She rode into the sunset on a horse made from unicorn dreams, the scent of bubblegum pop wafting through the chilled air. There were sparkles in the sky raining down upon her like confetti streamers, as she shook the droplets out of her hair with gilded ease. The clock was ticking, but she kept on striding forward with purpose, until the neon lights of VIVI’s beckoned her into their welcoming home, where pastel pink plush sofas danced on the merry go round of food deliveries, that plied hungry customers mouths oh so greedily. Coat stowed away, she sunk gratefully into the chair beneath her with a wistful sigh, smiling at the people before her who had come to join her at tonight’s gastronomic crew. She called them the Love Pop Up London Gang, her squirrel friends who were ready to sample what VIVI’s would bestow upon them. It would be cocktails first to whet thirsty mouths, light boxes plumped to brighten food photos, the chitter chatter of half a dozen round our table, cameras at the ready. She scoured the cocktail menu thoughtful, searching for a cocktail that would be different to her go to, the mojito, she whispered in the waitresses ear, curious about their thoughts on the cocktail menu.
We turned the pages together, an illustration of each drink well curated, mouth watering at the tantalizing options, your throat was primed for alcoholic seduction. Her eyes roved over the ‘something from history section’ whose cocktails would pay homage to snippets caught in time, and while dubious that it would match up to her beloved Mojito, she nevertheless paused on the Pink Floyd Rhubarb, inspired by the hit band of its name sake. Chase rhubarb vodka was lovingly interlinked with Cointreau, while cranberry juice was drizzled with vanilla essence and a squeeze of lime, in short is was an aromatic fervor for the senses. Her eyes widened with each sip oh so playfully, the smoothness of the liquid pouring gracefully into her gullet with the nimbleness of a ballet dancer. Despite it’s inspiration, the cocktail was anything but rocky, a mesmerizing fluidity of song and dance captured in a rimmed glass. The food came next, the vegetarian with the allergies would always agonize over what to order, especially with a set menu. But despite being given a choice of starter, main and dessert, together the vegetarian and the waitress came to the conclusion that ordering a starter and a few mains would be the winning ticket to a delicious meal, although they had offered to make alternative mains to cater for said allergies.
She sipped her drink thoughtfully, she was gratified that they had taken the time to ensure her allergies and dietary requirements were met, and with that in mind, her order began. She would start with a seasonal soup from VIVI, asparagus ladled with oozing cheese that swam in its soupy milk, while the cheese straw dangled above the stone bowl enticingly, it called her name. And what a surprising delight that soup was, she could not get enough, it coated her mouth in fuzzy warmth, the smoothness sliding down her throat with unadulterated ease. It was a seduction of the senses, a sensory delight, she snapped the cheese straw in two, flakes drifting into the yellow souped depths below. The straw toyed with her tongue sensuously, and it wasn’t long before the soup had disappeared, tempted to lick the bowl clean to mop up any residue.
Next she ordered a couple of sides to replace the vegetarian main that she was unable to have, settling on twice baked cheese souffle with piperade and Mornay sauce, green beans with shallots and hazelnuts, followed by mac and cheese which she had high hopes for, it was one of her favourites after all. The green beans salsa’d down the table with rampant energy, layered with gritty sea salt and peppered with crunchy hazelnuts. For this was no ordinary side but a masterpiece, the green beans were finger licking good, the sea salt adding to its supreme flavour. Soon the twice baked cheese souffle va-va-voomed into her public sphere, she was surprised by it’s appearance at first. It had the appearance and texture of a puffy omlette, but the smell nevertheless was enticing, layered with red peppers. Despite the initial impression, the cheese souffle melted in the mouth, a homage to the Cheese God who was watching over VIVI. The sides were delightfully filling and she rubbed her stomach in glee, sipping the last of Pink Floyd, as her mac and cheese sashayed into her life. Unfortunately the mac and cheese was not to her taste- a first given her love for a good mac and cheese- there was minimal bechemal sauce coating the macaroni pasta and the crispy onion coating did nothing for her, she found the dish to be plain. Still it was one blip, in a night that otherwise radiated success, as one last drink swept into her night. It could be nothing other than a mojito oh how she craved the taste.
At first the mojito was a little different to what she was used to, there was a strong taste of soda, and not enough rum and mint for her liking, but as the drink was stirred and gulped, the mojito that she knew and love came into consciousness, until at last, the table goers had eaten their mains, and dessert was on the cards, yipee. Given the vegetarian’s love of rum, what other dessert could she order from VIVI than Rum Baba, a small, rich sponge cake, soaked in rum-flavoured syrup, layered with vanilla ice cream, confit orange and a topping of chatilly. It was the perfect way to end the night, a boozy dessert that more than sated her sweet tooth tenfold, the confit orange adding needed texture and interest. The baba crumbled in her mouth, as the vanilla ice cream cascaded on her tongue, while the chatily was the cherry on top, her pleasure principles had unfolded. And so the night faded into wispy morning, but still she remembered the delights of yesteryear.
Have You Ever Been To VIVI’s?
Please note I was given a complimentary meal in exchange for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affected by complimentary services. Please note the menu is seasonal. I would love to come back and try their afternoon tea and seasonal menu’s that they have in the future. Brunch and Breakfast is definitely on the cards as well!
Photo Credit Squibbvicious