For Christmas 2015 one of my presents was a 3 course dinner and experience at the Ice Bar in London. I was super excited about this as I had always wanted to go there, it looked so much fun! Anything to try something new!
So the weekend just gone I had booked to go to London for the night and have this experience, I came away with 85% satisfaction of the evening.
I wasn’t in the best mood as I had been suffering from a headache all day, so originally I asked for some tap water, which was served to us, 1 glass per person and no bottle of water left on the table (as per normal custom) to help yourself too. I was aware that it was a small table, but was really thirsty and thought it was odd that I would have to ask every time I wanted more water…
In the end I opted for a glass of red as well which was in fact very nice.
There were lots of tasty options on the menu which all sounded exotic, I struggled to make a choice and went for the Slow cooked Octopus salad with potatoes, sea vegetables, hazelnut crumb and aioli. I must say the octopus was cooked to perfection, so tender! But was surprised when it arrived completely cold – not what I was expecting, but it was a salad after all (would have been better as a warm salad though).
Giving that the above was probably personal preference, I moved onto the main course. I wanted to try something relatively light although, the word ‘Stilton’ caught my eye – “I’ll have the Endive Tart please”served with a Stilton cream, citrus mushrooms and a hazelnut crumb (again?).
I may be wrong but, a savoury tart for a main course I would expect to be served hot or at least warm. And tbf I would hardly call it a tart (even the waiter mistook it for the leek starter) it was a wafer thin slice of pastry covered in a layer of ice cold Stilton cream and topped with massive pieces of charred, luke-warm endive. It was all too cold for a main course and it wouldn’t have been so bad had the cream been brought up to temperature with the endive. Side note: the mushrooms in citrus were delicious.
After a disappointing start and middle, I wanted a good end to the meal, which thankfully I got. Milk mousse with a pistachio crust, poached pear and you guessed it, a hazelnut crumb (what is it with the hazelnut crumb?). It was more like a panna cotta in my book, but what I got was really tasty and complimented the pistachio brilliantly, could have done with a little more poached pear, but it was fine dining after all.
The service was quick, efficient, friendly and well timed (with a bonus cloak room in the restaurant).
The actual experience in the Ice bar was so much fun and the champagne cocktails were delicious – a mango & passion fruit and a strawberry one, yum! Plus the bartender was really nice to chat to.
Out of five: