Flavours of the city: Vivace at Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton

2011-09-09 07:49

Taste of Joburg comes to Montecasino on Thursday. Lesley Mofokeng reviews the Vivace at Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton.

Ambience:

The restaurant, just like its Italian name, is lively. The dominant fiery red and orange décor gives it a vibrant feel. It easily lends itself to a romantic rendezvous, perfect for candle-lit dinners.

During the day, the restaurant is laid-back and is best suited for long, relaxed lunches.

The open-plan kitchen with a full view of the chefs at work allows the aromas to permeate the air. From the 13th floor vantage point, take in the views of the M1 highway, Wynberg and Alexandra to the east,

Service:
Vivace was notorious for its slow service, but the service has since improved. Although the first waitress glanced at us and looked away when we arrived, another sprang to our side and welcomed us to sit down.

Once settled, the warm smiles and engaging chatter ensued and made us feel welcome. The executive chef, Vonique van Zyl, was also friendly enough to stop by to talk about the food and what was on offer.

Menu’s best:
I opted for the newly unveiled business lunch buffet special, which comprised a forgettable potato and leek soup as a starter and a salad entrée that you create yourself.

I went to town and packed my plate with lettuce, gouda, olives, gherkins, peppers, shredded chicken, biltong and nuts, and doused it all with a lemon and thyme dressing.

It made a symphony in my mouth. I am not a fan of lasagne, but the chicken lasagne on offer left me satisfied. For dessert, the Panna cotta with passion fruit coulis went down well.

Expect to find:
Casually dressed new money on their BlackBerrys, laptops and other nifty gadgets in the reception area of the restaurant. Inside, there are a selection of investment bankers (the restaurant is just a few steps from the JSE), hustlers and players – all dressed the part.

Verdict:

I had one of my favourite Steelworks (a non-alcoholic drink with ginger and cola flavours) at Vivace. The flavours were balanced – not too sweet and not too overpowered by the ginger.

Although the furniture colours are lively and rich, it needs a bit of a spruce-up, especially the bar table.

However, once you look past the furniture and focus on what’s on the table, you will not be disappointed. The buffet (at R140) is reasonably priced, as are most of the meals on the menu.

The views from the 13th floor are worth every cent.


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