendly and the food is devine...comfort food at its best.

Only downside would be the lighting, as I thought it was slightly too dark but not really a complaint!

Regardless of the other comments i would recommend trying..i did and i will definitely be back! Well done!

Posted by: lyndsey on 30 Jul ' 11 at 09:28

what a stunning disapoointment... i went to the ivy for a treat was massively underwhelmed by the entire experience. the location in the shoping boulevard is a let down considering all the places such a top restaurant could have been in dubai - no view, no outdoors, areas, no terrace - you cant get away from the fact that you are feet away from another dubai shopping mall... food was the biggest let down. the restaurent is famed for its kedgeree, its just boiled rice with a bit of fish in curry sauce - it tastes very strongly of curry powder, very plain and uninventive, it even looks unappealing - ive never had such an inspiring main course ! how is this a signature dish i dont know. the shepherds pie, another 'signature dish' equally uninsipirng. go to rivington grill if you like british classics as at least they present it with a twist and some style.

Posted by: sam on 28 Jul ' 11 at 09:27

We had such a great experience last night at The Ivy. Food and service were amazing. Foie Gras and Thai Bass are my new favorites in town. Our waitress was so nice, very helpfull. Cant wait to go back. The restaurant was very buzzy with a great atmosphere. It was a perfect place to bring my partner.

Posted by: Yasmina Khamri on 26 Jul ' 11 at 10:57

Disappointing to say the least. I had the duck salad as a starter and it was average (nothing special). I ordered the fish cake as a main and it was frozen and the cheese sauce made me feel nauseous. I didn’t even want to try their dessert. The service was average, the waiter was pushy and the place was almost empty when I went (Mid June).

Posted by: ugh on 23 Jul ' 11 at 13:07

The food was below average. I expected much better. The waiting sucked even though it was fast once we ordered. The food the food the food was awful. We were 5 and ordered almost three dishes (entre, main dessert) each, I am sorry but all of us swore we will never go there again and they hated me since I was the one who picked it!

Posted by: Stefan on 21 Jul ' 11 at 20:07

What a big deception... nothing comparable with the Time OUT experience related here from July 11th 2011...Tonight July 21st many places were fully booked since 7p (Zuma, Okku, Karma etc...) so we walked around 9p in Emirates Towers and try the Ivy not fully or busy and without booking.....
I have to say the Menu is very nice, attractive and with enough choice to please different tastes, BUT !
We waited more than 30 ....may be ....45 minutes to have the opportunity to place our order... service was running without taking care of us... they tryed to be a little stylish ... but failing kindness or efficiency. Service in general didn't paid attention about our questions, about details about good service... The service described in the main review ... should be In Reflets or in another restaurant but not at the same restaurant call IVY... What a gap !
Then we succeeded to place our order.... the nightmare really started... we had to wait more than 30 additional minutes to have the starters... a diet soda ordered after the main order... will never be served.... starters were good quality, products are very nice and fresh... that's a very good point.... BUT sad to see so nice products so badly served... then again 30 to 40 minutes for the main course.... a disaster... nice and noble products so badly executed cooked...a John Dory more than over cooked.... 2 spoons of spinach as side for 30 dhs.... a vegeterian risotto greener than grass..and tasting like grass......uneatable courgettes bites.... So we decided to call the management... and we heard the famous "we are sorry that our service didn't meet your expectation..." That's so sad... our expectations were so high ???? compared what they are delivering ????
So .... we noticed really great qualitative products BUT so badly cooked and executed.... May be, was a bad day in Kitchen ... all the professional staff in dinning room was OFF .... Surely... it looks the restaurant after 6 months.. could be a really Treat !
The place is nice and there is enough room between tables to make the ambiance at the right level. With recruting a true professional maitre D or restaurant manager, the staff will be fine tuned to be consistent from one day to another and...... not the LEAST with such fresh food associated with a good execution... Ivy will be without doubt an Envy !!!

Posted by: Fiona on 21 Jul ' 11 at 12:21

Poor service, wine spilled over table, tables too close together, no serving spoons, average food.

