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March 17, 20105.0
The abundance of Indian food in Vancouver, B.C. is staggering so it all comes down to the quality of the food. Vij’s Restaurant ranks at the very top of the list for authentic taste and flavours.
The first thing to notice is that no reservations will be accepted. It’s a “first come, first serve” scenario, mostly because the owners, Vikram and Meeru, believe that everyone is treated as an equal; no one, no matter what your status in life, should be treated any differently from each other. This philosophy is a huge reason why patrons visit Vij’s religiously.
Any dish that you order from the appetizers to the main dishes to dessert is tended with exiquiste craftsmanship and care to present the very best dishes. And the ingredients are always fresh ensuring that the flavours are true and authentic.
The decor is very friendly and lively making this a very hospitable place for dining. I know many “Indo-Canadians” who dismiss the food as not being authentic and to a point they are correct. But Vij’s enhances and experiments with traditional dishes and puts its own unique spin on it without deviating too far from its roots. The blend of old and new worlds is very evident and extremely delightful.
The prices are more on the expensive side so be prepared to dish out some coin but it will be well worth it. Even if you only come here once in your lifetime, you won’t regret it. You will never look at or even taste Indian food the same way again after experiencing a bombardment to all your senses at Vij’s.
A platter filled with lamb, beef and paneer. Definitely a great way to start things off.
Freshly grown prawns and halibut from BC’s waters with black ckickpeas drowned in a coconut-lemon curry. There is enough spices to accentuate the flavours with it becoming overpowering.
June 9, 20075.0
Appetizers: 4/5 | Mains: 5/5 | Service: 4.5/5| Ambiance: 4.5/5 | Overall: 5/5
I’ve been to Vij’s on several occasions over the past year and the experience has been the same each time: Indian food heaven! The dishes here are not the ones you would expect at a traditional Indian restaurant — Vij’s is no traditional Indian restaurant. I’m skeptical when restaurants play with well-established and accepted dishes, but Vij’s innovation and creativity yielded exceptional results.
My favourite at Vij’s is, without a doubt, the Demerara sugar and tamarind marinated beef tenderloin with black cumin curry and khoa paranta. The beef is incredibly tender and flavourful. It will melt in your mouth. Your palate will be in heaven.
The Wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on spinach potatoes is also a top dish among those I’ve sampled from friends, though I’ve never ordered it for myself.
The appetizers are tasty, but the mains (especially the beef tenderloin above) will blows them away! I’m not too keen on the Grilled sablefish in tomato-yogurt broth. We were dissappointed to find only a few bite-sized pieces (for $11.50) which is not an ideal choice if you intend to share (just might barely work for 2 people, but definitely not more). The Mutton kebobs with bengali curry were much better.
They don’t have an extensive wine list, but do have about a dozen reliable choices.
The service is friendly and courteous. On one occasion, I was almost given the wrong dish (in a group of 6) but the waiter was quick enough to pick up my cues and direct it to the right person. I’ve generally been very pleased with their service.
Other / Ambiance
Vij’s does not take reservations and it will be packed virtually every night of the week. Most of the time I arrived there after 6:30pm and had to wait between 30 mins to 90 minutes to be seated. Weekdays are usually at the lower range of the scale (our group of 6 was seated in about 45 mins on a Thursday), 90 mins was for a group of 4 on a Saturday.
The waiting area is inside the restaurant at the back near the bar. They will bring around free finger food for you to sample and chai while you wait. You can also order drinks from the bar.
Attention to detail is evident in their selection of decor and lighting which echoes their comtemporary and innovative approach. The elephant shapes on the light shades which project interesting patterns on the surroundings are a nice touch. It can be slightly noisy at times (because it is always packed and people are obviously enjoying themselves), but there are a few quiter spots (then again, you’ll need to wait for these as you cannot call ahead to reserve).
Vij’s is a must for anyone with an interest in Indian cuisine. As they occasionally rotate their menu items, you might find something new when you return (and you will return). Don’t worry, their anchor dishes will remain.
It was slightly on the chewy side (maybe they’ve set the standard too high with the beef tenderloin and now I’m comparing everything to it?), but tasty nonetheless.
In my opinion, this is their best dish. I’ve ordered this twice and both times have been excellent. I’m always torn between ordering this again or trying something new. It’s just that good.
October 27, 20074.0
When I’ve got time to wait, Vij’s is always a great meal. Tonight was cassava fries and pakoras in the waiting room, spicy red lentil pate to start, and saag paneer, pomegranate curry w/ red lentil dumplings. Washed all down with a delicious mocking bird hill basket press syrah. Yum. For two, the price was $100 w/ tax & tip.
July 25, 20074.0
Every aspect of this experience was flawless. Just enough exoticism to entrance you and your guests.
Vij’s serves food prepared using classical Indian culinary techniques but with the best seasonal and regional ingredients. Many of his recipes bring back the rich intense flavours I enjoyed in India.
There are no reservations but it’s a pleasure waiting for your table while sipping chai and having the aromas of the food waft by and open up your palate.
July 1, 20075.0
The best Indian Food In North America. A symphony of flavors so amazing that only Vij’s or a chef using his cookbook could emulate.
October 2, 20074.0
I liked that there were no reservations only because you know that before you get there. The owner, Vij, come and greets you personally which I thought was cool, and aologized for making you wait… but who wouldn’t want to wait? The cozy back lounge with homemade complimentary chai tea and indian snacks… delicious.
We didn’t wait long for our table, right by the front window. Our server, Taylor, was knowledgable and friendly.
The appetizers were incredible. The entrees were lacking though… Some things were not as well prepared as others, and I found my Lamb Popsicles (signature dish) to taste more with spices found in chinese cooking than indian. I was sad about that.
The handmade Thomas Haas chocolates with cardamon were delicious with a moscato d’asti and chai tea.
Great atmosphere, we will go again for sure!
August 16, 20085.0
We went to Vij’s in Vancouver for dinner with friends prior to attending the Boz Scaggs concert at the River Rock Casino in Richmond. Located in the rather posh Granville rise neighborhood, it can be a bit of a challenge to find parking, but it’s worth it. The restaurant opens at 17:30, first come, first served – no res taken – so arrive early.
Our party of 6 was promptly seated and hot chai was and the drinks order taken – beers and wine. While we were looking over the menu, small appetizers were offered from passing waiters, small breads and hot pop-overs.
I ordered two items from the appetizers menu, mutton kebabs and samosas, both excellent and good portions.
The service is excellent and always overseen by Vij himself who is a master of hospitality. For more, go to the web site http://www.vijs.ca.
And Boz was just OK
These dishes from the Vij's Restaurant menu are contributed by Menuism users directly, as part of a restaurant review, or as part of an image upload.