Viva Espresso


date of visit: Wednesday 11 June 2014

I have worked in the CBD for almost five years now and never really written about my lunch (admittedly, someone writing about his/her lunch may be as interesting as the same person talking about their dreams …). When I worked full time I usually took my lunch (leftovers for the win!) and while I do now buy my lunch the two days I do work, I have been in something of a rut.

When I started a new job in December last year I had plans to explore new places but that never really got off the ground. However, one of my usual haunts has just put up the price of sandwiches AGAIN and I figure that $9 is far too much to be paying for the same old same old. Time to go hunting for something new.

Viva Espresso is only sort of new because it is actually very close to my work and where I head to buy my morning coffee. The coffee is excellent – I wouldn’t go back it if weren’t – and the staff are super friendly and efficient. You only have to be a repeat customer a few times before both your name and regular order are memorised. Even if there’s a bit of a coffee queue you don’t have to wait long (always important first thing in the morning).

I’d read some good things about the sandwiches so I figured that starting close to home was a good bet. The range of freshly made sandwiches at Viva is quite small (there’s a choice of about 6) but they all sound tasty and you get a choice of bread. I chose the beef and horseradish (with cheese, tomato, salad etc) option, on Turkish bread, partly because I love beef and horseradish but also in part because so often you get a really anaemic horseradish that you can barely taste.

The bad news is that the sandwich at Viva was $9.50, so I didn’t save myself any money. However, the sandwich was excellent. The horseradish had a good kick, the meat was moist and slightly pink and the salad and tomato was all fresh and crispy. I asked for the sandwich without mayonnaise and there was no mayo, so that’s also a big tick. The Turkish bread had good flavour (although I personally could have lived with more texture to it).

While I was waiting, someone near me was tucking in to the red lentil and vegetable soup and that looked amazing. It was a good size portion and that can also go on my lunch to-do list …

Viva also has a good range of sweet things and smaller savoury snacks so you’re well catered for, whatever you’re after.

If you are around Pirie Street, drop in for a coffee and make up your own mind!

Viva also roasts its own coffee and you can buy some to take home.

Viva Espresso
70 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: 08 8232 8545

Viva Espresso on Urbanspoon

Hotel Tivoli

Date of visit:  Friday 12 June 2009

By the time we tried to book for dinner at the Tiv Friday night was all full up.  No matter, in the long run, because we ended up eating at the excellent Farina.  That didn’t stop us heading there for a recce in the guise of a pre-dinner drink.

I remember the Tivoli as being a somewhat grotty live music establishment (and bikie hangout – so I’d never actually been) so I was interested to see what its recent refurb and transformation into a ‘gastropub’ had done for it.

We entered the bar just before 6 and it was already extremely busy.  Bar service itself was swift, although battering your way through the crowd took a little time and commitment.  The beer selection is standard (Coopers) although Asahi is also available on tap.  There are happy hour specials during the week as well as a Credit-Crunch Lunch.

The bar is decorated in a fairly generic modern pub manner, and while there are comfortable lounges (with tables) along the walls, seating is a little limited.  We were lucky enough to grab a table – but the lack of seats didn’t seem to bother most customers and there was definitely a lively (and noisy) feel to the place.  On a Friday it seems mostly frequented by office workers in their dress-down Friday gear.

The restaurant is hidden out the back – it’s not completely secluded from the bar and certainly some of the noise carries through.  The menu looks interesting enough for us to sneak back for a meal at a later (and almost certainly mid-week) date.

There wasn’t really anything that made the bar of the Tivoli stand out:  I certainly wouldn’t head here for an intimate tête à tête, but for a larger group or for a swift post work drink, it does the job.

Contact:  The Tivoli, 265 Pirie Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000, phone:  (08) 8223 4790.

Click to add a blog post for Hotel Tivoli on Zomato