Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday lunch at Ivy, a very popular restaurant in Daikanyama, Tokyo. And about a steak I couldn't eat.

Today in Tokyo, living a #Travelife, I had lunch with some neighbours at a very popular restaurant called Ivy in the fashionable Daikanyama area of Tokyo.

It was a perfect day and so we decided to walk to Daikanyama for a little exercise before a big lunch.

The Ivy is really popular so you need to book it in advance and there are several seatings for lunch and dinner on weekends. 

My neighbours who'd done the booking for lunch said they'd been trying to get a table here for the longest time.

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I'd been here before and the Ivy hadn't really registered in my mind then as a restaurant worth queuing up for.

But I'd left the choice of restaurant to the others and I wasn't really picky about where to eat or what to order today.

Daikanyama is slightly off the tourist track in Tokyo but it's among the most fashionable neighbourhoods in Tokyo these days and very popular with locals and tourists in-the-know.

On nice weekends, everywhere is full of beautiful people in fancy European cars -- no kidding, no Japanese cars to be seen in these parts today -- and even babies in strollers and pets on leashes look perfect.



And the Ivy is the kind of restaurant everyone gravitates to as it's got a cool, casual, upmarket atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the food quality didn't keep up with the sleek and slick packaging of the Ivy.

For a casual restaurant, it isn't cheap, and the food was pretty ordinary at best.


We ordered fresh fish carpaccio, a four cheese pizza, a huge tray of charcuterie and calamari to share between the four of us as appetizers.

Out of these, the pate of the charcuterie plate was good and the calamari was decent.

But the four cheese pizza was just lousy. I also had two forkfuls of someone else's order of pasta with fresh tomatoes and it was devoid of any character and taste. 


The best part -- or maybe I should say, the worst part -- was the sirloin steak I chose as my main course.

It arrived cold, and when I called their attention to this, they were good enough to give me an entirely new steak rather than place my original steak back on the grill.

So they get brownie points for this, in my books.


But when the new steak arrived, it was just inedible.

I think I ate four pieces and then I had to leave the rest as it was tasteless and tough. But as it wasn't exactly a cheap steak, I thought I'd salvage this unhappy choice by bringing it home, chopping it up and making it into garlic steak fried rice for breakfast the next morning.


However, surprise, surprise. No takeaways are allowed at Ivy, so I had to leave most of this steak on the table.

With this, the dessert menu didn't look at all promising. And even with my sweet tooth, I didn't feel like having any.

Fortunately we didn't get to try any as our 90 minutes at the Ivy were up, and there was a long line of people waiting to get for the next seating.

So, as we were pointedly told that time was up, we went out in search of a nice cafe to have tea and sweets in, on just another beautiful Saturday afternoon in Tokyo, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.

PS: I don't usually write about lousy meals, but this restaurant should be reviewed as I think people should re-think before booking this place. And if you do go, just soak in the fashionable atmosphere of Tokyo, order champagne and a carpaccio appetizer, and then head to another restaurant for real good food. There are too many choices in Tokyo to put up with this one for a meal.


  1. I ate here recently too and I thought the food was mediocre and way overpriced. All about hype. Thanks for bringing it to people's attention. Best regards

  2. Thanks for the tip! #bestrestaurants #food #tokyo