If, like me, you’re more accustomed to finding classy restaurants outside of shopping centres, then allow Vivante to banish that misconception right now! This elegant eatery in Cavendish Square has been open a little over a year, serving delicious modern-European fare. We dined there recently and were rather impressed with its fresh new menu.
The Vivante way
As you enter the actual restaurant (there is also open seating in the mall), Vivante offers a distinctly swanky feel, with its wood-and-leather furniture, attractive wall tiles, sushi bar, and impressive wine wall – a testament to its recently approved liquor licence… So now you can enjoy excellent beer, wine and cocktails, too!
Everything about the restaurant – from the slick, newly set-out menu to the wonderfully fresh food – is chic and designed to optimise your dining experience, whether you stop by for breakfast (which runs all day), a lovely luncheon or a slow-and-easy, post-work dinner.
Fresh, homemade food with foreign appeal
The menu has a modern-European bent, with some foreign dishes inspired by passionate owner Lynette Swart’s love of travel. One such example is the Short Rib Beef Bitterballen (R44), which is delicious. It’s competitively priced, yet affordable, and offers a lovely selection of dishes – from salads and light meals to tapas and sushi, open sandwiches and flatbreads, drinks and a special kiddies’ menu.
A chef never reveals her secrets
In Vivante’s kitchen, virtually everything is made from scratch (even the sushi sauces, olives and burger patties), using fresh, seasonal ingredients and products. As such, you can rest assured that the food is free from preservatives and the like.
The chef Phumeza Makaleni keeps her (recipe) secrets close to her chest though, so much so that even Lynette does not know her what goes into each dish, despite shopping for the ingredients. We were excited to learn that Vivante has plans to start selling take-home condiments (including its unique, sinfully delicious and spicy enchilada sauce).
Must-try tapas and salad options include the sweet bacon-wrapped chicken rolls (R48), aubergine chips with honey and feta (R32), or the delicious Chicken Fusion Bowl (R98).
The Living Life Burger (R115) makes for a satisfying main, but it was the mouthwatering flatbreads that impressed me the most. You must try the smoked avo, salmon and cream cheese (R65 for half, R130 for full) or slow-roasted lamb (R48 for half, R96 for full) – fresh, simple, delicious.
If you need something to soothe, the restaurant also offers fresh cakes (which look pretty spectacular) that are either baked at the restaurant or sourced fresh daily, as well as a good selection of hot and cold beverages, freshly squeezed juices and gourmet milkshakes too.
We recommend winding down your week with the sushi special: 30% off all sushi, cocktails and draft beers every Friday from 5pm. The (seriously!) excellent sushi (served daily from 12pm–9pm) goes down a treat with the Vivante cocktail (R52): gin, ginger beer, monin blueberry purée, lime and thyme.
At the end of a thoroughly satisfying meal, Vivante’s slogan, Living Life, certainly comes to mind…
Monday – Sunday and public holidays, 7.30am – 10pm
Closed on Christmas Day
Contact 021 671 7116, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop G30, Cavendish Square Shopping Centre, Dreyer Street, Claremont