The first thing you’ll notice about Vivi, which forms part of the sprawling Centre Point re-development (though is not in the iconic Centre Point tower itself) is its gargantuan size. Even getting to the dining room is a mission – you first have to announce yourself in the vast reception, before ascending a double staircase (the lift was broken on our visit) and then walking across a suspended walkway before checking in at a second desk and being led to your table.
Once there, you’ll find a dining room which is flooded with natural light and boasts very pretty features – think a bronze-plated bar, geometric chandeliers and bubblegum-pink chairs. The loose theme of Vivi is the swinging 60s, which is subtly alluded to via colour pop portraits of Twiggy and Joanna Lumley in their prime.
The menu is also inspired by the era, featuring the retro likes of chicken Kiev and mushroom vol au vent. However, this is the 60s reimagined for the Instagram age, so expect pretty plates of food which are presented with assembly-line precision and cocktails that arrive topped with pink candyfloss.
We kicked off our meal with a classic prawn cocktail, which was smothered with a sharp Marie-Rose sauce, and accompanied by two triangles of brown bread. From the mains, we skipped the Kiev for duck à l’orange: slices of pink breast and a confit leg which were both nicely tender, surrounded by a pool of syrupy sauce with a citrus kick.
Despite being mostly impressed by the menu, we thought that Vivi is too big for its own good – even when the restaurant was half full, it felt empty and a little cold, not unlike some of the other projects from catering company Rhubarb, which also runs the restaurants atop the Walkie Talkie.
It also isn’t cheap; several of the mains are priced north of £20, with accompanying sides all clocking in at just shy of a fiver, which we thought was pretty punchy given that our truffle and parmesan fries showed little evidence of either topping.
Nonetheless, a gorgeous dining room and very sweet staff are the real draws for Vivi, as is its versatility – the restaurant can cater to your every whim, serving food from lunch until dinner via afternoon tea, as well as bottomless brunch at the weekend.