Vivene’s Island Cuisine
#26-2025 Upper Middle Rd.
Vivene’s Island Cuisine the name alone just sounds tropical. This authentic Jamaican eatery has graced Burlington Ont. and is making a name for itself by the true Jamaican cultures and traditions put into each dish Vivene’s Island Cuisine serves up. Carolene Fisher the owner of this Jamaican hot spot is taking her Hanover roots and infusing her dishes with all the right amount of Caribbean love. Carolene has been learning her skill of island cooking since she was a very young child. Carolene must have known that somewhere down the line her expertise cooking traditions would soon be feeding hungry customers of all nationalities.
I walked into Vivene’s Island Cuisine and was embraced by a warm hug, hello, & welcome, these are true traditions of this restaurant feeling like home. I can’t help but notice the Island music playing in the back round and I’m getting into the Jamaican vibe, and the intense aromatic smell of Jamaican dishes being prepared. Vivene’s Island Cuisine serves up traditional Jerk Chicken, Roti, Callaloo, Oxtail Stew, and so many more authentic Jamaican dishes. I notice many walk-ins asking if there are any patties and this Jamaican hot spot replies “of course how many would you like”. Vivene’s prides itself on using fresh ingredients and inspects everything that goes in and out of her kitchen. Vivene’s also prepares everything from scratch, each item on the menu prepared with accurate execution of the Jamaican traditions instilled into Vivene’s Island Cuisine and you can taste it in every bite.
When I lived in Toronto I worked with many Jamaican people and I loved it, they taught me about their culture and food traditions. So, when ordered Callaloo I needed no explanation. These fried dumplings are filled with a leafy vegetable, like a collard green or spinach. Callaloo can be served on its own, but Vivene’s encased its Callaloo’s in a Harvest fragrant batter, I say Harvest because with each bite there is a delightful spicy flavor. If I may say Vivene’s Island Cuisine was quite impressed I guessed this spice. All I can say is that, I can eat these Callaloo’s all day long with Cranberry’s, Maple Syrup, or Honey. Vivene’s serves these Callaloo’s with a Jerk Butter and its savory, spicy, and buttery. I drench each dumpling into this delectable Jerk Butter and each mouthful became a soft, sweet, doughy bite with a harvest undertone & a heated Jamaican kiss on the lips.
Kids are always welcome at Vivienne’s Island Cuisine with a kid’s meal on the menu. My junior Gourmet Consultant decided on Jerk Chicken and it was a perfect choice. Vivene’s marinades her Jerk Chicken for three days in a homemade jerk seasoning. Giving her Jerk Chicken a beautiful array of Smokey, spicy, & extremely flavorful taste. As this dish arrives you can smell how these spices have all come together, once grilled you will have an attractive char. Crispy on the outside and tender, moist, and juicy on the inside, all those juices sealed inside from marinating for days. With each bite the flavors are intense, not overwhelming but leaving you wanting another bite. “My little guy said it was the best chicken he has ever had” This Jerk Chicken is great not only for kids but for adults as well. Festivals come with this dish, it’s a warm fried sweet corn bread and its delicious and I just love the name.
I have not had a Roti for some time and could not wait to try this Caribbean street food, made popular by so many other cultures. Vivene’s does things a little different with the roti, instead of wrapping this savory dish in a soft flatbread, she serves her flatbread folded neatly with a heaping warm bowl of stew consisting of large tender and succulent chicken pieces, soft pillow like delicate potatoes in a rich golden and exciting stew. What I enjoyed, was using my hands and breaking each piece of roti off dipping and putting this dish together myself. It gave me a sense of just taking time to enjoy this simmered delicacy. Enjoying the Jamaican flavours of curry, cumin, and turmeric just to name a few spices. I savoured each mouthful.
I have been told that Jamaican’s love their scotch bonnets and I found out at Vivene’s as my roti dish comes with a colorful hot sauce. As I was aware it was hot, I approached with caution and dipped my fork in for a taste. Vivene’s spirited hot JERK sauce slapped me hard. I was a glutton for punishment because I went in for a second taste. I was on fire my lips, my cheeks, my tongue, and it was amazing. Not even my Grapefruit Pink Ting could save me. We laughed it off, but I swear I could not feel my lips for 30 min that’s a fabulous authentic fiery hot sauce. So, if you like hot you must accompany this sauce with your dish.
So, let see… Vivene’s Island Cuisine Hugged me, Kissed me, and Slapped me. I would say that’s a pretty good day and I would not have had it any other way. It’s what I would consider Jamaican Love and that’s what Vivene’s is all about bringing her traditions of Jamaica to everyone here in Burlington.
See You Soon!