We had one of their set meals and chatted with the owner, Kitty. She was super enthusiastic about the different dishes they served here and it seemed like she’s always trying to innovate and bring some creative ideas to the table (badumtiss!). A lot of thought and dedication goes into seasonal dishes – particularly items that will ward off certain ailments – for example Spring allergies.
We started off our meal with Crispy Skin Duck – a staple at Chinese restaurants that I enjoy. The duck skin is served with tortilla wraps, scallions and hoisin sauce. For me personally, the crispier the skin, the more I enjoy this dish and this was perfectly crisp with that thin, delicious fat underneath and tender meat.
The Minced Fish Soup with Assorted vegetables was next – it’s nice to see Chinese soup with a bit of colour in it – especially with the neutral cucumbers in this particular soup.
Duck Meat and Nutlet with Lettuce Wrap – this is the second dish typically served with duck and also very tasty. At Vivacity there is much more going on in this dish than most places. With pine nuts, diced duck, Chinese sausage, carrots, green onions and even deep fried crispy wonton wrapper, this dish has a nice complexity and crunch.
Pan fried lobster and crab in special sauce – another popular Chinese dish – interesting to see both lobster and crab put together. Although the dish is fried, there is just a hint of batter so not to over do it. The crab and lobster are both nice and tender, with good snap to both.
Remember how I mentioned that certain dishes can aid with ailments? This was one that was highlighted to us – Deep fried meat and dry spare ribs. Due to my limited (but really non existent) Cantonese skills, I’m not entire sure as to why it would guard against allergies but hey, allergy season is back and I’ll welcome anything to get ward them off. The dish itself was good, small ribs chopped up and pan fried while needed very little sauce as it is good on it’s own.
Our next dish is a signature dish at Vivacity, the pan fried apricot mushroom with gai lan. I’m not entirely sure what an apricot mushroom is (or perhaps it was just badly translated – let me know mushroom fans) – but there has never been a mushroom that I did not enjoy (hmm..that sounds a tad off, but you know what I mean!). Mushrooms really absorb any sauce you put them in, which these ones did having a nice hint of sweet but salty taste to it. The gai lan is steamed and stir fried but still maintained a nice crispiness.
Deep fried and stir fried fish – What I enjoyed about this plate was the options. As much as I enjoy stir fried fish – especially with it being nicely tender here, I can’t say no to a deep fried option. That being said, it’d be nice to see a dipping sauce served with the fried fish.
Up next, the house special salty chicken. Nothing too remarkable about this dish – as it’s served in many places.
Pan fried traditional rice noodle – I loved this completely different noodle dish that came with our meal. It had a lot of things going on in the dish – different textures – but the flat rice noodles were my favourite. The dish had a slightly smokey taste to it and was a good way to round off the meal. Again, much more colourful with the addition of red pepper and green onions.
Finally dessert. We received these gelatinous fish with goji berries inside. It had a very, very mild taste to it.
We also had a plate of sesame balls and almond cookies. Most Chinese desserts are not overly sweet and I notice contain a variety of nuts (almond cookies, sesame balls, sweet nut soup, chestnut cake, etc…).
What I particularly enjoyed about Vivacity is the staple dishes in Chinese cuisine and the non-traditional ones are both quite good here. Although they offer these great dishes, the restaurant still feels personable and quite homely.
Disclaimer: My meal was comped but all opinions are my own.