THE big question regarding the Ivy Spinningfields – will the food be as stunning as the fit-out? The various Ivy Collection brand offshoots of the once unique Covent garden celeb haunt have garnered their fair share of mixed views. Observer food critic Jay Rayner ha been particularly critical: "Anybody fooled in to thinking the new ivy cafe chain has anything to do with the actual Ivy should read this. It's a clumsy branding racket."
Despite this – we like to keep an open mind – ToM is attending the opening night of its Manchester sibling, a the timber-framed dining complex trumpeted as the biggest UK restaurant opening of the year. Well, the Titanic looked a treat as it sailed off, fully booked. Our Ivy (sounds like Corrie) opens on Tuesday, November 27 with space for for 535 covers over four floors and featuring an Ivy first – an Asian dining space on the floor below the spectacularly lush roof terrace.
This latest venture by the Ivy Collection group, also features a 1806 cover ground floor brasserie and a first floor private dining room. It’s the downstairs bar that first grabs the attention, an Art Deco style island topped with onyx.
The all-day Brasserie promises us dishes such as truffled orzo pasta, lobster linguine and slow-cooked lamb shoulder, described as ‘Modern British classics’.
On the first floor, The Dalton Room with floor to ceiling glass walls can host up to 20 seated guests, while the second floor of The Ivy Spinningfields will be the first ever “The Ivy Asian”. Expect Asian-inspired cocktails alongside dishes such as Wagyu beef with truffle sauce, salmon fillet teriyaki, and avocado, crispy tofu, lime and ginger dressing.
The entire floor is illuminated with a show-stopping green, semi-precious stone floor, set against an antique gold mirrored bar, gold-gilt ceiling and luxurious Asian fabrics. The Geisha Room, with bespoke mirrored artwork, is also available to hire privately.
On the top floor is a Roof Garden. With a fully retractable roof, the spectacular space will be open all year round with fire pits for those colder months.
The aim is unabashed crowd pleasing. Baton Berisha, director of operations for The Ivy Collection, said: “We can’t wait to showcase our different floors, dining concepts and offerings. There’ll be something for everyone, and we hope to bring something new to the city.”
Big promises. We’re keeping that open mind. With Christmas jolliness ahead every holly needs its Ivy.
The Ivy Spinningfields, The Pavillion, Byrom St, Manchester M3 3HG. Reservations: 0161 503 3222.