Calling All Meat Lovers – Viva!'s Churrasco Brunch Has It All

By Sophie Steiner, March 24, 2023

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André Zhou, a Portuguese native, moved back to his parents’ home country of China 16 years ago, opening up Viva! Portuguese Grills & Seafood on Weihai Lu in 2014 to introduce Shanghai to the flavors of Iberia.

Enjoying success, he expanded Viva! to a second location on Wuding Lu in March 2022… and we all know what happened next. Sadly, COVID took its toll, and the original Viva! on Weihai Lu was forced to shut down. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

But André powered on, pouring his heart and soul into this passion project, one that extends far beyond merely sharing Portuguese cuisine with guests; from culture to design to history to flavors – and, of course, that famous hospitality – he aims to bring the true essence of Portugal to Shanghai. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

With an expansive menu showcasing a reimagined version of Portugal’s “grandma-style” cuisine – one built around home-cooked comfort eats that span land, sea and air – we first decided to check out Viva!’s famed brunch... then immediately vowed to return for lunch and dinner after just our first few bites. 

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Brunch at Viva! is a lively affair, running from noon to 4pm on weekends. Saturday is all about the seafood with Prawns (RMB135/half kilo), Brown Crab Mousse (RMB120),and Portugal Atlantic Coast Style Seafood Platters (RMB380) on offer. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

But what piqued our attention was the meat – a Sunday Churrasco Brunch Combo (RMB248) in particular, with open-grilled piri-piri chicken, fat-pleated Iberian pork ribs, chorizo sausage (with that signature snap) and fries.

In true Portuguese weekend style, proteins take center stage – roasted over open flames. The platter is ideal for sharing with 3-4 friends, each delectable bite of meat slathered in a fiery churrasco sauce made from blended chilis, garlic and lemon that provides a fresh heat. 

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And, because it’s Shanghai, there is a four-hour brunch free flow drinks option for just RMB198, that includes imported Super Bock draft beer (Portuguese national lager), Portuguese house wine, red and white sangria, house mixers, Aperol spritz, soft drinks, juice, tea and coffee.

That comes out to less than 50 kuai an hour, making it one of the best free flow deals in town – so drink up! 

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Aside from the platters, a number of other menu classics from Viva!’s original location are worth their weight, including the Steamed Clams (RMB68). 

They come in a Bulhão Pato sauce, made from olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and vinho verde – a type of Portuguese “green wine” so named because the wine is released just 3-6 months after the grapes are harvested, when they are still young – or green. 

The wine is slightly effervescent due to malolactic fermentation that takes place in the bottle, adding an earthiness to the dish that is complimented by the clams’ natural oceanic salinity. 

DSC03975.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

André worked with consulting chef Paulo Quaresma to showcase authentic Portuguese flavors displayed in contemporary way. Case in point, the Portuguese style Octopus Stew “Torn Apart” (RMB128).

This homely dish is usually simmered for hours, occasionally stirred by the matriarch of the household, before it’s served in heaping quantities to the entire family. 

Viva! offers those same flavors, but deconstructed, with more avant-garde plating; dollops of white bean purée are interspersed with roasted carrots, fresh herb sauce and a lashing of bell pepper tomato coulis, all adorned with crispy octopus tentacles. 

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Similarly, instead of a heaping scoop of the layered-lasagna like Portuguese Duck Rice (RMB98), Chef Paulo dices the chorizo, ensuring diners enjoy the flavors in every bite, with fall-off-the-bone duck breast and thigh perched atop the seasoned rice. 

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The crispy Crab Cake (RMB98) offers a stellar crab-to-breading ratio, so diners enjoy mouthfuls of shredded crab meat in each bite, juxtaposed against a fresh mango and avocado salad laced with port wine gel. 

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A timeless classic that requires no reimagining, the Garlic Oil Shrimp (RMB98) sees succulent mini lobster tail-sized, wild caught Argentinian prawns flash-fried in garlic-laden oil, sprinkled with fresh herbs. 

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New to the menu, there’s also the plancha-seared Salmon Fillet (RMB128), presented alongside a black squid ink rice patty with a bell pepper salad, asparagus and a fresh and herbaceous cream.

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Another new introduction, the Seared Lamb Loin (RMB148) is served with homemade harissa sauce, mint lime couscous and roasted eggplant purée. 

DSC04062.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

For a sweet finish, we suggest the Caramelized Pineapple (RMB68) with Grand Marnier sauce and coconut ice cream… 

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… or a trio of typical Portuguese desserts – Chocolate Mousse (RMB35), Serradura (RMB35) – a biscuit mousse pudding – and Mango Mousse (RMB48)

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Finally, because even brunch requires a digestif these days, the White Port & Olive Lemonade (RMB68) is perfect for the warm spring and summer days ahead, a slightly effervescent and refreshing sipper that finishes with an aromatic briny pop.

Viva!479-1 Wuding Lu, by Shaanxi Bei Lu 武定路479-1号,近陕西北路.

Brunch Specials

For more detailed weekend specials, check out the poster below for Saturday... 


And Sunday...


[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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