Viva Mexican Cafe




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Viva Mexican Bar & Grill has been growing steadily both in size and popularity since I first visited it in 2007. The first expansion was actually a second (smaller) location, just a block away on the main stretch of Pub Street. This turned out to be a very smart move because it provided an alternative food venue on Pub Street and at the same time publicized the bigger original location around the corner. The latest expansion has been the adjacent property which was already a restaurant and guest house (and previous to that a casino), so the ground floor of the Viva now stretches from 2 Thnou Street all the way to the Steung Siem Reap Hotel. The upstairs floors of the new property is now the Viva Guest House.



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I am actually not sure if the second floor has always been open but now that I know about it, I will always be eating upstairs. Before the latest remodeling I was much more comfortable downstairs. Not any fault of the restaurant, but I need a wall behind me or a window next to me to feel comfortable, and I have not been able to find that downstairs in quite a while. Street side seats are always available but then you are hassled by the drivers and souvenir sellers all through your meal.



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I just had this meal today (Dec. 11, 2010), it is a relatively new item on the menu, the Steak Chimichanga - $5.50. The Frozen Margarita (below) was $1.50, which is such a good deal I had two of them. The Viva Chimichanga has improved over the last couple of years and is quite tasty, if I was to complain about anything it would be the very dry rice, but it has always been this way at the Viva, so I have to assume that this is the way they want to serve it. The salad was very nice with a pleasant salad dressing. Overall a well balanced meal, except for the rice which always throws me a bit, but that is just a personal preference others may like this type of rice. I also like a lot hotter salsa then what was served on the Chimichanga and I prefer to have it available on the side.

The one thing that does bother me about Mexican restaurants in Asia in general, is that you are rarely given a choice of salsas to enhance your meal. In California (which is my home base in the US) and in most of the US and Mexico, you are always given a range of mild, hot and very hot salsas to choose from (always free and as much as you want). Tortilla chips are also free in most mexican restaurants and served immediately as soon as you sit down. I have never seen this policy hurt any Mexican restaurant’s business.



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The $1.50 Frozen Margarita is pretty good, especially on a hot day.



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The Main Course part of the menu (there are more pages)



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Viva Mexican Cafe
Tel - 063 963 151
2 Thnou Street, Old Market & Pub Street
Mexican food and great Frozen Margaritas makes this a favorite destination when I feel the urge for a tequila buzz.
www.ivivasiemreap.com/restaurant.html