Vij's offers a menu of Indian inspired fusion cuisine.
i must say that the food there is absolutely fabulous - very refined indian cusine. the service was very friendly too. and its definitely a good place for a romantic dinner for two.
however, i do have some complains to make. on the website, it says that there is a lounge at the back for the waiting patrons. but the "lounge" was no bigger than a living room. given the furnitue around and the mini bar there, when people start to come in, it is quite uncomfortable. two, there is no front reception, which adds extra stress on the staff to keep the customers happy. three, there was a pregnant waitress working the night i was there. that made me a little concerned.
i think all my complains are based on one fact, that the restaurant is WAY too small for the number of customers it wishes to have. secondly, the fact that it does not take reservation only amplifies the first problem.
i would go back there again, but not in another a couple of years.
Vij's is without a doubt one of my absolute all-time favourite restaurants in Vancouver. I have been coming here on average once every two to three weeks for about the last two years and every time is perfect. Of course, they don't take reservations here but that is what adds to the experience and gives the extra added potential for fun. Arrive at whatever time you choose (there will be a line-up regardless), put your name on the list, and hang out by the bar, get to know your neighbours, and enjoy a bevvie or two as well as some exquisitely tasty appetizers, compliments of the house. The wait time varies and it's not always the case that week nights move more quickly than weekends. We have dined on Monday nights and Tuesdays as well as on Fridays and Saturdays and really haven't noticed much of a difference to be honest. The whole point of the wait for us is just to relax and enjoy ourselves while we peruse the menu and make our dinner selections. Once seated we then can order right away. The service at Vij's is excellent and unlike that of any other restaurant I have patronized. The motto among the wait staff is "we are all your servers", which to me, makes so much sense! Not only does it expedite the service to customers but it also equalizes the relations among servers by eliminating any potential competitiveness over particular tables and arguments over tips. The food is second to none, with each of the curry dishes having their own incredible and unique characteristics and flavours. I love the organic chicken curry as well as the mixed vegetables, and the halibut dish. I love that Vikram is there many nights of the week to talk with and serve customers and to make diners feel at home. Words cannot describe how much I love this place. It's no wonder that people come from all over to dine here. Vij's outstanding reputation is one that is well earned!
Vij's food is definitely good, but I wouldn't rave about it like some people do. The little appetizers that get passed around are amazingly flavourful and the full appetizers and main dishes are very tasty. We got a table right away so we were fine, but I don't think I would have thought it worth a 1.5 hour wait.
Most often when dining at restaurants that have such a hype I find they dont always live up. Vij's did.
My wife and I showed up at 6:30 and we had a few drinks in the lounge until we were seated around 7:10. Still not quite sure why they dont take reservations, but we knew that going in so it was fine. Also, the lounge that you wait for your table in is tiny and cramped... We were suprised at how small a space they had here.
All was forgotten when the food came. We had the samosa's to start which were incredible with tomota chutney and coconut chutney which was incredible.
I had the lamb popsicle and my wife had the halibut and shrimp. While both were good, the lamb was AMAZING. Quite possibly one of the best lamb dishes I've ever eaten actually.
The service here is top shelf and we had no complaints here.
It is expensive ($30 entree, $15 appy, $6 beer, $10 cocktail) but worth it in my opinion.
We decided spur of the moment to go out for dinner. We've been wanting to go to Vij's and thought the early time would translate into no lineups and a quick seating (got there at 5:50pm and they open at 5:30).
We were told it would be an hour wait and we decided to sit and have a drink and wait. The server told us that people started lining up at 5:00pm.
We did have to wait the full hour but the time flew by as we were treated to numerous offerings of appetizers, all very tasty.
My date had the pork and I had the duck breast. The pork was fantastic, one of the best dishes we've ever had. The duck was very good as well. The Naan bread was hot, tasty and plentiful and the rice was excellent.
The servers are very efficient, well informed and helpful. Their suggestions for wine and meal were outstanding (My girlfriend couldn't decide between the beef ribs and the pork, and the pork was a great choice)
We shared the rice pudding for desert. The best I've ever had.
Meeru and Vikram have a wonderful restaurant and we look forward to dining there again...hopefully soon. ;-)
Been here once before and was shopping on south granville with the bf when we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner. It was around 510 pm and we walked over to vij's thinking they opened at 5pm. We were wrong. They open at 530pm but we were glad that we came early as there was already a line snaking up the sidewalk to get in.
