Vivace

4 star rating 31 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 3022303

50 High Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

Cuisine:
  Mediterranean, Italian
Hours:
12 Noon to 10 PM (Mon-Fri), 5 PM to 10 PM (Saturday), Sunday Closed

Photos

Reviews for Vivace

5 star rating
by Arietta Yin
10 days ago

Amazing ambience here, perfect for a dinner date, with the restaurant next to the bar in the open space. You have to go up some stairs and through some curtains to find this amazing restaurant. Service was attentive and attuned to how attentive you wanted them to be, and the food was amazing.

Fish of the day ($36) was flaky blue warehou fillets on a bed of couscous and salad. I'm really picky when it comes to fish, especially since I'm used to extremely fresh and well cooked fish, but this restaurant impressed me! The chef is probably the first New Zealand one to cook the fish to perfection for my standards. The fish clearly tasted fresh and none of its natural taste was masked by herbs or copious amounts of oil. It was also just right, as overcooked fish can taste a bit rough rather than sleek smooth and tender. Amazing.

The great thing about this restaurant is you can opt for a large main or you can get several tapas (or both, if you have an appetite!). I tried out the chicken tulips with pepper, lime and ginger, and the kumara, chorizo and mozzarella with Parmesan aioli. Side note: that cheesy Parmesan aioli tasted really good with the blue warehou.

The chicken tulips ($13) were my next favourite. Tender and flavoursome with just the right amount of lime flavour, and on the bone, they were really good. It's like a fancy version of KFC that's a step up. Guaranteed to be a palatable favourite for all ages, and there's quite a lot for that dish.

The croquettes ($13) were so-so, I found them a little too spicy for my liking. I think croquettes should be mellow savoury affairs personally. However, the dish was most definitely excellent. The outside was crumbly and crispy and the insides golden with kumara and mozzarella. I think it was mostly the chorizo bits that were lending it the extra spice.

Overall, amazing food at prices that aren't too bad really. Come here for a chef who knows how to handle his fish.

4 star rating
by Eat Pray Love
18 days ago

Vivace is easy to miss if you're not looking. My sisters and I walked up and down High Street twice before we actually spotted the sign! The restaurant is upstairs from where the sign is, in a huge open space, with outdoor seating as well.

Staff are very friendly and efficient. We were greeted and seated straight away, with menu's handed out and the specials explained. The waiter also gave us wine recommendations, and was chatty and friendly.

For mains I ordered the chicken pizza, my sister ordered the prawn risotto and my other sister had the lamb. My pizza was delicious,with a light and crisp base, and toppings that worked well together. A bit low on the cheese factor but I have learnt to accept that at Italian places such as Vivace. My sisters risotto was creamy and well cooked as well. The lamb was delicious too, but the Italian food choices were the stars.

Would highly recommend Vivace!

5 star rating
by Fleur Peps
4 months ago

Hands down the best Italian food in Auckland. Every time I come here the service is fast / polite and the food is always fantastic. Can never fault them on anything. Have recommended to friends and colleagues for the last two years, end up coming here regularly and the quality is consistent. Don't change a thing Vivace! I <3 you!

5 star rating
by Tim Sato-Thompson
5 months ago

We had not been to Vivace for a couple of years. Was excellent then and is still excellent. We opted to share a bunch of tapas. The scallops were a standout and the hummus was terrific. The pizzette crust was thin and crispy (just the way I like it). The croquettes were a little bland, but that did not stop me mopping up the sauce they were in with a piece of bread.

Service was outstanding. The staff are obviously familiar with things and were able to answer any questions that we had. Food arrived in a very timely fashion and everything was very well presented.

The desserts were also great. The pav was fascinating to look at (had all of us wondering how on earth they did it) and was enjoyed. My chocolate tart was just the right balance of flavours and the apple crumble cheesecake has to be seen to believe.

Cannot recommend Vivace enough. Given the quality of everything (food, service) this place is seriously excellent value for money.

4 star rating
by Lillian
6 months ago

Great service and huge airy space makes a great atmosphere.
I have been here for drinks and a couple of dinners last year but this time we wanted to go for tapas.
3 of us had the duck pizza, and 4 tapas (beef carpaccio, popcorn prawn, lamb ribs, scallops) + the vege side dish.
All the dishes were good/adequate, but not amazing, so thought the prices were a bit pricy.
We also had their $8 mocktail which again was nice but not amazing.

