Mon to Fri, 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm; Sat to Sun, 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm
Mon to Sun, 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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Seared scallop with sweetcorn risotto
Wagyu beef pizza
Pink diamond cocktail
This modern Italian outfit is instantly recognisable as an Aqua Group effort, not least by its striking similarity to sister venue Tivo – like its sibling, Vivo is sleekly contemporary, with smooth lines and black backgrounds shot through with warm, sculptural lighting. It clearly prides itself as much of a sophisticated drinking hole as a restaurant, with its substantial bar, high windowside tables and lounge tunes all underscoring the cool cocktail ambience. It's early when we arrive, but the space soon fills up with a well-dressed, chichi Soho crowd.
The menu is made up of appealing Italian options, many traditional, though with a few modern Asian influenced items for more adventurous palates. Opting for the old fashioned end of the spectrum we order a beetroot salad with caramelised goat’s cheese, along with a wagyu beef carpaccio. The former is a tasty, competent twist on a classic, and while the cheese may not be meltingly delicious, its caramelised crust is lovely and shards of green apple are nicely tart against the beets (though the beets themselves are a bit flat in flavour). Better is the carpaccio, which is well balanced, with an umami depth enhanced by a truffle dressing. Pizzas are a clear favourite among the crowd and we tuck into paper-thin wagyu beef-topped pie with shallot sauce, garlic chips and baby cress – though the meat resembles kibble, its surprises us with its tenderness and the pungent pairing works very well, though there’s a little too much oil for elegance. On to mains, the rack of lamb is something of a disappointment – while the cut is flavoursome, the meat is under-seasoned, underdone and underwhelming. More successful is the linguini, which was light and lovely, with fresh succulent prawns, and a pleasant lemony fragrance to the noodles. There are four Italian cheeses to tempt a full stomach to further indulgence, and the creamy taleggio is well worth loosening belts for, but sweet toothed diners will love the rich ginger and chocolate tart, with its gorgeous salty contrast.
The drinks list reads like a bar menu, with wines by the glass, and lots of cocktails and mocktails to help you work up an appetite. For bottles, we had to ask specially for the wine list, which is helpfully divided into varietals, is informative and sufficiently diverse to spark interest, especially with some lesser-known Italian offerings.
The staff are generally pleasant and easy going, thoughtfully checking how we like the timing of our next course, and though they forget to call happy hour, they make sure we get our last drink in anyway. Though we’re supposed to be kicked out for the next seating, there’s no rush at all when rolls round.
Though there are a few pricier mains on offer, there are plenty of dishes under HK$200, and with many ideal for sharing, diners can easily enjoy plenty of bites while saving their budgets for the cocktails.