Posted by: Tarek Barakat on 20 Jul ' 11 at 08:36
  • Best for: Romantic

Average is a word that comes to mind when i think of The Ivy Dubai. I went with a couple of friends for dinner yesterday night and we all came out saying that the food was neither fantastic nor horrible. This went across all three courses we had. for starters we shared the venison carpacio, sashimi and bang bang chicken. Ironically, the most exciting name (the chicken) was the most disappointing. It was nothing more than (very) cold noodles with chicken and sate peanut sauce. Though i have to say the sashimi and carpacio were up to scratch.

for main course one ordered the lamb while my other friend and I opted for their 'special' thai baked sea bass. all meals had good quality ingredients but the fish especially was lacking imagination and bordered on bland.

even the deserts (we ordered the chocolate pudding and seasonal fruits with ice cream) were mediocre at best.

Service was decent but by no means excellent with a couple of mistakes made throughout the night, most notably when we received the change of another table's bill even though we hadn't ordered ours yet.

I really have a hard time seeing how this restaurant will be able to live up to it's London counter-part when it comes a) celebrity pull and b) compete with so many competitors in the high end dining market. throughout the night my friends and I kept comparing the food and service to the likes of Okku, Zuma, La Petite Maison, Rhodes Mezzanine etc. with all of them beating the Ivy every time.

Posted by: Jane Head on 17 Jul ' 11 at 15:45

The Ivy is definately on my list of favourite restaurants.
I have been 4 times now and it only gets better. Yes there were a few 'glitches' with the service to start with but when I last visited on Thurs (14th) it was wonderful. The service, atmosphere, the greeting and definately the food were all top class. My rack of lamb was perfectly pink and loaded with flavour.
It was so lovely to see lots of Emirati couples and singles all obviously enjoying themselves.
The price is not excessive for this standard of restaurant, the wine list extensive with a good selection through all price ranges.
Congratulations to all the Team at The Ivy ..job well done guys.

Posted by: Px on 15 Jul ' 11 at 02:42
  • Best for: Business lunch

An 'underwhelming' experience.
Average food, indifferent service, no atmosphere and tables so close we had to endure the (most uninteresting) conversation next door!
Can they blame the location or are they just trading off their name?
I won't be rushing back and certainly won't be recommending The Ivy to my friends or colleagues.

Posted by: SYD on 14 Jul ' 11 at 20:49
  • Best for: Business lunch

Excellent service overall hard working crew although there was a spill over by a customer considering it was business hour they were very efficient and well mannered got it under control very fast.

Posted by: Rich on 04 Jul ' 11 at 04:48

Poor Paul, we had an absolutely lovely time.

Went for an early dinner at 8:30 and booked at the last minute. They were very helpful in finding us a table. The service was quick, but not overbearing. We ordered a bottle of champagne for a birthday, ceasar salad, mixed oriental for starters, steak and pasta for mains. The food was all really lovely, well presented, and without the overbearing 'we are really special' attitude many restaurants of this style have. We, as the customer, felt special. Imagine that!

And the prices were fantastic for this level of restaurant. We would have paid the same for a meal at a famous Dubai noodle place and gotten much worse service and food.

The only two glitches - our coffee order was delayed as I had ordered decaf, and they brought regular, and it was a bit hot in the restaurant.

Definitely a place to go back to!

Posted by: Paul H on 15 Jun ' 11 at 06:49

Apalling. From the start when the drink was poured over the side of the glass as much as inside the glass we knew we were on dodgy ground. Menu selection seemed very extensive but then we were told there was no shellfish, several other dishes off and no spinach..Yes it was only their 2nd day open but considering the hype and the relationship with the UK restaurant you would have thought they would have been more upto speed when they did start and certainly for the prices they charge which was unacceptable for the level of service and the level of cuisine produced. Stay clear of the steak tartare, i think they put it under a lamp to keep it warm for me while waiting for the rest of the starters and I paid again for that the next day. Everyone was reasonably pleased with the main courses but again no wow factor to behold. Not a good advert for high end British Cuisine I am sad to say.


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