Doors opened at exactly 530 by Vikram Vij himself and everyone was sat promptly. By 6pm there were no tables left. We were sat at a small round table by the windows. Water was poured and we were brought complimentary chai tea. We took a while to decide and in the meantime we were offered complimentary bite size apps by a couple different servers carrying baskets of them around the restaurant. Nice touch.
We finally decided on 3 entrees to share. (I know. We're pigs. We couldn't help it. It all sounded so good.) We got the saag paneer and lentils with chapati to start and the classic lamb popsicles and a beef shortrib dish for our mains. All of the food was soo delicious. I'm not an expert on indian cuisine so I have no idea what its supposed to taste like but I loved all of our choices. I don't even know how to describe them because I'm not sure of what spices were used to prepare them. All I know is that it was hot, fresh tasting, and served with complimentary rice and naans on the side. I would go back in a heartbeat.
A note on the service. Our server was such a pro. We chose not to order any bevvies because we wanted more room for food and sometimes servers give you a nasty look or their attitude changes when you don't order a drink (because they think you're cheap and are going to stiff them) but our lady was wonderful. No attitude whatsoever.
Ambiance is pleasant. Its a small intimate room. I would guess about 60 seats. The one thing I could fault them on is the size of the tables. Our round table was not very big at all. It gets a little crowded once the entrees come out. Crowded as in not one more thing would fit on the table. But thats a small complaint.
Value is great. For our 3 entrees with a 17% tip it was $92. There was basically enough food left over for another person to eat a full meal and we were both stuffed to the point of bursting. A note for those who drink. Vij's has a selection of bottles of wine for 35$ or the same ones are 9$ a glass. Quite reasonable for a high caliber restaurant.
We'll be back again.
I keep returning to Vij's year after year for what always turns out to be a memorable meal. I personally don't care about the wait to get in... the bar is a great spot to have a few drinks (Storm Brewing's IPA is on tap!). Most recently, a small group of us had a great bottle of Joie Muscat for $36... very reasonable. And Vij always makes an appearance bearing a platter of complimentary appies that take the edge off while waiting for a table.
The food is fantastic and is unlike anything one might encounter in other Indian restaurants anywhere. The spoons of Dungeness crab with candied beets (we had to order a small side plate of the beets after having the appetizer), the lamb samosas, and the jackfruit appetizers are all wonderful. The lamb popsickles in fenugreek cream seems to have become the restaurant's signature dish and is always great and of consistent quality. The marinated duck breast was beautifully done with just the right amount of heat in the accompanying sauce. Vij's use of spices is always subtle while complex and never overpowers one with too much heat.
Appetizers are in the $12 range and mains in the $25 range... great value when one considers the quality and quantity of the servings.
All in all, don't let the one to two hour waits deter you. Vij's will be a dining experience worth it. I've been a fan since his early days on Broadway, and I haven't had a bad meal yet.
I went to Vij's yesterday with a friend. We arrived at 5:00pm a full half hour before it opened and already found people milling and waiting to get in. This increased our anticipation in a good way - after all, it had to be good for people to line up prior to opening, didn't it?
At 5:30 we were seated and saw a sea of waiters and waitress's run around and get people drinks efficiently. A couple of them were even bringing around huge bowls of finger food which people were reaching in to with their bare hands. Although it struck me as a bit suspicious I dove in as well and sampled the treats. They were very pedestrian but I munched them gratefully as I was starved.
We ordered some crab bites and samosas to start followed by beef ribs lamb popsicles and yam curry.
I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed we were in everything.
The portions were adequate in size at best for the prices charged but lacking flavor. The lamb pops were nice but very uninspired as far as taste.
I had read other reviews on this place raving about it and I can not figure out why. Vij's is the biggest rip off in greater Vancouver.
Our bill came to $200.00 for two people. We each had a before dinner drink and split a bottle of wine. That price does not include the tip I left, either!
Avoid this scam and stick to some of the other excellent Indian eatery's scattered around.
I will never go back to this place and I will tell as many people as I can about my horrid experience.
Save your money !!
Went to Vij's last week for the first time to see what the hype was all about. Having been born and raised in South Vancouver around the Main/Fraser area eating real authentic Indian food all these years, Vij's was as far from Indian as PF Chang's is from Chinese. I've got to say that the one dish which stood out was the lamb popsicles. They were delcious.
