In the past 2 weeks I have had 2 memorable experiences at the above restaurants.
There was a feeling that the Ivy Cafes were becoming tired and formulaic.
Ivy Asia was created and I heard good reports.
They opened in Brighton this summer and I went with a girlfriend and occasional visitor to the city.
It was delicious.
We ordered snow crabs Gurkan, beef tataki, black cod with Miso, lobster and duck fried rice, roasted aubergine, white choc sphere and lychee papaya and mango – washed down with saki and a Yuzuhu spritz.
The menu is hard to navigate and when the waitress spoke of a ‘concept Restaurant’ my friend groaned.
Most diners look at the menu on line in advance and I chose the black cod, the signature dish of Nobu in its prime.
The decor is garish: emerald green parquet floor and gold temples.
It was hard to find fault as the dishes were so flavoursome and well presented (a clever idea as diners tend now to photograph food).
The saki was served chilled first time and it’s not cheap with a bill of £195. It’s an interesting addition to Brighton restaurant life.
I was recommended Sam’s Riverside on the towpath by Hammersmith Bridge in London by a local.
It’s part of Riverside Studios and a big space overlooking the River Thames.
Here I ordered white gazpacho and a pork schnitzel; my friend chose roe and Dover Sole and her son a burger.
The final bill was £215 – which is what one might expect to pay in an above average London restaurant. The area has come up and the River Cafe has serious competition.