I have to admit, I was expecting much greater things, based on these reviews. It wasn't a terrible dining experience, but neither was it anywhere close to a stellar one.
To start with the good - atmosphere and decor are lovely, and some of the dishes were had were spectacular.
The service, while friendly and very knowlegable, was erratic - we were there almost half an hour before we got drinks, and over an hour before our first course was served. (The restaurant wasn't full, and if there were issues with staffing, nothing was said by way of apology, making it seem this was the norm.)
While presentation was uniformly delightful, the quality of the food was inconsistent : some dishes - the mushroom gnocchi, for example, were exceptional; others - the halibut cheeks - were good for some at our table, but overcooked for others (the scallop appetizer was also overcooked); still others were just so-so all around - the pork belly was undercooked (no crispness to the fat, which is the whole point of pork belly!), and the cheese fondue for the tempura broccolini was pronounced ho-hum by all who tried it.
I'm a big fan of small plates dining, and while I love what Vis a Vis is trying to do, the execution on the night I was there was just not up to par. I'll probable give it one more try, just in case we hit an off night, but my initial impression is that other small plates restaurants in Victoria do it much better.
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