Now, as for the SERVICE...it was decent in the beginning. The woman who took our order was lovely, as was the gentleman who kept coming around refilling our wine glasses. UNFORTUNATELY, the one girl who RUINED our whole dining experience with her SNOTTY, STUCK UP attitude was at the very end of our dinner, who was clearing out plates. She asked us if we wanted to 'pack up' anything we didn't finish, we declined (since the yam curry was absolutely DISGUSTING!) I then asked her if we could order another one of the lamb popsicles and pack it up to go, as my husband (who couldn't make it for dinner that evening) would love to try it. She then gave me a dirty look, rudely told me that they don't 'cater' to 'take out' treating me like a second class citizen. I thought this was very odd, as a second ago, she asked if we wanted anything else to be 'packed up'. I could've just ordered another one from the kitchen, have it brought to me at the table, then asked her to 'pack it up'...there would've been no difference! I didn't make a big stink about it at the restaurant in front of my out-of-town guests, but I was livid. This has never happened to me in all of my 30 years of dining experience!! I will definitely be taking this up with Vic himself.
Well with a resounding recommendation from the New York Times, it's hard to forgo Vij's and say you live in Vancouver to your foreign elitist friends. So I had to to go for fear of being accused of really living in Coquitlam and not Vancouver proper.
I arrived with my partner a little too late for the first seating so was relegatd to the back bar to wait. It was a very pleasant wait as I ordered a glass of Vioigner and struck up pleasantries with those sitting in the low seats next to us. I believe Vij came by himself to offer us complimentary appetizers and to ask us about our experience, very nice touch I thought. The waiting area/bar albeit pleasant had no atmosphere so it was very nice when we were finalyed moved to the main dining area which was cozy but tightly packed. We were seated by the window and promptly given menus. The wait staff offered to explain if we had any questions. We did not; we were too hungry by that point. I ordered the lamb cooked soft, tender, and full of spice without being spicy. My partner ordered chicken in what looked like a vindaloo sauce but without the fire. We both agreed my lamb was much better. Her chicken had a bit too much ghee, so were the nan. The dishes were definitely not the traditional Indian dishes you get at a mom-and-pop Indian greasy spoon. Think Indian fusion.
The food was good but I wasn't wowed. I was however very pleased with the service. If only all restaurants in Vancouver treated me so kindly. However I'll still tell my friends in NYC that this is probably the best Indian restaurant experience this side of the Hudson.
After purchasing the recipe book connected to this restaurant and hearing all the buzz we decided to try this restaurant. After waiting for 1.5 hours and enjoying some of the delicious free snacks at the bar we were finally seated.
The service was attentive and friendly and the owner made us feel at home which is a change from some of the snobby managers and owners of other Vancouver restaurants.
The ambiance was good. Nothing special but well decorated and not too loud!
The food was delicious. We liked the spin on traditional Indian food and really enjoyed the lamb popsicles, shortribs, papaya curry and tenderloin curry. The flavours were unique and definitely something different from the usual.
The only problem we had was the portion size, which was quite small for the price. The amount of meat in the curries was very small and with five dishes between four people, some of us still left a little hungry for the price we paid. Also, there should be a larger selection of drinks for those of us that don't feel like wine.
Overall a great experience. We are glad we could stand the wait in order to try the food.
I guess we left Vij's being alittle disappointed. Being such food crazed people, we weren't impressed with the food. We knew it was Indian fusion, but the food was not spicy in the least. There was nothing bad about the food; the lamb popsicle and beef tenderloin was done well. Portions were good. Like my husband said 'it looked Indian, but tasted Western'. I guess that's why they call it fusion. (We're beginning to realize that we're not so crazy about fusion food :)
What pleasantly surprised me was how attentive the owner was. He went around to greet and welcome every single table. How hospitable, we thought! Half way through the dinner (while we were having our main dish), he came by again and asked how we were doing. And went on to say that he noticed my husband was not eating much of the Portebello Mushroom appetizer. How observant! We had to explain that it wasn't because the food was bad, but that he was not much of a mushroom person. It's simply amazing. The restaurant was packed and dimly lit, so for him to have noticed what we were eating, that was quite unexpected.
But it only goes to show that he cares that his patrons are satisfied. It's not often that this happens.
The free 'appetizers' (3 types in total) which were served to everyone was a nice touch. So was the free chai tea.
I don't know if I will go back to Vij's for Indian fare, but the food and the extras were not bad.
I'm being kind of generous about this particular one, but since I'm rating a few today, it's fine.
