Freelance writer who enjoys staying active, social and making the most of what Perth has to offer.
Published June 16th 2011
Tucked away from the café strip in Fremantle, this organic Chinese restaurant is an unassuming little gem. As you walk into the teahouse, one of the friendly staff will welcome you to choose from one of the available jade tables with comfortable high-back chairs.
For lovers of Dim Sum, Vivisen teahouse is must-try dining. All Dim Sum pieces are handmade with organic ingredients. Some of my personal favourites include the peking duck spring rolls, crispy prawn and chicken wontons, lamb dumplings and BBQ pork buns. Each dish costs approximately $7.50 and four choices will comfortably serve two diners. After placing your order, you are presented with a collection of small bowls containing chilli, ginger oil, sweet and sour sauce, and soy sauce – this way you can mix up your own personalised dipping sauce, just the way you like it. Vivisen also offers an extensive mains menu of traditional Chinese dishes with both vegetarian and gluten-free options.
One of the talking points on the menu is the Goji tea, which is blended, served and sold in the restaurant. The tea is served as a hot beverage or with lemon as an iced tea and while it is enjoyable to drink, it's the health benefits from the Goji berries that are the main attraction. Goji berries were traditionally consumed in China to enhance vision and increase immunity. They are now claimed to be the most nutritious natural food in the world, enriched with vitamins and antioxidants. If tea isn't your thing, you can always try the Goji berry stir-fry with Chinese vegetables.
The décor of the teahouse is modern with some traditional elements; the deep tones in the furnishings including a large antique tea chest are picked up by the glossy red wood floors. For private functions, a separate dining area can also be booked which overlooks the main dining room and is separated by a glass wall to reduce noise.
So next time you are in Fremantle, wonder off the main strip and try something new. You will be gastronomically rewarded with warm, friendly service and some amazing fresh food.
We booked the private dining room at Vivisen weeks in advance for my father’s 60th Birthday. I flew over from Melbourne to stay for the event, and when the day came around we phoned once to confirm, then my sister went around an hour before the booking to confirm in person, and drop off the wine.
When we arrived at the time we had booked and confirmed, with my father and our guests, they had given our room to someone else.
When my sister asked why they’d given the private dining room to another group, the waiter blinked coldly and said, “There were just more of them.”
They sat us all outside in the sun, before eventually inviting us in when the other group had finished eating.
Not only did they not apologise for the pathetic, greedy cock-up, but they then decided to close the kitchen while we were ordering. They insisted WE hurry up, and then closed the restaurant around us.
I will never set foot in this woeful excuse for a restaurant again.
I would discourage anyone who is considering spending money here, to give it to a restaurant that gives a hint of a shit about hospitality.
It is, after all, the hospitality industry.
By Anonymous Sunday, 8th of January @ 02:28 pm
Sorry to hear of your experience anon, this is a shame as the staff have always been so friendly and accommodating towards us - and we have been many times.
By M Ed - senior reviewer Tuesday, 17th of January @ 04:15 am