4 star rating
by Loved By Katie
7 months ago

We were craving for pizza & pasta and we went to Vivace as we enjoyed our last dining here. We had to send our coke back as it did not have any fizz in it. The waiter was very sorry and we were served with a perfect one immediately. Rigatoni w roast chicken ($28) tasted amazing with just extra olive oil for sauce. Simple and delicate. Toasted breadcrumbs were an interesting addition to this pasta which we really enjoyed. However Classic pepparoni ($20) was a bit of a disaster. The dough was very dry and hard that we nearly broke our dish while cutting it to pieces. We remembered that we had the same pizza last time when we were here which was a shame. Spaghetti w chilli & lime marinated prawns ($28) were gorgeous too. Just the right amount of chilli and prawns were served along with tangy and full flavours. Maybe just stick to pastas?

Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/vivace-city.html for more photos and stories.

5 star rating
by Angie
8 months ago

Love this place! Food is gorgeous and service is great. Highly recommend if you want a cool atmosphere. Have been coming here for years and still can't resist ordering the kumera gnocchi - sooooo good. Our fav restaurant in Auckland :)

4 star rating
by Food Dilemma
10 months ago

Went here for dinner before a show at the Civic. Its a great open space, wooden floors and racks of wine everywhere. They have a few private dining rooms as well.

The service was efficient. They bought water quickly and came to take both our drinks and food orders quickly as well. Us girls opted to share a few tapas and the boys both went with a fish of the day main. They also do pasta and pizza but we did not try them on this occasion. The tapas were excellent. I am still thinking about the empanadas, simply devine.

The fish of the day was tuna. My husband queried when ordering if it was just seared i.e raw in the middle. He was told it was so was most disappointed when it arrived cooked through. He told the waitress and it was taken away no questions asked. A new dish came out about 5 mins later and was perfect. So very happy how this was dealt with.

The wine list is long and there is reasonably priced options. This place has something for everyone.

5 star rating
by Shiree F
Jul 29, 2013

I go to Vivace quite regularly, favourite restaurant to eat at in Auckland. The tapas are fantastic, namely the haloumi and meatballs, the pepperoni pizzette is fantastic, coming from someone whose stomach usually turns at the idea of pepperoni. I have sampled most of the main courses which are all fantastic, the specials are always good and the fish of the day is always fresh and tasty. They have great friendly staff who greet me with a smile every time, and make it a pleasure to return which I will be doing soon :)

5 star rating
by Lyn Woodley
Jul 22, 2013

We went to Vivace before the film festival and loved it. The tapas were great and the service was even better.

5 star rating
by Alice Emmett
May 23, 2013

I love Vivace! The vibe is great, and the food is delicious! I also am grateful that they have a gluten free menu and the staff are knowledgeable about how important preparation is for coeliacs to avoid cross-contamination - makes it so much nicer to relax and enjoy your meal. The tapas are so good - particularly the haloumi and the chicken tulips. One of the best places to dine in the CBD.

3 star rating
by Navin
May 11, 2013

Overall 3/5
Food 2/5
Service 4/5
Great customer service and ambience, food for the price was less ten average. $32 could have gotten me a much better lamb shank elsewhere. Overall not a bad place to host an event.

5 star rating
by K-Lee Pafalani
Mar 17, 2013

Two thumbs up to Vivace for delicious food, yummy cocktails and super awesome service . Myself, my sister and our friend had tapas and drinks on the balcony last night 16-3-2013, this was our first time dining there and we totally enjoyed our experience, we will definitely be back! And also a big thank you and 3 high-5's to James who was the perfect waiter, now that's what you call awesome service :)