Honestly, I wouldn't come back to this place again, but as a part of my visit to Vancouver I had to check it out.
I waited for a good 5 - 7 minutes for a table. Didn't mind, better places have kept me waiting longer. When I was finally in, the place was so crowded I thought it was a good sign.
The food was great, just as I was expecting. The service wasn't as bad with all the crowd on the restaurant but not worthy of a luxury place. That brings me to my next point, it's pretty expensive and I don't think that's their value.
I would recommend try it and if the ambiance is different, you don't mind paying way more than average indian restaurant. Otherwise, personally, there are better ones in my list, like handi, and at a better rate.
Okay, my fifth time. Got there at 5:15pm, and were seated when the doors opened at 5:30pm. I love this restaurant so much... the owner is so warm and charming, I really appreciate his effort to make guests feel welcome. The cocktails were okay, the wine was really nice (and VERY reasonably priced), the appies (heart attack and samosas) were so flavourful. The lamb I ordered was tender and de-lish. Dessert was also up to par with the rest of the food - some pistachio/mango ice-cream. The prices are really great - considering the quality/portion. I also like the chai and the million of other appies the staff rotated around the restaurant.
We knew we had to line up so we arrived around 5:05 on a clear Friday evening and ended up second in line. We were prompty seated and served with free appetizers and chai tea which was a nice surprise.
Food: Pretty good for Indian food. For appetizer, we crab spoons, which was ok. We also had prawns with a vegetable called kail, which was pretty unique and tasty with the sweet curry sauce. Usually, I avoid lamb like the plague, but after seeing the lamb popsicles made on City Cooks, I thought I would give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. There is no usual lamb taste, the meat was tendered and the curry sauce was excellent. The sauce is creamy, and not loaded with spices like some other Indian restaurants do. Oh, Atkins dieters beware: with the yumminess of the sauce, you'll want to soak it all up with the naan bread.
Service: Very attentive. I'm a big water drinker and it was always refilled. A waiter "encouraged" me to try the kail I mentioned above and it was a good thing he did, cuz it tasted good. The only disappointment was the Vij himself didn't come by to see how we were doing.
Ambiance: This place doesn't take reservations, so it could kind of suck waiting in line. There is a bar at the back of the restaurant, but there is not much atmosphere and it's next to the restroom. Otherwise, restaurant is cozy, but somewhat loud.
Overall, this is probably the first time I've had good Indian food. A good experience that I would recommend to others.
After 3.5 years of living here and hearing about this famous restaurant, I finally managed to get to Vij's. We got there at 5:35pm...and considering they opened at 5:00pm we thought we'd be okay on a Thursday night. We were wrong...we were told there'd be a wait of about 1.5 hours!! We decided not to try Rangoli (the casual version next door), but wait for the big Vij's experience. And am I glad we did!!
We got to sit in their bar area, which is really great...very intimate with tasteful decor. The outstanding service started here...and didn't stop all night (more on that later). With the free sample tasters that come around (the chickpea flour and potato fritters were one of the best...but so was the whole wheat wafer cracker with chutney and mung beans!!), it's easy to get distracted from reading the menu. The wine list is pretty good, but we went straight for the cocktails. I had the Dark Army (rum with ginger and garam masala) and my friend had the Indian Mojito (basically like a mojito but with star anise). Both were so tasty that you savoured the drinks and nursed them for a little longer than you would normally.
After about 30 minutes, we were told our table was ready (so we didn't have to wait that long anyway!!), and we were seated at a larger table at the front right near the windows. It gave us a chance to look around at our beautifully decorated surroundings while watching all the food fly past. The free sample taster trays were still being circulated around the restaurant as well - it wasn't just a cheap trick to get you to order something (as some other restaurants do), but rather a fantastic opportunity to showcase the culinary talents of the kitchen (none of the items were on the menu!!). Obviously it works perfectly for those waiting - we looked outside at about 6:30pm and the chairs were full and there were people standing with drinks anticipating when their name would be called for a table. You could see their jealous faces almost pressed up against the glass as those of us lucky to be inside dined in a very comfortable setting. At no point did we feel rushed or pressured to eat and get out (again, as most other "busy" restaurants do)...all of the servers, and the manager, were so pleasant and attentive.
The menu was overwhelming to the senses...every tastebud stood on end, anxious to try every single plate. The aromas from the nearby tables drove me wild, and I felt like my head was spinning...I was like a kid in a candy store - my attention span was seriously compromised!! My friend and I decided to share an appetizer and two mains.
