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Vivo Cafe

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Most of us know that 'vivo' translates into English as 'life' - and it's no accident that Vivo Café Group's CEO and founder, Angela Vithoulkas, is a zestful and delightfully lively front person.

Her CV includes her award as 2007 NSW Telstra Business Women's Owner of the Year and she is an entertaining and in-demand speaker. On her website she describes herself as "a natural connector".

As a great fan of what she has accomplished, little wonder then that recently when she invited my partner and me to attend an out of hours menu-tasting at Vivo Café in the city centre, we jumped at the chance. The opportunity to meet some of Sydney's top food-bloggers was yet another drawcard. 

Angela, herself has adopted Social Media with gusto, and has a Facebook page, a blog, and she tweets under her dual 'personalities', delighting in exhibiting her 'dark' or sunny side according to her whim.

But back to Vivo. By day this busy city café is a hub for professionals from the adjoining office blocks and its sunny courtyard and relaxed indoor dining is hugely favoured for everything from a quick breakfast or coffee, to the longer 'business' lunch, or after-work drinks.

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But we (along with @bellyrumbles @frombecca @SimonLeong and @AskTonyFood, to use their Twitter names) were there for some more serious business.

Angela had arranged for us all to - quite literally - eat our way through the cafés menus, beginning with slider-sized samples of Vivo's iconic burgers, outside under the super-efficient heat-lamps, along with drinks. Platters of wagyu burgers with caramelised onion, Portuguese chicken, Thai chicken, grilled barramundi (my fave) and Aussie steak burger with an egg on top were quickly demolished. OK, we were hungry at that point!

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Later we were groaning as dish after dish arrived, culminating (I am told - we'd left, defeated by then) by biscotti and martinis.

But first we had breakfast. Yes, really! Spanish coddled eggs with chorizo, breakfast bruschetta, a 'green' breakfast of avocado, pesto, and spinach on sourdough with a poached egg (yum!), and parmesan scrambled eggs were delivered. All this to a background of light and chilled jazz from guitarist Cameron Jones and vocalist Crystal Barecca. Vivo is known for its live jazz on Friday afternoons and this was an extension of it, and much appreciated.

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Following this we were served shots of Vivo's justly famous non-alcoholic drinks - homemade lemonade, a crunchy peanut butter milkshake (rich-as, but surprisingly addictive) a mango lime smoothie and iced lemongrass tea.

But we were not finished yet. Salads were next - grilled Atlantic salmon, Thai beef, warm chicken and pumpkin, Vietnamese chicken, and grilled haloumi and roasted veggies. "We have to cater to a range of 'diets' and food sensitivities," says Angela, and she is proud that the diversity of the menu allows this.

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Mains follow a similar brief, and it's obvious almost any combo of likes, dislikes and needs can be accommodated by the dishes offered. Prawn linguine, chicken leek and pea risotto, Mediterranean roast vegetable penne and crispy skin chicken with chilli, gave those of us who still had the stamina to continue yet another reason to see why this place works so well.

As my fellow diners snapped and tweeted their way through the meal, I realised just what was happening here.

Location, location, location may be the old recipe for business success, but it seems that Angela Vithoulkas and her vibrant Vivo café group may have added a new slogan.

Cooperation, collaboration and communication now seems to be the key.

Vivo Café, 388 George St, Sydney, 02 9221 1169, www.vivocafe.com.au

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Comments  

 
0 #4 So are wesallyh 2011-05-20 16:47
Know what you mean!
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0 #3 Thankssallyh 2011-05-20 16:46
Thanks, but we were very impressed with yours too.
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0 #2 Still fullSimonFoodFavourites 2011-05-20 15:55
i think i'm still feeling full from all those dishes :-)
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0 #1 Thanks for sharing - great photographyTony Hollingsworth 2011-05-20 15:44
Great to meet you guys - Mr @ARFGuide 's photography is a standout - exceptionally good photos. I'll have to wave a tissue around more for that light control from now on ;-)
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