Opening week at the Ivy Asia, Chelsea

Finally, the long awaited Ivy Asia on the Kings Road opened and with my mum coming to stay later that week, we went along for dinner.  

If you've been to the St Paul's one, you will recognise the signature green crystal floor and all the rest of the decoration however this one is much smaller and more intimate. It also seems to be a little more expensive although that's not completely unexpected with it being in Chelsea.

The space wasn't a problem when we got there at 5pm as it was pretty quiet although as it started to fill up, it got to feel quite closed in and a claustrophobic. Once there were loads of people in close proximity in every direction, I was ready to leave.

That being said, we had a great time and I am very pleased to have been. Not only is there food always good but the staff here seemed to be particularly friendly, I'm sure they were excited for their first week!

We ordered the sesame crusted prawn dumplings to start. I love dumplings and these were quite special. The ponzu and daikon sauce complemented the taste of the prawn filling very well but it was the sesame seeds on top of these that brought a whole new level to the dish. It was a totally different texture as it hits your mouth and the crunch was awesome. 

We had a good long discussion about what to order next as they make it a very hard decision when trying to weigh up what you want to eat with what you want to look at. 

Let me explain; there are quite a few 'spectacle' dishes as I would describe them, the sort that come served on some kind of weird and wonderful dish, brought to the table in a puff of smoke. I wanted the duck, but I didn't actually want the duck, I just wanted the big golden sculpture but mum talked me out of it and I was glad she did. It was just a very expensive, small plate of takeaway duck which was evident when the table next to us ordered it.

Still chasing the high of a sweet, sticky sauce, we went for the chicken and the beef - but the beef was sold out before the lunch cover was over apparently so we went for the lamb instead; with a side of pak choi.

The robata glazed chicken was a very picky dish, perfect for grabbing a piece in between everything else. The smooth spiced avocado mash underneath was really good but sadly, the overly efficient service meant that it was taken away from the table as soon as the chicken was done, meaning we didn't get to enjoy the last bits and the crispy shallots which was a real shame. The same thing actually happened with the dumplings, quite a pain actually.

Sticky lamb dishes are not something I often see on a menu but BBQ Korean lamb cutlets sounded great and they were! Korean sauces have that extra kick, paired with the smashed sesame and cucumber mash underneath, the succulent meat was a delicious bite. 

Pak Choi coated in ginger and soy was the perfect accompaniment and broke up all of the meat. 

The dessert menu is pretty similar to the St Paul's one and we both knew what we were going to order before we'd even left the flat. The Sphere. A very rich dessert, a much better idea to share but of course we ordered one each as sharing dessert with my mum is never a good idea.

Passionfruit and yuzu are two of my favourite fruity flavours and combined with the white chocolate and caramel, this dessert is just a dream. With hidden popping candy and the whole theatrics of the caramel sauce which melts the sphere as it is poured  in front of you it's an all round great dessert and one that I order again and again. Sadly it doesn't photograph very well so you'll just have to take my word for it on this one.

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