The appetizer was the Eggplant with rapini in a thick garlic-yoghurt curry. Both of use agreed that this was one of the best dishes we'd tried, and that it would be a great main. The eggplant was so smooth and rich with a nice subtle smoky flavour, and the curry was truly incredible...a nice spice kick to it, without being overwhelming. All of the flavours pounced out at you, and every mouthful left you equally satisfied and yet wanting more. The plate was literally wiped clean with the nice fresh naan that came with it, and as the plate was taken away, we were both eager to see our mains, but also feeling a little sad that the amazing eggplant dish was over!! But, before we had a chance tog et too despondent, our mains made their appearance...
We shared two mains - the first being the famous wine marinated lamb popsicles served with a fenugreek cream curry and spinach and potatoes. The lamb was really tasty, but the highlight of this dish is by far the sauce...creamy without being too thick, with good heat and flavour that makes your eyes close as you let your tastebuds dance. The other main was the Beef shortribs braised in yoghurt tomato curry. Oh my God...the meat was almost shivering when we touched it with the spoon and it just fell apart. It was so tender, so juicy, and so delicious - the cause was really good, but in this dish, the meat was definitely the highlight. Both the dishes came with a small side of rice and some of their really lovely naan. We couldn't finish it all, and they were more than happy to pack it all up for us to take home (so the Vij's experience can last longer!!) You can tell that the food is all designed with love and care, and that the menu has been carefully tended to to ensure there is a good balance...not just for your palate, but also for the cultural experience.
But, please let me end with a note on the service. Since coming to Vancouver, I have been frustrated by the service in most places. The territorial "I'm sorry I can't help you, this isn't my section" attitude drives me nuts, and the "I expect a 15% tip for dumping your food on your table and getting your order right" is now a mandatory. Vij's service blows all of that out of the water and reminds us what dining is all about. Every staff member was casual, warm and friendly. Whenever food was presented (be it the free tasters, or one of our incredible dishes), they gave us a full introduction of what we were eating. They offered suggestions where we were stuck (especially with the drinks) and they were happy to substitute where needed. Any of the servers were happy to take our plates, or wipe our table, or take our order, or talk to us about our experience. And, I know I mentioned it before, but I loved the welcoming feeling...the fact that we were never pushed out or pressured to hurry up, despite the hoards of people outside. I appreciate the understated service - there was no pretentiousness...everyone was gracious, professional, and super friendly. They obviously coordinated perfectly with great communication, as we were never repeatedly asked the same questions - it was seamless service and I can't compliment them enough on this.
So, all in all, as you can tell, I had such a fantastic experience and I will DEFINITELY be back. In a city inundated with chain restaurants with poor service and generic dishes, Vij's is an oasis for all lovers of good food and great dining experiences.
Do yourself a favour and go!! Make sure you get there early and you are with people you can share dishes with - you absolutely MUST taste as much as you can!!
I Love the saag paneer and the spot prawns my boyfriend can never get enough of the lamb popsicles, love the service and can't get enough of their Chai - thank you so much for putting that recipe online I can't wait to try it!! Every time I come here it's consistently great food and the charm of the place is fantastic. Never change Vijs!!
From the moment you wait in line, to the second that you are greeted at the door - you will feel appreciated for your patronship. The food its to die for, the service is exquisit, and the vibes are wonderful.
This is where I like to go for any special events. And if you feel like dinning more on a dime, go to the place next door with similar recipes but less of a price tag.
You will love this place!
HINT- show up about a half hour before they open the doors for dinner. This will secure you for a table
Have been to Vij's a few times - food, service is quite simply awesome. But what's with the draft, especially if you get stuck with a seat by the door.
I do find the space a bit cramped - but to complain thusly seems a bit churlish given the food is quite amazing. I would say gorgeous but I am not sure that I can use the adjective to describe taste, etc. Anyhow, you get the point. It's money well spent and you will love the food.
The atmosphere is elegant, even waiting was elegant. This is a very crowded and noisy place so be warned. Noisy? means people are having fun. The long wait in the room at the back was made easy by the periodic free tidbits sent out from the kitchen to tide you over.
Once seated and a look at the menu and you will be impressed. This is a fusion Indian restaurant which marries various herbs and spices to create magical courses which will sooth your soul and excite your taste buds. Nothing that I have tried here has dissapointed me.
|1.||Cambie Village (1.6 km)|