Viva for Vermicelli Bowls


It must seem as if I go out for lunch an awful lot but the truth is that I do not.  Because I work from home, I’m able to grab some left overs or heat up some soup and so I likely go out for lunch, less often than someone who works downtown.  When I have lunch out though, I make sure that I get somewhere that I have never been before (or not lately at least). 

Such is the case with Viva Vietnamese Restaurant at the corner or Sargent and Spence Street.  I’ve enjoyed dining at Viva for what seems like decades but I have never gotten to go for lunch.  On this day, when I arrived at 11:45 the dining room was already full of business and trades people who obviously know of Viva’s popularity with the lunch crowd.  


When my lunch dates arrived, they were craning their necks to see what was in all of the steaming bowls that were being whizzed past our table.  I led the way by ordering a large ($1.50 more) grilled pork vermicelli bowl. 

I was followed by an order of the same with grilled pork and shrimp.

And then a third “deluxe” with pork, shrimp, spring roll, etc. 

Sorry, I must admit that I wasn’t paying very close attention by this point because we always have so much to get caught up on when I am with this particular couple of girlfriends who also happen to be business associates.  So when we are not talking kids, and house renos and winter holidays, we actually talk about projects that we are working on together.  

We started with rice rolls that were so delicious with their dark peanut sauce that we were tempted to request another order.  Luckily, we saved ourselves to dig into the lunch bowls.

Viva’s version is not loaded with vegetables as I have enjoyed it elsewhere, but is delicious none the less.  Lots of protein and soft, fluffy noodles and without a trace (or so it seems) of fat.  The sauce that was served along side,  was a light chili sauce.  I am accustomed to having the dish with a sweetened fish sauce, but I enjoyed this version tremendously.

The gentleman serving us was all alone and very busy.  But between his efficiency and that of the kitchen, the lunch crowd was in and out in no time and well taken care of in between.

Viva Restaurant Vietnamese & Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“There are may of us who cannot but feel dismal about the future of various cultures. Often it is hard not to agree that we are becoming culinary nitwits, dependent upon fast foods and mass kitchens and megavitamins for our basically rotten nourishment.”-M.F.K. Fisher

posted under Restaurant Features
4 Comments to

“Viva for Vermicelli Bowls”

  1. Avatar October 18th, 2011 at 12:07 pm Rebekah Grisim Says:

    Viva is a great place to go if you are a U of W student. I get the deluxe bowl every time I go. I love how affordable it is and you get a lot of food. Its definitely a favourite place of mine!

  2. Avatar October 18th, 2011 at 2:16 pm kath Says:

    You are obviously very discerning and well brought up.

  3. Avatar October 21st, 2011 at 8:07 am alana (at) the food Says:

    i have viva on my speed dial, that’s how often i am there!
    try the sweet and sour shrimp soup – devine!

  4. Avatar October 21st, 2011 at 8:12 am kath Says:

    Thanks Alana-I will be sure to.

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