Down the charming California Laneway in Fortitude Valley, new restaurant Viva La Cali has burst onto the scene with bright and refreshing Latin-Fusion flavours. On 5 June, they opened their doors for the first time and welcomed guests into the cozy, softly-lit space.

The chef presented six small courses alongside a collection of exciting specialised cocktails. The menu included Guacamole, Polo Popcorn, Beef Carnitas, Street Corn, and Mushurban Valley Mushroom. The flavours were distinctly Latin and included fresh pops of pineapple, aji verde, and smoked cream. These sauces and dips were a dazzling standout. I soaked up every drop from every plate I was delivered. The food was rounded off with a unique Spiced Mango and Tajin Viva La Top Deck that was an unexpected favourite as a savoury lover. The Top Deck was fiery and delicate, with unexpected and refreshing flavours for a dessert.

Even if you’ve dined elsewhere, Viva La Cali is definitely worth the trip for the drinks alone. Spicy notes were carried through from their food to delicious cocktails like the Viva La Margarita and the Spiced Pear Margarita. The Pablo Cacao was also a highlight, especially if you can handle hot, tangy flavours. I would go back just to revisit some of the drinks and discover new ones.

The ambiance was warm and vibrant, with outdoor and undercover dining options available. The excellent and attentive service staff also added to the welcoming atmosphere. It was easy to lose a couple of hours in Viva La Cali, sipping on flavourful cocktails and delectable dishes.

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