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Travellers' Choice

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US$7 - US$24
Reviews (228)
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All reviews brunch beef bourguignon croque madame salad nicoise french onion soup octopus potatoes chicken macaroons penny farthing oak bay french style restaurant bar seats wine list great wine server cheese
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Reviewed December 6, 2020

The server asked how my meal was after two bites and I said not great. Asked what the problem was. The steak was not even warm along with the fries. Tell you the truth the steak was tough. I ordered another dish the Boeuf Bourguinon...to replace the first. I did not have the heart to tell the server the beef was full of fat. Not just a bit but chunks with very little meat. Its unfortunate I was eating my meal when my companion was finished. She did have the halibut and said it was very good. Will I go back?More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed September 27, 2020

The joke is that Victoria rolls up it's streets at 6. But another thing not known is that the best restaurants in the city often are not open during Monday or Tuesday. Maybe it's because it's a Covid year, maybe because it's September, maybe because...Victorian's fast on Mondays and Tuesdays, it was particularly hard to find something open during a Tuesday visit. More so in sleepy Oak Bay, but this was an exceptional recommendation from a local friend. Situated next to and part of a gastropub, both restaurants have taken over the sidewalk in a big way for the better. People enjoying the last nice days of September filled the socially distanced tables of the the patio which gave the area a lively European feel in an otherwise quiet Oak Bay Village. Food was well executed French Bistro fare that hits the classics. The big difference is North American size portions. I couldn't eat all my Boeuf Bourguinon after a huge avocado and fresh local shrimp appetizer. Based on the local demographics, one wonders if everyone doggy bags their dinner too. Shout out to our delightful masked waiter. Hailing from Paris, the French one, he added a layer of authenticity to the evening.More

Date of visit: September 2020
Reviewed September 14, 2020

Vis a Vis is very popular, especially with patio seating on a sunny day. Fortunately we made lunch reservations for 11:00, as by 11:30 all available spots were taken. I ordered the Salade Nicoise — a yummy salad of seared Albacore Tuna, lettuce, pickled green...beans, potatoes, black olives and a hard-boiled egg. Just the right amount for lunch. My friend had the artistically plated Shrimp and Avocado that was almost too pretty to eat. Her comment was that there was way too much sauce, and that she should have followed my example and ordered the dressing on the side. We're hesitant about eating out during COVID, unless we can be assured that all health protocols are in place. The set-up at Vis a Vis made us comfortable from the start: patio seating, tables far apart, thorough sanitizing, names and phone numbers taken for possible contact tracing — but why weren't the servers wearing masks? Our server Maeve was friendly and attentive, bringing my friend a couple of Silk Road tea options when the tea she'd ordered wasn't available. Espresso wasn't available either, so I had to forego an Americano in favour of brewed coffee. (It turned out to be ghastly.) The place was packed so service was slow, but since we weren't in any hurry we didn't mind. Thanks for being open!More

Date of visit: September 2020
Reviewed July 20, 2020

Met Friends for lunch and were lucky to get a patio table. It was pretty busy on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Our server was very attentive through our dining, but did note she was not wearing a mask/shield. The person who did bring our...meal and cleaned away our dishes was though. We ordered the Fish & Chips and the Mushroom Flatbread that everyone was pleased with.More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed June 2, 2020

We ate lunch here yesterday for the first time and it was so refreshing to have a normal restaurant experience without the paranoia and fear of Covid 19 hanging over. The staff were great, attentive and efficient. The Nicoise Salad and Gratin were delicious. Thank...you for being open, being normal and getting on with the business of operating a great independent business!More

Date of visit: June 2020
Reviewed February 24, 2020

Been to this bistro several times in the course of 2 months with different friends for lunch and brunch. Each time, I'm hoping things are better than the last time. Alas, it was not the case which is a shame as we really like the...cute decor and charming atmosphere. But, consistently, the service is haphazard and slow. Some staff seemed inexperienced while others were not very hospitable. That aside, the food we all had was fine but nothing special. Stay away from the Croque Madame as it was the worse I ever had!More

Date of visit: January 2020
NancyS4913, General Manager at Vis-a-Vis, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2020

Good morning, Thank you for taking the time to review and send your feedback. I take this very seriously and I will use this to improve our service. You are correct we do have a few inexperienced staff and we are working with them closely...More

Reviewed February 10, 2020

If you can get in -- tables reserved for later will be fastidiously protected by staff, even with two hours leeway -- and if you are willing to put up with hit-and-miss service, Vis-a-Vis is a nice Parisien experience in Oak Bay. Being one of...the only sit-down restaurants here that's not a pub, it might just be taking its clientele for granted. Menu is largely unchanged over the past few years (or longer). The steak frites is a safe choice, usually, except that your truffle fries are most likely going to be over-done and stale (but plentiful!), and your steak may or may not be done to your liking. Your salad is likely to be majorly under-dressed, unless you shell out big coin for the avocado & shrimp behemoth that is best shared by two (or three). While baguette feature prominently as part of the bar decor, no bread is offered to tables -- and soup orders often require begging for a little bread as a side (and if your server takes the bread to another table by accident, don't expect a polite "oops" when you ask for bread for the third time -- you'll instead be told that you already got your bread!). Great wine list, and one of the best stocked bars in the area for a restaurant this size. If you can get your bartender or server past the initial setting of "slightly surly", you might even get them to suggest something creative. Every time I go to Vis-a-Vis I want it to be good, or great. Instead, every time, it's okay or passable. A menu switch up here and there, a more attentive kitchen, and more friendly and accommodating service would all help make this place better. Tables are close together, just like Paris. Bar seats offer an alternative, with full menu, just like Paris. Patio seats are open all year, also just like Paris. But when your last bite is complete, you'll be ushered through the presentation of the bill and payment machine so that you can be ousted from your seat, immediately. Decidedly not like Paris.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed January 8, 2020

They have a lovely breakfast but very slow role out. We waited 10 minutes for our drinks and are food order wasn’t taken promptly in an empty restaurant. Not sure if this was a front of house or back of house issue but I would...only return when I had over an hour to spareMore

Date of visit: January 2020
NancyS4913, Owner at Vis-a-Vis, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2020

Good morning Amanda, I am so sorry for your long waits the other morning at Breakfast. Could you let me know what day you were in so I can follow up with the staff? My email is nstewart@vicpubco.ca. I do hope you will try us...More

Reviewed January 7, 2020

Trip Advisor does not have a criteria for “Keto Friendly” restaurants. Those of us on the low carb healthy fat food choices wonder if the restaurant will give some good keto options, especially in a mixed group. That will be the focus of this review....Breakfast/brunch is super popular in Victoria with many great restaurants competing for your sunny side up dollar. Vis-a-Vis has great options at dinner for low carb protein forward apps and entrees, so we thought breakfast should be fantastic too. Unfortunately nearly all the breakfasts come with bread/brioche bun, baguette, or potatoes. We asked our waitress if we could drop the starch and get a piece of grilled veg instead. No substitutes. Fair enough, your'e the boss I guess. So we opted for a simple two eggs, lightly fried, with bacon and paid for an extra side of two sausages. No toasted sourdough bread and potatoes/fruit salad (which comes included). No credit or substitute offered. It took at least 25 minutes for breakfast to show up. The restaurant wasn't full, it was a saturday morning so brunch was clearly anticipated, and there were plenty of staff, so I assume the kitchen wasn't under pressure. Although the eggs were warm and cooked perfectly the sausages were barely warm and overly salty, and the bacon was rock hard and cold. After that unsatisfying discussion of not having bread/spuds, waiting forever for the simplest of meals, and getting cafeteria grade sides I have to downgrade my normally positive view of Vis-aVis from 5 to 3. We won't be back, for brunch anyway, and its off my list of places for friends/visitors to go. Too bad, as Oak Bay needs a good brekkie option, try Village on Estevan instead. Friendlier, faster, and more accommodating to the customer, who I heard "is always right". Tell that last line to the staff/management.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed January 7, 2020

I’ve been here a few times it’s my local and I want it to be good but overcooked steak and slow service - the waitress had no idea what the cheese and meat were , it’s part of the experience and we lost out on...that - Sophie fixed this place now it’s broken again - Matt you cannot have the old servers control this place it’s not great again - sure a beer is a beer and wine is hard to screw up the location and ambiance is fine as well , but decent service makes up for mediocre food that is dropped in front of our face - you need a new quarterback again it appears -More

Date of visit: December 2019
NancyS4913, General Manager at Vis-a-Vis, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2020

Hello, Thank you for sending your feedback. We do take this seriously and I have brought this up with the chef. We have renewed our efforts to make sure every one is informed about the ever changing cheese and meat selections. I hope you will...More

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