Viv's Boutique Cafe @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

March 24, 2015

Tucked on one of TTDI's less-travelled rows, Viv's showcases some vivid ideas in its bid to be a distinctive dining destination.

Viv's exudes an eccentric spirit of East-West experimentation, captioned by recipes like this salmon, subtly mango-flavoured & paired with pumpkin puree, sesame mashed potato & butter-glazed veggies. The most memorable part of this well-prepared ensemble: A smooth, savoury unagi reduction, somewhat like a thick teriyaki sauce that's rich with the taste of eel. RM39.90+.

Japanese influences come unconcealed in Viv's bento (RM20.90+), but there's more to this box than meets the eye; the garlic fried rice, veggies & watermelon slices seem typical, but the chicken's decidedly Chinese, evocative of a Kung Pao interpretation, tinged with dried chillies. Bonus: Viv's unique unagi sauce surfaces in the middle (plus, papadum on the side).

Europe collides again with Asia for the curried grilled prawn, sweet & creamy, mingled with Viv's rendition of ratatouille, served in striking fashion. RM15.90+.

Pleasure for pasta lovers: Mix & match a sauce with a choice of accompaniments. You can have a basic pesto, aglio olio, carbonara or pomodoro for RM13.90, then add on grilled chicken, beef salami, turkey ham, scallops, smoked salmon, mushrooms or veggies (prices vary for add-ons, mostly between RM5 to RM10). Note: Let the staff know if you want your pasta al dente or not.

In the end, our favourite at Viv's is likely this one - classic & uncomplicated, but completely fulfilling: Beef short ribs, fleshy & flavourful in kitchen-made BBQ sauce (not cloying or processed-tasting), with cherry tomato confit & garden veggies. RM42+.

Viv's setting seems built for dessert sessions: The speciality's the Chocolate Aquarium (RM18.90+), basically brownies chunks mixed with vanilla ice cream, though there are multiple other temptations like banana berry trifles, pancakes, crepes & cakes.

No reason to resort to plain water - Japanese yuzu sparkling sake (RM48) is available, but the better bet is Korean makgeolli (RM34), served unexpectedly in traditional bowls. Teetotalers can try a wholesome smoothie, comprising components like grapes, lemon, bananas, honey or mint (RM11.90). Many thanks to Viv's hard-working team for hosting this meal.

Viv's Boutique Cafe & Restaurant
16 Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-7733-7911

This restaurant is available for bookings under TABLEAPP, which enables customers to make instant reservations at Malaysia's top restaurants, while saving time and money in the process. Reserve your table at this restaurant by clicking here.

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