Yesterday evening I had the absolute pleasure of visiting this gorgeous, newly launched London restaurant, conveniently located just metres from Tottenham Court Road station. The restaurant is gorgeously decorated & you will notice this from the moment you arrive. Upon arrival, we were kindly greeted by a receptionist who also got the doors for us & placed our jackets/umbrellas in the cloakroom. This alone gave me a good feeling of what was yet to come! The restaurant itself is located upstairs, & again has a reception desk where staff will kindly direct you to your table. Once we were sat, we were given a variety of menus (food, wine, cocktails) & given a little time to decide on what to have. To drink, we both went for the signature cocktail, Rolling In Brown Sugar which was incredible – very strong but not overpowering – absolutely amazing, & to nibble on, we ordered up the Nocellara olives, these were lovely, & complimented our drinks well. The olives were also lovely & tender, they glistened in the light! One of the key things here for me was the amount of olives we actually got in a portion – there was honestly more than enough for 2 people.
On to our food – for starters, I went for Keen’s cheddar twice baked souffle, Dad had the steak tartare & we both shared a bread roll with salted butter. The bread was warm & fresh, & the butter was deliciously salty but didn’t leave you thirsty or too dry. To say everything here was perfect is a complete understatement. The souffle was deep in flavour, & was very more-ish, I would also say that it was delicate & not too stodgy for a starter – 10 out of 10! The steak tartare, Dad couldn’t get enough of (& hasn’t stopped talking about it since), I also tried it & thought it was lush. The flavours packed a punch & was definitely not what we were expecting. This was both our first times trying this particular dish & can safely say, it has opened us up to a whole new world of steak tartare! (Thanks VIVI!)
Following from our starters, we ordered another round of drinks, Dad played it safe with another Rolling In Brown Sugar & this time I went for the Pink Floyd Rhubarb. Both drinks again, phenomenal, strong but in a good way. Accompanying our drinks were our mains & sides. I was completely torn between the Hereford steak 10oz rib eye & the proper scampi but after recommendation by our waiter, went for the steak. I enjoyed my steak with peppercorn sauce & a side of garlic mushrooms. Dad knew from the get go what he was going to have, & went with the steamed venison & chestnut pudding, with a side of cauliflower cheese. When our dishes arrived, we were both completely stunned with the beautiful presentation, & for me personally, I was gobsmacked at the size of my steak! I’ve had some steaks in my time but this by far was definitely the largest (I didn’t even finish the thing & that is saying something!) As mentioned, both meals were so well presented, my steak was laid on a bed of roasted mushrooms, shallot & grilled tomato, whilst the fries & peppercorn sauce were in pots of their own. The steak itself I had medium-rare, it was beautifully soft & tender, as well as easy to slice through. It also, (& I know some people might not like this) had a good amount of fat to it, which was also nice & crispy! Dad’s pudding was served alongside some mash & honey roasted parsnips – I have to say I thought that the mash looked lovely & creamy. Top marks all round for our mains! His main was vibrant & full of flavour. The sides I wasn’t overly keen on, they were nice, don’t get me wrong, but for me, I found the garlic mushrooms a little dry (I think this maybe could’ve been in comparison to the mushrooms that my meal actually came with were a little bit better) & the cauliflower cheese is just not something that I think works with the meal that I had. All in all, we were massively impressed with our meals.
My favourite time, dessert time! Again, I was torn between a couple of things on the menu, this time I was trying to decide between rum baba or black forest. Upon recommendation, I went with the black forest dessert, with a latte & was not disappointed. Dad went for the selection of Neal’s Yard cheese, with a glass of red wine (wine of which was recommended based on his dessert choice). Dad thought very highly of all that he ordered, in particular was very impressed with the cheddar & how succulently strong it was, especially paired with the wine. I absolutely devoured my black forest dessert – I was expecting it too be very heavy & rich but was in fact the complete opposite. The sponge was light & airy, & the cream was dainty & complimented the sponge well. Even down to the Kirsch ice cream was exceptional – the ice cream was literally melt in the mouth & didn’t have that sort of crisp feeling to it, as ice cream can do when it’s come straight out the freezer.
I don’t know how, but once we’d finished our desserts, we opted for another couple of drinks at the bar. This time, I went for Dazed & Confused, & Dad stuck with Rolling In Brown Sugar. Once again, we loved the drinks & it rounded up the evening nicely for us.
We would like to thank VIVI very much for welcoming us, & for making us feel so comfortable & looking after during our visit. We thoroughly enjoyed every second of it & genuinely look forward to not only coming back, but visiting all of the other restaurants under the Rhubarb Group. In particular, we would like to mention & thank our waiter for all of his efforts & for also guiding us on what things to try/go for, & also to the manager for taking the time to come & speak to us, & giving us a bit of info behind the group.
If you’re ever in London, I would strongly suggest giving VIVI a visit, not only do they serve lunch/dinner, but there are also brunch menus, as well as afternoon teas, & last but not least, they also cater privately.
Thank you once again to VIVI for the opportunity & for the hospitality, this has been by far the best restaurant Essex Foodies have been invited along to to date!