Hong Kong – VIVE celebrates the opening of its new home in Gough Street, Central, expanding from a dedicated bespoke cakery into a daytime dining hot spot with wholesome offerings as beautiful as its Instaworthy signature confectionery.
An artfully curated menu spans brunch specialties, big plates, and small, coffees and creatives teas, as well as healthy, cooling thirst quenchers, all within a soothing space where metropolitan chic meets an inviting playground. VIVE’s beloved innovative cakes and other baked treats, ordered via an online concept store, can be collected from the counter at this tasteful new destination for grazing, sipping, and catching up with friends.
Enticing breakfast offerings, available any time during opening hours – morning to early evening – include the Australian brunch classic of Avocado Toast (HK$108) starring fresh local ingredients. Perfectly sliced creamy avocado, dressed with poached egg and rich hollandaise sauce resembling liquid gold, rests upon a bed of sautéed spinach, along with crispy bacon. The bearer of all this goodness is a generous slice of handmade artisan sourdough bread delivered warm and crisp daily from @little_field_hk.
An even more substantial morning wake-up is Rise and Shine (HK$168), a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom and cherry tomatoes with the protein boost bolstered by carbs in the form of waffle-cut hashbrowns. Granola Bowl (HK$78) provides a light, seasonal fruit-infused breakfast topped by whipped Greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds.
Moving beyond breakfast specialities, the menu offers ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ choices to appeal to varied appetites and times of day. Leading the ‘Big’ list is Uni Mentaiko (HK$228), a delicious wafu pasta with a velvety umami sauce made from mentaiko (pollock roe) and cream that envelops swirls of bucatini, creating a rich base for plump pan-seared scallop and sweet Hokkaido sea urchin. An angelic froth resembling satiny sea foam as well as edible flowers decorate the dish, adhering to VIVE’s hallmark of elegance and Instagram appeal.
Roasted Eggplant (HK$158) makes an attractive option for vegetarian and vegan diners. Evoking a pillowy melt-in-your-mouth texture, aubergine is embellished with creamy cauliflower, dense, nutty-flavored Brussels sprouts, and coconut couscous for a tropical touch that pairs well with the sweet rush of feathery pumpkin purée. The vibrant colors of the vegetables paint art on a plate.
Beef Tongue Sando (HK$178) is perfect for lunch for one or teatime sharing, as four squares of the tender beef tongue are sandwiched between soft bread. Tangy coleslaw brings texturized crunch, while the candied sweetness of caramelized onions is finished with a punch of mustard.
That pub classic of Fish & Chips (HK$148) is refined by using high-quality flaky New Zealand ling fillets that are lightly fried and paired with crisp but fluffy-in-the-middle French fries tossed in smoked paprika. The dish is garnished with dainty wisps of luminous forest-green vines for a graceful touch.
The ‘Small’ selection includes everyone’s sharing favorite of Fried Chicken Wings (HK$98), accompanied by dips of sweet chili or decadent truffle mayo. Tomato Salad (HK$108) sees the sweetness of peeled cherry tomatoes juxtaposed with piquant roasted beetroot and citrusy-sour orange vinaigrette; feta cheese and alfalfa complete this refreshing side. Yogurt cream cheese is smothered atop stuffed cucumber sticks for the inventive sharing plate of Cucumber Boats (HK$68).
Reverting to its sugary roots, VIVE innovatively befriends East and West with a well-rounded dessert menu. Fragrant Thai Milk Tea (HK$98) stars a slice of the cakery’s signature light and fluffy chiffon cake, drizzled with lush mascarpone cream and served with a generous pot of Thai milk tea-infused sauce. Pistachio Tiramisu (HK$98) takes a classic Italian dessert. It elevates it with ground pistachios folded into hand-whipped pistachio mascarpone cream that oozes between layers of homemade ladyfingers moistened by house-blend coffee. A delectable trio of sweets is completed by Banana Bread (HK$88), served with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of candied walnuts.
Young café culture aficionados can tuck into scrambled eggs on a hashbrown waffle – Egg and Waffle (HK$78) – while sipping Fresh Juice (HK$48) – a choice between apple and orange – or Babyccino (HK$38).
An in-house professional barista and a sleek state-of-the-art coffee machine cater to all caffeine preferences on an expansive list. Classic coffees including espresso, Americano and flat white are made flawlessly with the finest coffee beans masterfully grinded, brewed and frothed; while the smoothest cup comes from VIVE’s hand-drip coffee. Beans are seasonal, allowing regulars to try a new, unique flavour once each small batch is finished. The opening house blend is imbued with plum, pecan and dark chocolate notes from pickings on the slopes of Colombia, Ethiopia and El Salvador; these locally roasted beans are also available for purchase (HK$180, 250g).
The sipping spectrum is widened with non-coffee latte specialities of Uji Matcha, Hojicha and Chai (each priced HK$53/hot; HK$58/cold).
VIVE founder Vivien Lau is justifiably proud of her inventive Taiwanese tea menu, to which a renowned tea consultant has given his seal of approval. Delving into sacred brews of Asia and European classics, nine choices range from Uji Matcha Genmaicha (HK$68) with seaweed and rice cracker flavours and the refined herbal favourite of French Rose (HK$58), to woody, plum, floral Raw Puerh (HK$78) and the floral forest of White Peony (HK$68).
The chic café’s silky, peach-hued interiors are reflected in a duo of freshly made juices. Dose of Greens (HK$60), a smooth blend of spinach, celery, apple, pineapple and ginger, is rimmed with a dehydrated slice of pineapple, serenading diners to tropical paradise. Pink Dragon (HK$60) offers a richer, fruitier feel, combining mango, banana, dragon fruit and strawberry. Adding sparkle is long fizz-filled drink of Mindful Sparks (HK$45), a cooling buzz of yuzu genmaicha tea or passion fruit green tea.
VIVE at Gough Street is inspired by the whimsical forms of its celebrated cakes, with their surprising curved shapes that evoke moments of joy. Interspersed with blocks of stone, these undulating surfaces give an urban playground vibe that is softened by the soothing pastel palette. Occupying 700 sq. ft, it seats 14 people and offers an outdoor area for café hoppers to hang out with their paw friends.
“I am thrilled to present an exciting complete VIVE experience at our new concept in trendy Gough Street,” says founder Vivien Lau. “I have been waiting for this opportunity to complement our artisanal cake collections with wholesome dishes that look and taste divine, and specialist tea and coffee menus in a chic yet relaxed café culture ambience. It’s the perfect spot to while away the hours over enticing plates and cuppas with friends and family.”
Vive Cake Boutique was conceived in 2014 when Vivien Lau discovered her passion and talent for baking by chance as she set out to make a cake for a friend’s birthday. Named the “crème de la crème of Hong Kong’s bespoke dessert-makers”, she has accrued an enviable celebrity-client list including Aaron Kwok, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Selena Lee, Miki Yeung, Ella Koon, Myolie Wu and Rabeea Yeung.
VIVE, the new addition to the brand in April 2023 sees the introduction of daytime dining at G/F, 12 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong and opens daily from 9 am to 7 pm.
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