This Viral Asian Restaurant Has Views Of St Paul’s And A £65 Tasting Menu

Into escapism? With rising energy bills, the price of a pint costing £7 and Ryanair on the verge of charging oxygen as a commodity on their flights, how could you not be. Living in a place like London is expensive and I’m always on the lookout for bargains or places where your money goes a long way. Since attending the The Ivy Asia press night in Chelsea in 2020 (where I had a lovely chin wag with Ncuti Gatwa), the restaurant's been on my list for a while, but with a few questions in tow. Does the style match the substance, are the prices reflective of the quality, and the one I’m sure everyone, alongside me, wants to know: is it worth the hype? Coming with the extra benefit of views of one of the capital's most famous landmarks, The Ivy Asia St Paul’s is instantly off to a good start.

The Ivy Asia St Paul's Tasting Menu | DesignMyNight

The Ivy Asia St Paul's menu has everything you need for cocktails with a view.

After checking my coat and being led to my table with a view of the cathedral, I almost forgot how gob-smacking this place is - and that’s without the allure of St Paul’s on the other side the window. Fuchsia-coloured flowers bloom from several indoor cherry blossom trees, the trippy floor glowed emerald green beneath my high-heeled boots and the walls told stories with cartoonish illustrations of dragons and fresh-faced geishas. Blend them together, and they create - forgive my dramatics - another world. Removing negotiations over what to order, me and my plus one ordered the tasting menu. Priced at a very reasonable £65, my ‘this is surely a typo’ comment was met with agreement from across the table. Despite our bafflement (we’ve clearly been eating out in London for too long), the mistake was ours.

Enjoying the buzz of a busy restaurant and a soundtrack that pushed any negative thoughts of the day weighside, we chatted and clinked a rose of the orient (£7.50) with a very drinkable yuzu picante (£14.50) while we waited for our first wave of food. The picante came dressed with a thick rim of TAJIN and the liquid chilling over ice had a sharp snap from chilli with subdued hints of basil. It's the kinda drink that goes down well after a long day at the office. 

The Ivy Asia St Paul's Review | DesignMyNight

If you can, ask for a table near the window for a backdrop of St Paul's. 

10 minutes into our drinks, crisp bubbled wontons in various shapes were served with a spiced yoghurt and Szechuan dip, before a long plate of beef tataki soaked in tosazu and an unexpected platter of sushi that theatrically billowed smoke arrived at the table. Slices of soft beef tataki slapped our taste buds with umami flavours and the seared salmon nigiri was just as show-stopping as the dry ice it was served on. As we slowly emptied our plates, more appeared. The stereotypical triangle that you usually find your prawn toast molded into was swapped for a loaf-life shape in a crispy coating of black and white sesame seeds. Our mushroom gyoza was a knock-out too, lightly toasted, rivalling any meat filling with a spiced yuzu dressing. The mains - the salt and pepper beef fillet and black miso cod - were served with wok fried greens and a bowl of steamed rice. Chunky, firm flakes of cod lended themselves to a perfectly cooked dish, and the beef wasn’t far behind with juicy strips of meat in a salty sauce. Tasty as the main courses were, the opening dishes however - the gyoza and nigiri in particular - were the plates of the show.  

Theatrics far from over, one more smoking platter made its way from the kitchen to our table. This meant our evening ended with dunking warm cinnamon-covered doughnuts into a pot of rich, dark chocolate and sliding our provided dessert spoons through one thick, creamy portion of soft serve with mango sauce.

The Ivy Asia St Paul's Tasting Menu Review 2024 | DesignMyNight

The Ivy Asia London has interiors that will take you to another dimension.

The DesignMyNight Digest 

Now; for the verdict.

Minus the fairground rides and the giftshop, The Ivy Asia St Paul’s is like the Disneyland of restaurants in London. I’ve been to many pretty spots in the last 10 years, but not many manage to stop you dead in your tracks like this place. The fact that the prices are what they are is even more impressive. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best and most affordable tasting menus in the city. For 120 minutes, a booking lets you press pause on the world outside, your only concern being the feast that lies before your eyes and stomach. Collecting my coat, plunging back into the reality of £7 pints, rising energy bills and Ryanair absurdities, I can confirm this place is more than worth the hype, and the affordable price tag.

  💰 The damage: £174 for two cocktails and a three-course tasting menu.

  📍  The location: New Change, London, EC4M 9AG.

  👌 Perfect for: A theatrical dining experience at an affordable price.

 ⭐ Need to know: Weekend brunch will only set you back £24.95 for three courses.


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