When you hear the name Viva Vino you’d probably think ‘Italy’. Italian food is one of worlds favourite and well known cuisine, and in a city like Bangkok it is everywhere. Still, every Italian restaurant shows different style and atmosphere, so let’s check out Viva Vino which is located on the ground floor of the Grand Mercure.
From outside the open space is what attracted our eyes, with its large glass windows surrounding almost the entire restaurant it’s way different from Italian trattoria’s you see in Italy. That’s why at first, it doesn’t seem to be an Italian restaurant based on the look. But the atmosphere inside makes all up for it. Our view was fronting the busy streets of Sukhumvit Soi 22. Because of the surrounding glass wall it was amusing to see all those cars and people passing by.
The venue has a casual ambience with cozy fabric decorations and lamps on the ceiling. The interior is mostly white with an all-black tiled floor and a blend of earthly tones in it. Some charming Italian live music and occasionally singing on the background were a nice extra to the ears.
Chef Francesco Greco
The new Italian Chef Francesco Greco welcomed us kindly and with humour. With his Italian accent makes the atmosphere even more Italian. He recommended us many items from his new menu he just created.
When speaking of Italian dishes, you immediately think… pizza! So we started with a thin crust ”Sariddu/Romana pizza” which was double topped. The Sariddu part with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parma ham, rocket and fresh cherry tomato. The Romana part with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham and mushroom. It’s ingredients seemed simple yet not disappointing at all. Yes its simplicity that did the trick. Also wood baked in a traditional clay pizza oven which cannot be overlooked when you enter the room.
Radicchio salad with shrimp tails, walnuts and balsamic lemon dressing
After this we were served a ”Radicchio salad with shrimp tails, walnuts and balsamic lemon dressing”. The balsamico lessened the bitterness of the radiccio which made it a pleasurable taste. A good light dish to start with, and would like recommend. Next we had a ”Cesar’s salad” prepared at the table with all the ingredients displayed, two types of cheese, anchovies, fresh garlic, olive oil, and bread croutons.
Taleggio cheese and fresh Italian sausage risotto with aged Modena’s balsamic and walnuts
”Taleggio cheese and fresh Italian sausage risotto with aged Modena’s balsamic and walnuts”. Compared to regular balsamic, the aged balsamic gave it a smoother taste and sweetness that goes along well with the cheesy flavour. Actually this risotto was one of the best I’ve tasted for awhile and cooked just right: not too soggy or too crisp.
Pumpkin dumplings in radicchio and fresh tuna sauce
We were also served ”Pumpkin dumplings in radicchio and fresh tuna sauce”. The dumplings had just small parts of radiccio and bigger pieces of sauteed onion. The dumplings was soft moist and chewy which was enhanced with the sweetness of the cubed tuna.
Pappardelle in porcini mushroom and artichoke sauce
The ”Pappardelle in porcini mushroom and artichoke sauce” was also a good choice. This plain and clean looking pasta is oven-baked in foil and cooking paper, an interesting cooking method and a nice presentation . The taste and the scent of fresh artichoke was apparent, it had a milder taste than the first two pasta dishes. Would of been better for a starting dish.
Pan seared beef tenderloin in porcini sauce, served with mash potato and roasted red chicory
The beef was Medium rare placed on toasted bread. It had a truffel mushroom sauce topping with thyme. The beef was a bit chewy but the sauce really enhanced the beef. Serving it with the bitter chicory gave it a more complex taste.
The two large tiger prawns that were served after this were roasted to perfection. Served with an eggplant and garlic timbale, light tomato sauce veoultee and fried sage it’s a good combination. That scent of the prawns was appealing and gave a sense of the sea.
We had more seafood waiting, ”Linguini with a mix of large mussels, clams and squid in white wine sauce”. This was a clean seasoned spaghetti which brought out the natural elements of each ingredient. Pure tastes and flavours.
Linguini with a mix of large mussels, clams and squid in white wine sauce
The dessert was a long wait, we had ”Strawberry Panna Cotta with black and white chocolate cake” together with a ”caramel custard served with fruit salad”.
For a venue like Viva Vino, great ambiance adding the new chef with his new menu, could work out really well!
Radicchio salad with shrimp tails, walnuts and lemon dressing 200.00
Cesar’s salad 240.00
Pappardelle in porcini mushroom and artichoke sauce, baked in a paper foil 510.00
Pumpkin dumplings in radicchio and fresh tuna sauce 190.00
Taleggio cheese and fresh sausage risotto with Modena’s balsamic and walnuts 420.00
Roasted tiger prawns, served with an eggplant and garlic timbale, tomato veoultee and fried sage 920.00
Pan seared beef tenderloin in porcini sauce, served with mash potato and roasted red chicory 850.00
Sariddu: Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parma ham, rocket, fresh cherry tomato 530.00
Romana: Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, mushroom 320.00
Linguini with seafood, your choice of tomato or white wine sauce 410.00
Strawberry Panna Cotta with black and white chocolate cake 195.00
Caramel custard served with fruit salad 125.00
Photo: Chotima Mai Jumpa Text: Fabiënne van Poppel
Viva Vino @ Grand Mercure
Park Avenue 30 Sukhumvit Road Soi 22 Klongtoey Bangkok 10110