I’m not a morning person by any means and sometimes the only thing that will get me out of bed before 11:00 on the weekends is the promise of bacon and eggs. After 4 years together, my longer-suffering boyfriend knows this all too well and as a result, our Saturday brunches have become somewhat of a weekly ritual. This past Saturday we decided to move our regular Saturday brunch to a cosy spot in Claremont’s Cavendish Square. I’m not usually a big fan of restaurants in shopping malls (there’s just something about them that scream “cheesy franchise”), so I tend to steer clear of them most of the time. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and Vivante is one of them. With beautifully chic decor, a menu to salivate over, and friendly staff, Vivante certainly aims to impress and there’s no doubt this often over-looked gem offers brunch at its best.

Every good brunch starts with a delicious cup of coffee, pot of tea, or glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice and with coffee from Bootleggers, a wide selection of loose leaf teas, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices all on offer you’ll be spoiled for choice at Vivante. I enjoyed a beetroot and apple juice while the boyfriend chugged down an extra large Bootleggers cappuccino. Now wide awake it was time to eat and after much deliberation (everything sounded so good!) I finally decided on the Vivante Benedict with streaky bacon (R82). Served on your choice of bread topped with 2 poached eggs, mixed grilled mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes the Vivante Benedict is an excellent choice if you have a healthy appetite in the mornings. It was beyond yummy and my eggs were cooked just the way I like them – soft but not too runny. The Benedict can also be enjoyed with Smoked Salmon (R98) or Spinach & Feta (R92) instead of bacon.

Vivante Brunch

Chic cafe-style dining at Vivante.

Vivante Brunch

The Vivante Benedict with bacon.

Always one for a good deal, the boyfriend decided on the Vivante Mini breakfast but at just R38 for a generous serving of 2 eggs, your choice of toast, streaky bacon (or macon), and roasted cherry tomatoes can you blame him? You can also add boerewors to the breakfast for R20, which is a must if you’re a little more on the hungry side. The boyfriend opted for the added boerewors which brought his breakfast to a still super impressive R58. The mini breakfast is a great choice if you’re looking for a quick bite or something simple and uncomplicated. It’s great value for money and will leave you suitably satisfied. Another great choice for the not-so-hungry would be the Hot Cakes from Heaven (Fried fluffy Ricotta hotcakes served with streaky Bacon or Macon, grilled banana and honeycomb butter – R32). I didn’t get the chance to sample this dish but I’m definitely going back for it this weekend!

We were a little bit naughty after our brunch and, based on a recommendation from our waiter, decided to indulge in dessert (being a responsible adult means you can have dessert at breakfast time). The boyfriend and I shared a platter of Vivante Churros with chocolate dipping sauce and a side order of ice cream. I am obsessed with Churros and the Vivante version is perfect for sharing with a buddy. Instead of the usual thick, fat variety, Vivante’s Churros are thin, bite-sized morsels that are much easier to eat with your hands. I loved dipping it in the chocolate sauce and then pairing it with a spoon of vanilla ice cream for a decadent mouthful. These tapas-style Churros are a must-try when you visit the restaurant but I couldn’t find them on the menu so you’ll have to give your waiter a bit of a *nudge nudge* *wink wink* when you visit to try them.

Vivante Brunch

Vivante Mini breakfast – just R38!

Vivante Brunch

Vivante Churros – don’t forget to leave space for dessert.

We left Vivante full to the brim and instead of leaving immediately we took a stroll around the mall to give our food time to settle. Nothing helps settle the ridiculously large meal you just wolfed down like a stroll through Woolies! This little shopping mall gem has definitely changed my view on shopping mall restaurants and, in fact, I’m even planning on going back soon to try out their tapas and main meal menu. The spot is also the perfect place to leave the boyfriend or husband to enjoy a beer and a bite next time you drag him to the mall with you.

Find Vivante at shop G30, Cavendish Square Shopping Centre, Dreyer Road, Claremont. The restaurant is open Monday to Sunday 8:00 – 22:00. To see the full menu visit their website and don’t forget to say Hi to Vivante on Facebook to keep up with the latest news and specials.