So I was totally excited to try VIAAA Gourmet Bakery and Restaurant on High Street in Princes Town, not only because it is a brand new thing in South Trinidad, but it is a brand new thing in my home town. Yep. I am a Princes Town princess, but though I have lived in Princes Town for most of my life (though most people seem to think I am a Port of Spain girl), during that time, I can safely say, there was nothing that made me want to stay in Princes Town, outside of the cosiness of my home. I went to school in San Fernando, I work in Port of Spain, I shop and I socialise in either of the two cities simply because there is nothing really in Princes Town.
Enter VIAAA, for which the owners/management clearly have a grand vision. After being enticed all week with photos which suggested this was going to be an unusual Princes Town experience, I booked my Saturday morning. With my mum and nephew in tow (aunty/nephew breakfast date!!! cuteness!!!) we headed to VIAAA. From the outside, already you knew something was different. In a town that has not really changed aesthetically since I was a girl, the sleek, modern exterior stands out, and in a good way.
Side note: the Rattans-esque call to action via deejay man outside the place is not so "fresh" and in my opinion brings down the general feel and more upscale vibe of the place. Let's not do this, Princes Town. C'mon...
Inside, the decor is a reflection of the exterior. Dark wood, large open displays, modern fittings. The professionalism of the place extends to the smart orange uniforms of the employees, and the open layout is warm and inviting.
There is an amazing variety of food, both at breakfast and at lunch. For breakfast, I ordered the continental breakfast for my nephew and I to share. The breakfast - pancakes, hash browns, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, with pieces of fruit - was pretty splendid looking, lemme tell you, but my nephew attacked it before I could get a photo. Apologies. There are also local dishes like fried aloo, pumpkin, caraille, tomato choka, and more, with your choice of carbs like bake or sada roti just to give examples.
As the coffee Nazi, I cannot rate the coffee experience too much, but you have the choice of the VIAAA brew or machine brew. I would really, really love to see the coffee experience taken to the next level.
One thing VIAAA really impressed me with was their baked goods. I had the chance to sample a bit of their freshly baked goodies and was totally impressed by the quality. They taste as good as they look in their open display cases. Whether you want a savoury delight, like veggie quiche, or something sweet like Tiger Eyes or a danish, or breakfast breads like croissants or hops, there is an immense variety and from what I have tasted, you cannot go wrong on taste, texture and overall quality. Impressed. Once the coffee gets right, they would need to just set up a little coffee/blogging/reading nook just for me - only for me. Can I like...get this? Seriously?
|Our little breakfast tasting plate with the lightest croissant, a veggie and |
non-veggie quiche and a Danish. Awesome stuff, guys. Oh and my cappuccino - splendid.
|Tastes as good as they look|
Lunchtime - again, great variety of dishes. Local favourites like caraille and curry made the cut, as well as Jamaican rice and peas, tandoori chicken and fettucine alfredo. There was way too much for me to remember them all and that's a good thing.
If you prefer a sandwich, there is a great sandwich and salad bar where you can get freshly made salads and sandwiches like the awesome BBQ chicken tender sandwich I had - amazing famazing!!! There is also a pizza bar with a fab wood burning oven for the pizza lovers and certainly for pizza that is worlds above what is available at the moment in the town. I love the thought put into the menu - taking the culinary options in Princes Town to a whole new and fantastic level.
|The VIAAA Pizza Bar with wood burning oven|
|Awesome BBQ chicken tenders sandwich with fries. Epic!|
|Chicken burger with all the fixings and provolone and yummy wedges|
Great desserts as well, from wonderful cupcakes, strawberry tartlets, cheesecake cups and homemade ice cream. I will be popping back in to sample more of these great treats when next I have the chance. My waistline can only handle so much!
|Oreo cupcakes at VIAAA|
So VIAAA - first week in and let me say, both at breakfast and at lunch, the place was packed. I am not the only one who felt that this was long overdue; that Princes Town needed something like this - somewhere that offered something new and fab, raising the bar on service, quality and overall culinary experience. Of course with only one week in, there is work to do still but for one week in, I can honestly say, great job so far! Nice to have you, VIAAA.