I’ve always associated Vivat Bacchus with client entertainment. It seemed like the type of place to take suits, lawyer-types, or any carnivorous person for a little corporate card spendage. So when I got an invite to try their Farringdon branch, I called up suit-avert B for the mickey.
With roots hailing from South Africa, Vivat Bacchus is known for their grilled meats, wine and cheese.
Both branches have their own wine cellar. Their wine list – with gems from South Africa and the finest Bordeaux reds – is impressive, actually, and they sell it to go. You can actually buy wine from the restaurant and they can offer up to 50% off the list price. They also have a wine club which hosts events on Mondays.
I went inside the cheese room and wanted to devour everything! There’s a good selection of regional European cheese and accompaniments like chutneys, marmalades, and fruit.
The decor is rather industrial and unpretentious. It’s casual but not overly so, business but not stuffy.
After perusing the rather impressive wine list, B and I opted for 2015 rosés.
I went for the South African Circumstance Cape Coral (£7.25) whilst B went for the Domain Delaporte Sancerre (£9.25). The former is rather dry but refreshing, the former is a bit sweeter and Pinot Noir based.
But let’s get on to the food.
First to arrive was a starter of sautéed forest mushrooms on toasted sourdough (£7.50). Served with a beautifully poached duck egg (which I didn’t eat of course), it’s a classic favourite. I thought it needed a bit of acidity to amplify the earthiness of the ‘shrooms, though.
If you follow me on Instagram and seen my Instagram Stories, chances are you already know how much I adored the burrata di Puglia (£7.75) with an extra serving of Serrano ham. The cheese was just creamy and delicious. The ham was of good quality and added a good dose of saltiness. It was so simple, but absolutely delicious!
B opted for the Iberico pork chop (£21.50). Served with a side salad and triple cooked chips, this was a real treat. The chop may have been small at 180g but damn it, the flavour was so good. Perfectly cooked, I honestly could care less if it were the only thing on the board. Major food envy.
I was all up for the crocodile burger but chickened out… and ordered the seabass with brown shrimp and cucumber dressing (£17.80). I liked the taste of the fish for it was well seasoned. However, I thought the accompanying shaved kohlrabi and apple salad didn’t really complement it. It was a bit too watery and bland, which put me off a bit.
Also on the side, some French beans and extra chips (£3.50 each). I thought the beans were slightly overcooked but the chips were decent.
B’s mango panna cotta (£5) was quite disappointing. There was a bit too much compote and a bit too much of the Graham Beck brut which offset the vanilla and made it a bit too bittersweet.
On the other hand, my ice cream sundae (£6.50) was good. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it got me nostalgic. I mean come on, vanilla, chocolate fudge sauce, butterscotch? Isn’t that what feel-good desserts are made of? I wish the choccy was hot fudge, though. Mmmm.
Overall, I think Vivat Bacchus is decent enough for vino libations and cheese pairings. In terms of ambience, it’s totally unpretentious and quite relaxed. Perhaps due to its location, the vibe is a bit more after-office corporate type of drinks. It would definitely be a place I’d bring clients to, but also a place I’d take some friends out for wine and cheese. Food is okay, but with a bit of care, the exciting menu can be fantastic. Service was decent.
Go for the wine and for the cheese. I’d happily come back for that burrata.
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47 Farringdon St, London EC4A 4LL
Our meal was complimentary but ave spend pp is £40