3 star rating
by Thoughtful Reviewer
Nov 24, 2012

Vivace is one of the long standing High Street inhabitants. I was with a group of 10, and wanted to see how the restaurant stacks up on a Friday night with a large table. It’s a surprisingly large venue, with vaulted wooden ceilings, a balcony area over High St, plenty of indoor seating, private rooms, a separate bar area and an outside courtyard. The reception and initial services was very friendly and courteous. I hate being packed in when eating with a larger entourage, but we had plenty of room at our table in a mostly full restaurant. So far so good.
The group mostly ordered shared plates from the Tapas menu. Those that I tried – including mozzarella and goats cheese balls, grilled haloumi, calamari, and the bread and dips were all tasty and well presented. Everyone at the table commented favourably on their own selections. My previous experience at Vivace ordering mains was that they were basic and under-whelming, however the couple that selected them on this occasion were happy with what they chose. The pizzettes were generous, though rather over-endowed with cheese, to the extent that one was sent back, and it was happily replaced with one that was just right.
I didn’t have a dessert on this occasion, several were ordered by others and they were all eaten up with haste.
The service was always very friendly and started very well, but slowly faded through the night, making it hard for us to order a last round of drinks, and leaving us with a 25 minute wait to be able to order desserts. Side note: Why does this happen in Auckland restaurants? Keep up the positive attention consistently through to when you farewell me from the premises, that is the way to give a great experience.
I’ve been coming to this restaurant for many years, and I believe it is many years since the menu has changed. I’m talking 3 or 4 years at least, but it could be more. I think it’s a bad sign when a restaurant doesn’t innovate. Sure, keep some favourites, but give the chef a change to impress me, or at least give me a reason to come back.
Vivace is mostly competent but inconsistent, it lets itself down in several areas. Update the menu, keep the service consistent, and Vivace could become an icon of High Street.
3 stars from the ThoughtfulReviewer.com

2 star rating
by Richard Delaney
Oct 02, 2012

Last Thursday 27th Sept 2012 a group of us (8) went to Vivace for a farewell lunch. I was extremely disappointed in the level of service we received. When we arrived we were not even given the courtesy of being shown to our table. Instead the woman at the arrival desk just pointed and said "there's your table over there". Just appalling. We were not told of any specials for the day and at one point the waitress threw the dessert menu across the table to one of my colleagues and kept leaning across the other side of the table when she should have walked around to that side.
Not up to the standard I would expect from a restaurant of this quality and considering we spent nearly $700. Will not go back which is a shame considering I have eaten there several times. Wake up Vivace!

5 star rating
by Sinead O\'Connell
Sep 26, 2012

Been here a lot now since this is our new favourite. Great layout very big place.always the right temperature also with an outdoor area for smokers, vivace has an indoor fire pit. Service has always been perfect, friendly staff who respond to the customers needs with experience. The food here is Devine the kumera gnocchi is a fab and once when they had an optional set dinner menu I had a potatoe gnocchi that blew my socks off too, they are amazing with their pastas and have always cooked my steak to medium rare like I ask. Large portions of mains I can't always finish them. Never been as part of a big group just 2-4 of us. I have never been disappointed by anything at vivace and can't wait to have a function here.

4 star rating
by Patrick Johnson
Sep 12, 2012

Was bought here by banking clients when I first moved to AKL - first thought as saw the old staircase was that clearly I wasn't seen as an A list client as looked a bit dodgy from street. Completely wrong and was blown away by the slick but friendly staff, nice mix of people from old suits to the young & hip corporate types.
Discovered this is where these guys came when they wanted to feel relaxed while having a business lunch. They don't take bookings at lunch unless you are with a big group but there seemed to be plenty of space & the group I was with never left the high bar tables in the bar. We shared tapas - all good & a few nice small weird beers and loved the crazy Scottish waitress. Will be back

3 star rating
by Andy
Aug 16, 2012

Had the Scallop and Chorizo hot tapas as entree which was OK. The Moroccan Lamb Pie main was spicey hot but the lamb was tough and the pastry horrible. The Tiramasu Cheescake dessert was nice.
We went with a big group and the single waitress seemed to take ages to take orders etc

4 star rating
by Kathryn Adams
Jun 22, 2012

We really enjoyed our dining experience here. Tapas were fantastic as a shared starter. Highly recommend the goats cheese and mozzarella balls and lambs ribs! Timing was really good with the food coming out for quite a busy Friday night. My one and only downside about the evening was that we booked a table earlier in the day and when we arrived we had to wait at the bar for 30mins after our reservation time. Feeling slightly pressured to buy multiple drinks at the bar instead of being seated. All in all a great night

4 star rating
by Al Kumar
Jun 16, 2012

Candles Candles and lots of Candles, WOW...love the atmosphere walking up the staircase opening the curtains and your mood will surely change..my wife and I were greeted by a friendly gentleman at the counter who took us to our table, next to the fire place. The place was a little noisy as there was a function happening, but that didn't stop us from enjoying fine food and hospitality of the staff. Chicken tulips and Soy & Sesame Prawns for entrée we asked the chef to make then spicy to warm us up and it turned out to be an awesome dish must try if you love spicy food..mains where again mouthwatering I had fish of the day which was Snapper and my wife had Chicken fillets ...Although the restaurant was very busy on the bar end, we were taken care off all the way to the end, very attentive and friendly staff..there was a small wait but that was expected when there are more guest then expected.. Definitely coming back again with friends this time...great place to mingle with friends or a nice romantic dinner...Vivace caters for everyone..

