An inviting and well-stocked bar takes up one wall of Vivo’s dining room and faces sleek banquette seating on the other side. Hanging lamps cut in modern geometric designs and backlit walls add a sleek and sexy vibe to this popular spot on Elgin Street. Tables in the back of the restaurant are dimly lit and cosy so ask for a table in the front for a more open view, which is also better for people-watching. Narrow, low-backed dining chairs may be a bit uncomfortable for taller patrons. During our visit the air-conditioning appeared to be broken, making for a rather uncomfortably warm and humid dining experience.
Pizzas and pastas make up the majority of the food menu at Vivo, although main courses including a roasted Iberico pork loin and grilled Norwegian salmon are also available. The Vivo Caesar salad is an excellent version prepared with crispy prosciutto and anchovies, tossed with just the right amount of dressing and topped with aged parmesan. Paper-thin slices of beef are beautifully layered and topped with truffle oil, aged parmesan and arugula for the delicious wagyu beef carpaccio. Ravioli al granchio is a signature dish and makes an excellent appetiser to be shared or main course for one. Fresh pasta filled with Australian spanner crab meat is tossed in a light basil and morel mushroom sauce that complements the ravioli without overpowering the delicate flavour of the crab. The addition of pine nuts and balsamic vinegar gives a modern twist to the classic margherita in Vivo’s bocconcinipizza. Vivo’s tiramisu sticks to the classic recipe and is a well-executed version. Chocolate lovers can choose between a decadent chocolate truffle tart or an even more decadent chocolate fondant made with Valrhona chocolate and frangelico liqueur.
A well-selected offering of wines by the glass pair well with Vivo’s pastas and pizzas, but to take advantage of the talented bartenders and fully stocked bar, try one of Vivo’s signature fruity cocktails.
The staff at Vivo are efficient and competent, though we didn’t see a single smile cracked during the course of our meal. Waiters are adept at making recommendations, including wine pairings for food.
A meal for two will average around HK$1,000, a bit pricey for casual Italian fare. For better value, there are two or three-course lunch sets available starting at $108.