LAST year, one of the City&rsquo;s favourite restaurants, Vivat Bacchus, made headlines all around the globe for introducing a &pound;1,000 tasting menu despite the onset of the credit crunch, as a treat for hard-working financiers celebrating their (albeit reduced) bonuses.<br /><br />The menu &ndash; which included royal sevruga caviar, lobster linguini flavoured with 40-year-old Armagnac, grilled Wagyu fillet steak with seared goose foie gras and 15 varieties of cheese, washed down with Billecart Salmon rose champagne, Chateau Lafite Rothschild and 1963 Taylors Port &ndash; was so popular that four people even flew in from Monaco to sample it, before a frenzy of belt-tightening put paid to all that.<br /><br />But now I hear co-founder Gerrie Knoetze has been inundated with requests to reproduce the menu over the past month by City types feeling a tad more flush. One romantic soul popped in with his wife to spoil her with a one-off treat, while a load more wanted to celebrate closing a big deal. Now if that&rsquo;s not a sign that green shoots are appearing, The Capitalist isn&rsquo;t sure what is.<br /><br /><strong>HORSING AROUND</strong><br />The Capitalist&rsquo;s heart goes out to Investec co-founder Bernard Kantor, who had been getting rather excited at the prospect of his horse South Easter running in the Epsom Derby, just weeks after Investec announced its high-profile sponsorship of the festival. But it was not to be: the horse was pulled out the day before due to a cough, leaving Sea the Stars &ndash; owned by a 27-year-old nightclub owner from Hong Kong &ndash; to take the glory.<br /><br />Still, Kantor can take comfort from the fact that the race came up trumps in terms of raising the bank&rsquo;s profile, despite attendance being down around 10,000 on last year and hospitality falling 15 per cent.<br /><br />&ldquo;Investec is simply all over the place,&rdquo; whispered one smartly-clad guest through the drizzle. &ldquo;And you can&rsquo;t get away from those confounded zebras &ndash; there are more of them around than racehorses&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>AGEING ROCKERS</strong><br />While most of the City&rsquo;s grandees partied the night away at the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo on Thursday for hedgie philanthropist Arki Busson and Hollywood actress Uma Thurman&rsquo;s Ark charity gala dinner, a smaller crowd packed the City Tavern for a charity celebration of their own.<br /><br />Among the &ldquo;ageing City rockers&rdquo; who played to a packed house were Ken Brotherston, the chief executive of executive search firm GRS, Andy Marden from the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank&rsquo;s David Pegg and Keith Robertson &ndash; who call themselves D.A.R.K.<br /><br />&ldquo;We raised &pound;500 for motor neurone disease &ndash; not on the scale of Arki&rsquo;s &pound;15m but not too shabby,&rdquo; Brotherston informs me.<br /><br />Next stop for the recruiter-cum-drummer extraordinaire: the summer festival season, when he&rsquo;s playing at three festivals with his other bank, The Elise Project. <br /><br />&ldquo;It was sort of a mid-life crisis thing when I started playing the drums 5 years ago,&rdquo; he laughs. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m not too bad at it now, if I do say so myself.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>FRAUD TIPS FOR FREE</strong><br />Ever fancied making a quick buck out of investing, Bernard Madoff-style?<br /><br />Apparently, our friends over the pond are hooked on a new online game by Cellufun called &ldquo;Made Off&rdquo;, which lures in punters by teasing: &ldquo;Think you got what it takes to build a better Ponzi scheme than Bernie?&rdquo; There are already tens of thousands taking part in the game, which requires players to attract virtual investment from online friends using a virtual &ldquo;CelluPoint&rdquo; currency, with rates of return ranging from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.<br /><br />But given that many over-enthusiastic World of Warcrafters have become so engrossed in the game that they&rsquo;ve started having affairs online, shouldn&rsquo;t there be some kind of rule to prevent a site providing swindling practice to would-be fraudsters for free?