Woman’s regret after consuming ‘utterly staggering’ 4,000 calories in meal at The Ivy

A woman has shared an account of how frustrating eating out can be now that restaurants with over 250 employees have to put calories on the menu after she visited The Ivy in Manchester

Dianne at The Ivy

Dining out and not having to go food shopping or prep and cook a meal for yourself has always been one of the best luxuries in life.

However, that luxury became a little less fun for some people recently, when a new rule was introduced by the government to help tackle obesity and encourage diners to make sensible choices.

The rule states that restaurants, cafes, and takeaways with over 250 employees have to put calories on their menus.

We’ve already seen how this caused chaos the first weekend it was introduced as foodies discovered how many calories were in a roast dinner – and claimed it “sucked the joy” out of going to the pub.

And it seems it can also suck some of the joy out of a birthday celebration at The Ivy, as Manchester Evening News reports.

Dianne Bourne headed out for a three-course meal at The Ivy on Spinningfields to see whether the new menus would change the way she ordered – and ended up consuming a whopping 4,000 calories during one meal.

The duck liver parfait was ‘worth every calorie’



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Writing for the MEN Dianne said: “Upon loading the menu online, it immediately flashed up with a box to inform me that 2,000 calories is the recommended daily calorie allowance, to help with choosing your dishes wisely.

“My visit was not intended to be a Man v Food type challenge – far from it. I was simply choosing exactly what I fancied to eat that night, as I often do when I’m dining out.

“But on this occasion, I would have to face up to the consequences of what that looked like in cold, hard calories. And it turned out it was all rather sobering.

“My choice of starter, duck liver parfait (£8.50), weighed in at a jaw-dropping 781 calories, while my friend’s twice-baked cheese souffle (£8.75), which I reckoned would have been a much heftier calorific choice than mine , was actually a lighter 416 calories.”

She consumed 4,000 calories in just one meal



Dianne went on to say that she and her pal were left “a little agog” to discover the sourdough bread with butter they’d ordered to nibble on while perusing the menu had 914 calories in it – with a portion intended to serve four, but they polished it off between two.

But she claims her choice of starter (duck liver parfait) was well worth the calories – but the same could not be said for the main dish, which ended up being her one big regret of the meal.

“For mains, my friend is a huge fan of The Ivy’s steak tartare which you can order as either a starter or a main – the main portion (£19.75) coming in at 828 calories. I meanwhile had decided to go for The Ivy Hamburger served with Pancetta and cheese (£18.95),” explained Dianne.

“The burger and chips weighed in at a frankly gargantuan 1,462 calories – not entirely a surprise, I suppose, that the burger and chips would work out as one of the most calorific items on the menu. But it was really worth such a sizable calorific investment?Well, I’m afraid the answer on that count was no.

“I was utterly staggered by that number of calories and it would have to be something really special to make it worth almost your entire daily allowance. It was a pleasant enough dish, the brioche bun had a delightful sheen, while the burger inside was plump and meaty and it came served with large crisp lettuce leaves and giant gherkins to ensure I at least mined some kind of vitamin amid the decadence.

“But the pancetta was like a flabby tongue on top, it really needs to be crisped off at the edges to work on a burger, in my opinion. Meanwhile, the cheese used was so bland as to be rendered completely unnecessary in adding any kind of flavor to the dish. About as pointless as calories can get in this instance.”

For pudding, Dianne opted for the Black Bee honey cheesecake, which cost £9.25 and was another 749 calories.

But before she could tuck into her dessert, a waitress came over with a giant profiterole with a candle in the top, to celebrate her birthday.

She states it was a really “lovely touch”, part of the “exemplary service” she’d experienced, but she didn’t need the extra 200-odd calories just thrown into the mix.

Dianne added: “Totting it all up – the sourdough, the parfait, the burger and the TWO desserts, it worked out at a mind-blowing, belly-busting 3,700 calories. Throw in the three glasses of champers I’d deployed to wash it all down and you’re talking a consumption of 4,000 calories in just under two hours – or the equivalent of two whole days’ worth of calories in one meal.

“Ordering the burger was my one big 1,400 calorie regret, but as for the rest of the meal I stand by every last calorific strand of it. Dining out should be a source of enjoyment, which it most definitely was at The Ivy.

“My main takeaway from the experience is this: Even if you think you’re really calorie-savvy (which I thought I was), seeing them written down before you is a pretty interesting read. And it made me realize just how easy it is to swiftly rack up the calories if you’re not really thinking about it.

“Burger aside, everything else I ate at The Ivy I would order again without hesitation. But I probably would think a little more carefully about adding extras like bread when we really didn’t need it.

“Ultimately though, is having an occasional splurge night at a nice restaurant the main root of the UK’s obesity crisis? I kind of doubt it.

“Will calories on menus somehow curb our collective weight problems? I tell you what, ask me again in a year and let’s see how our waistbands have all drawn in. But my immediate thought is ‘fat chance’.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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