I’d been insta stalking the brand spanking new brasserie restaurant named VIVI, which is just a stones throw away from Tottenham Court Road station in the newly redeveloped centre point, since before it even opened and longing to visit the perfectly pink interior and try out their fun cocktails and scrumptious looking food for a while, so when I was invited to visit with Love Pop Ups London there was no way I could resist. And it really did live up to my expectations, in fact it surpassed them.
(This meal was gifted in return for a review but all views are my own)
This place is any girly girl’s dream. So much pink and chrome with beautiful details such as the centrepiece light and the cute pink chairs to go with the marble tables. It’s like they delved into my brain and picked out exactly how I would create my dream interior space and then made it all come to life. The venue is huge and there are different sections and levels on the floor plus a bar area if you just fancy a quick tipple.
Fun fact – the name VIVI takes homage from the year 1966, and VI VI = 6 6
VIVI is open from dawn to dusk and have a variety of menus, so maybe you fancy a nice brunch? An afternoon tea? or a full slap up dinner then they’re sure to have something to suit your mood, they also offer a lunch/pre-theatre set menu which is very good value!
As you walk in the downstairs door you’re welcomed in with opened arms by a friendly receptionist who offers to take care of your coat and send you on your way up the 2 flights of stairs and over the bridge into the restaurant (this threw me too, who has a bridge in their restaurant?!). You’ll notice the modern and simplistic décor on your way in and this continues as you enter into the restaurant and are greeted by yet another friendly face and shown to your table.
The restaurant was relatively busy for early evening on a Wednesday and people looked as though they were all enjoying themselves. We were sat directly in the centre of the room, underneath the gorgeous chandelier light installation.
I dined with 5 other members of the Love Pop Ups London community and it was a lovely chance to catch up and/or meet some lovely ladies whilst munching on some delicious cheese straws, nuts and olives before taking a long hard look at the menu and deciding what to have. (Even though I’d already pretty much decided… is anyone else that person that HAS to have a look at the menu before they turn up so that they’re not slowing the table down by being indecisive).
We began with a cocktail each. I went for the Seifert which was; Brockmans Gin, rosebud syrup, pink grapefruit, lime and came with a candyfloss garnish! This was a sure winner for me and I was told that if the cocktail was too sour that I should mix in the candyfloss for some added sugar! Such a clever idea.
So, what did I have you ask? Well obviously I went for the Keen’s Cheddar twice baked soufflé to start, this came served with Provençale peppers and mornay sauce. I absolutely adored this. Anything even slightly cheesy is right up my street and this had the perfect amount of cheese and the right amount of sauce which enabled it to be creamy but not a soggy soufflé. I was a little confused about where the peppers were hiding but soon found out that they were hidden underneath the soufflé like treasure. This is one way to sneak in one of your 5 a day.
Two of the other ladies also had the soufflé whilst one opted for the steak tartare (which was apparently amazing. They cook the egg in a special way for over 4 hours and so it’s more like a puree than a yolk.), one went for the Jerusalem Artichoke soup which I must admit doesn’t sound like my cup of tea but seemed to be a sure winner! One went for the Coarse farmouse pate, this didn’t seem to be as much of a hit as she was hoping it would’ve been smoother – this is also something I’ve read a few times on other reviews… I’ve never really had pate so am not in a position to judge this. Another went for the Cornish crab (I was very tempted by this) which looked amazing and apparently was delicious too. So, 4/5 starters were winners!
Then it was time for the main course. I found this trickier than the starters because there were so many tasty sounding dishes. I was torn between three including the Chicken Kiev which is one of there signature dishes and the pork chop (luckily someone else ordered this and so I found out that this was good), in the end I went for the Duck a l’Orange which in my eyes was the perfect choice. The duck was tender but crispy on the outside and the sauce was DIVINE. I was so impressed with the portion size and there was so much duck, I was in heaven. I’d definitely recommend this dish to anyone that is a duck fan. It was faultless.
I was quite full after this but am never one to shy away from pudding. I went for the Millionaire’s chocolate bar with tuile and chocolate sorbet. This dessert was beautiful, albeit very rich. I didn’t manage to finish it but what I did manage went down very well indeed. The chocolate sorbet was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. So chocolatey and complimented the caramel tuile perfectly. I’d definitely order this again, it was even better when washed down with my second cocktail of the evening, the Dazed and Confused – Olmeca Plata Tequila, kumquat liqueur, orange blossom, agave, grapefruit, tonic water. This had quite a strong tequila taste which I’m not usually a fan of but on the whole worked really well (I only picked it because I liked the picture in the menu and it had a cute name but was left very impressed).
And just like that, our evening came to an end and we retreated back to the reception to collect our coats with our bellies full and our minds blown by VIVI. I absolutely loved the entire experience and can see myself returning again and again to test out the dishes I didn’t manage to get round to. I’m dying to try their afternoon tea and brunch after seeing pictures of it and being bowled over by the service and attentiveness of the staff. It all made for such a lovely evening. Thanks so much to VIVI restaurant and Love Pop ups London for having me!