4 star rating
by Andy Gibson
Jun 03, 2012

been here quite a few times. always good food. had a work function in one of their private rooms which was a really nice space. excellent service. the main inside area has quite bad acoustics conversation-wise. beautiful sunny lunch spots on the deck too. the kumara gnocchi was really beautiful.

5 star rating
by Victoria
Feb 25, 2012

One of my favorite city centre eateries. Went again recently with a big group . Fantastic food service and atmosphere always packed as a result!

This is somewhere I have been going to for a long time and over time it keeps improving. The food is quick tasty and varied. The kitchen is open so you can see the chef at work. Service is always top notch.

4 star rating
by Robin Murray-Leslie
Jul 28, 2011

Thoroughly recommend the wine room for small party.

Great tapas and well trained staff.

Will go again.

3 star rating
by William Lockie
Jul 03, 2011

Very cool restaurant with several dinning areas. Great selection of food and all reasonably priced. Really awesome gnocchi! Have also been just for desert as it is open late. Well worth a visit!

1 star rating
by Emma
Apr 13, 2011

Given a one star rating due to 2 out of the 4 of us firstly sending both of their Veal mains back because they tasted very bland and overcooked, secondly because what one of those meals was replaced with was the chicken risotto which tasted like a campbells chicken soup tin recipe. I could make much nicer food at home. Thirdly on leaving one of us wanted to give $5 more contribution to the bill which the 'man' behind the counter was totally confused about and then blamed us for there being a queue because HE had got confused. Used to be a good place, is no longer I'm afraid. Much better places out there!

2 star rating
by Julie Schooler
Sep 13, 2010

Went to Vivace on Friday night with a small group of friends.
The food is not absolutely amazing, but good portions and tasty enough.
The wait staff were attentative and friendly.
The main issue with Vivace is their tendency to add a few extra drinks onto the bill. This happened years ago when I went here and then again on Friday night. We caught them out on it on Friday night, and there wasn't even a real apology.
I am certain that they do it deliberately and often get away with it.
So this is a warning - especially if you are in big groups with a number of drinks being ordered - check your bill carefully.

4 star rating
by Ester
Sep 29, 2009

We had a really lovely dinner here, the food was lovely, market fish - not something I would normally order. the wine list is truely amazing and the service was friendly, very attentive and non intrusive. Definately helped make the night of our engagement a truely special evening.

4 star rating
by Tina Ah Chee
Jul 23, 2009

Food is consistently good here, the wait staff are exceptional, they know us and are always friendly, but not intrusive.

We love the tapas as it suits the group that we dine with, which can be 2 to 10 people. The variety of tapas is good and the cannelloni is great also! Sometimes wish they would have a specials menu to expand the tapas as we end up having the same old things everytime.But they are good same old things.

I'd recommend this restaurant, it's casual, friendly, buzzy with good food.

5 star rating
by Bobby Shen
Jul 08, 2009

I held a birthday dinner with 14 friends, booking was very smooth, and I was able to ask them how it was to be arranged. The people were always very helpful.

Food was excellent, everyone enjoyed their meal. Service was exceptional, if they keep up the high care they pay to serving their customers I will definitely be back. The place was nice, if a bit dark (hard to read menu).

There was a $15 cake fee which was unexpected but they did a good job of slicing and serving on plates with some cream and raspberry sauce.

Very good experience, will be back.

5 star rating
by Sara
Jun 22, 2009

I've been here so many times and have never been disappointed! Any time I want somewhere NICE to bring someone, especially out of towners.
Go for the belly pork entree and the individual pavs for dessert. OMG, it's all good to be honest.
I even used one of their function rooms for my birthday last year. I love their food, the atmosphere, and if I could find out HOW they train their staff so well, I would bottle it!

5 star rating
by Louise Young
Mar 27, 2009

Very difficult to be disappointed here - consistently excellent and interesting. I've been going here since they were in Vulcan Lane, take all my overseas visitors and recommend it to everyone. Everyone loves it.