Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, Tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. And don’t be afraid to fall in love. 

Most of all, live in the moment.

This is the proud and vibrant philosophy of the owners of Vivante – Living Life, a fairy new kid in the Cavendish eating scene. The spot used to belong to JB Rivers – a good old favourite in the trendy Southern Suburbs Cape Town Mall. Sometimes it’s hard saying good bye to an eatery we’ve come to love, but after my first visit to Vivante I feel more than assured that I have a new one more than worthy of taking its place.


After a very warm welcome by several of the staff, I made sure to start the experience off the right way – with a glass of L’Ormarins bubbles.

When trying a restaurant for the first time, I’m often faced with a dilemma: I want to sample a variety of what they have to offer, but this is often not possible with a limited stomach size and budget. I’d brought along local photographer Jay Badenhorst, and so we decided to share four different tapas for lunch – the perfect decision!

Taking tapas meant we were able to sample a variety of Vivante’s offerings: we selected crispy pork belly squares, aubergine chips with honey & feta, sweet bacon wrapped chicken rolls, short rib beef bitterballen. What a feast – not only was it an affordable option, but we were also rather full afterwards.


In fact, so full that for dessert, the best we could manage was sharing a piece of Coco Chanel cake: moist, rich, dark chocolate cake with chocolate cream-cheese frosting and Lindt chocolate truffles. This cake is the brain child of The Velvet Cake Company in Cape Town, and is worth very bite!

Unlike many mall restaurants, Vivante is spaciously appointed, which means we felt like we had enough space and privacy, but set in a social context. The chic interior design blends artistic tiles, mirrors and dark wood for an elegant finish. Their in-house partnership with Bootlegger means you’ll always be served a good cuppa. Thanks to the Vivante team for a 5 star experience!

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