Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Vivisen Teahouse

15 Point St, Fremantle
Phone: (08) 9336 6699

www.vivisenteahouse.com

Where East meets West

What a discovery in a quiet street in Fremantle! I thought all my Chinese New Years had come at once when I entered the delightful Vivisen Teahouse and tasted its wonders.

Vivisen is simply beautiful inside. The different layers of green décor are extremely stylish, with big folding windows letting in lots of light and each table adorned with white orchids, creating a calming, peaceful atmosphere with a definite feeling of class.

We pored over the delicious-sounding menu and started with organic water and organic cola, neither of which I had heard of. All the drinks at Vivisen are organic, including the coffees.

The owner explained to us that the goal of Vivisen, which is short for “vivid sense”, is to provide contemporary healthy Asian cuisine with an East-meets-West flavour.

When asked which dish she recommended she replied “How do you choose between your children?”

We learned that the award winning chef, He Xue Ming, is Cantonese but has also been trained in the north of China where the food is heavier and richer due to the cold climate.

We started with a dish each from the Entrees or Fresh Hand Made Dim Sum. These delicacies can be eaten for brunch or dinner, many with vegetarian ingredients. There are also yeast-free and wheat-free dishes. The Mince and Seaweed Pockets, two nicely browned pastries, burst with juiciness and a lovely salty flavour when I bit into them and the Supreme Dumplings, three crescent-shaped browned pastries filled with garlic chives and pork mince, contained a lovely combination of flavours.

For a Starter I chose the Spicy Lean Beef Salad. The meats are slow cooked with Chinese herbs to bring out the flavour in the meat, rather than the sauce itself having all the taste. This was certainly true of the tender slices of beef coated in a delightful peanut sauce, served on a bed of crisp salad – a perfect dish for lunch on its own.

For a main meal the Pot Stewed Lamb Shank had to be a bit different, and was as good as it sounded. The whole shank was served on a bed of red and purple cabbage and perfectly arranged leaves of steamed bok choy. The shiny pink flesh was so tender and no wonder – it had been cooked for more than half a day in mixed Chinese herbs then left to “settle” before serving. The flavour was a sensation to the taste buds.

We were feeling totally satisfied, so I had the Goji Tea which aids digestion and I enjoyed the strong nutty flavour with a hint of licorice.

Vivisen is a place of modern simplicity with great service and excellent food. There is something for every age group and for the health-conscious. With the quick service it would be ideal for a business lunch, or dinner before a show, and at the same time a pleasant café for a relaxed, classy meal. The calming, stylish atmosphere and the delicious food truly makes for a vivid sense at the lovely Vivisen Teahouse.

By Frances Myshell

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