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Located on the ground floor of the Riverside Hotel, Shatin, Vi boats a multifarious mixture of styles. From coloured flashing lights to images of royal families, the room combines plastic flowers, vinyl chairs and multi coloured menus with a kaleidoscope of water glasses, trinkets and statues that sit dustily in every corner. Tables are rather packed too closely together, and the view over the pavements of Shatin with the distant lights of housing estates does little to enhance the ambience.
Vi is a Thai and Vietnamese restaurant with a gargantuan menu offering far too many dishes for a kitchen to competently cope with. A signature dish of fried fresh crabs in curry sauce, which are plonked on the table with no explanation, features only one crab overwhelmed by a sea of sauce devoid of any curry aroma or flavour. There was a bit of a wait for our next dish of pho bo bouillon, and we were disappointed to find that the promised raw beef arrived cooked to a chewy texture. A recommended dish of Saigon chicken with fresh basil leaves failed to deliver any crispy skin but rather proffered up an overcooked chicken served with blackened basil leaves devoid of its characteristic aroma. All in all, Vi is not a place for food lovers searching for an authentic taste of Thailand or Vietnam,
A small wine list offers some extremely young vintages from across the globe, with some available by the glass.
Staff do not know the menu very well, while we had to make regular requests to clear away dirty plates, and rarely were our wine or water glasses refilled.
A meal for two with wine will cost around HK$1,000, which is not value-for-money considering the service and cooking.