The Ivy Oxford Brasserie Review Intro
The Ivy Oxford Brasserie made itself known to our High Street towards the end of summer with signs up promoting a Winter 2019 opening.
It’s situated in the former Coutts and more recently, NatWest bank, which excited me as I knew this was a good space with plenty of character inside if they chose to work with it.
So after opening on 5th November, I noticed plenty of hype on social media as to be expected.
We’ve had a lot of London based restaurants venture into Oxford over the last 2-3 years with the re-opening of the Westgate and a few restaurants just closing and opening in general.
This made me curious to see how this restaurant would perform in terms of service and food compared to some of the other groups of restaurants that have opened in Oxford recently such as Dirty Bones, The Cinnamon Kitchen and Pizza Pilgrims to name just a few.
For a few reasons I wasn’t able to visit The Ivy Oxford Brasserie until Mid-December, but maybe that was a good thing. It gave them time to settle into Oxford and iron out any issues that they may have had at the start which many restaurants tend to have understandably with new staff, so I was really excited.
You can check out the full Ivy Oxford Brasserie Breakfast menu here which is what we chose from.
Outside and first impressions
From first impressions on the outside of The Ivy Oxford Brasserie, you can’t deny they have made a statement on the High Street. I really liked their Christmas decorations and the colours they have gone for in general. I was pleased to see they kept some of the character I mentioned earlier with the grand doors at the entrance.
You could argue that because of the name of this restaurant and from first impressions of the outside, I set my expectations quite high. I tried to keep a balanced view but ultimately I was anticipating good quality food and a great service.
When first entering the Ivy Oxford Brasserie my initial thoughts were that the décor is stunning but there is a lot going on visually.
For example, the print on the ceiling almost follows itself down the walls and then onto the chairs. I didn’t dislike the design but I just thought it was a lot to take in and I generally prefer a minimalist approach to decoration, but that’s just a personal preference.
Food and drink
We ordered two lattes, to begin with. I don’t normally comment on prices specifically, but I wanted to make a note to mention that it is £3.95 a latte at the Oxford Ivy Brasserie. With the 12.5% service charge it actually makes it about £4.44 a latte, certainly the most I’ve paid for a coffee in Oxford but I guess that’s to be expected somewhere like the Oxford Ivy Brasserie.
Also, you may notice the two coffee’s weren’t consistent in terms of presentation (one had loads of foam, the other almost none).
That aside, they were decent coffees and both tasted great.
I ordered Eggs Benedict which included pulled honey roast ham on toasted muffins, two poached hen’s eggs with hollandaise sauce and watercress. This was £8.50 which I thought was very reasonable given the portion size, presentation and restaurant that we were in.
It tasted as delicious as it looks too, see below at my failed attempt of boomeranging cutting into the yolk 😂.
My other half ordered the Hot buttermilk pancakes which came with Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries with Greek yoghurt, lemon balm and warm strawberry sauce and cost £8.95.
If we are strictly looking at value for money, I’d say this isn’t a great offering from the Oxford Ivy Brasserie. Then again, I guess most people are not visiting the Ivy for value for money but I was still expecting to see something a little more special looking. It was four small pancakes with s little bit of fruit and yoghurt and cost more than my eggs – I’m happy I went for the eggs!
I’d like to add that she ordered this based on the Instagram post of this item on The Ivy Oxford Brasserie’s Instagram page and I’d say they do look quite a bit different.
Conclusions and final thoughts
So to conclude my review of The Ivy Oxford Brasserie, I’ll bullet point some good bits and bad bits.
- The décor is lovely (albeit a bit much in my opinion).
- The coffee was good.
- The restaurant appeared to be spotlessly clean.
- The staff spread people out evenly over the restaurant so it never felt you were too close to another table and gave the feeling of space which was really nice.
- The food did take a while to come.
- One of the items on the menu doesn’t look the same as what was posted on the restaurants Social Media.
- Our waiter/waitress never asked us how our food was.
Overall I would say that it was a bit of a mixed bag considering the prices at The Ivy Oxford Brasserie. My main thoughts were that the food could have been a bit more consistent and slightly better service could have been offered.
Have you been to The Ivy Oxford Brasserie? I’d be keen to hear how your experience was and if it differed to mine, comment below this post or on my Instagram post to share your opinion.
You can check out all of my other food reviews here.