Vij's offers a menu of Indian inspired fusion cuisine.
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. ;-)
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 !!
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!!
Vij's is one of Vancouver's premiere dining establishments. Everything from the moment you walk in is part of the experience. I've never gotten a table right away and would never want to. There is a lounge area at the back of the restaurant where you can sit, enjoy some wine, and try some samples being hand-delivered to you by the owner, Vikram. Prices are quite reasonable given the restaurants reputation (they could get away with charging so much more). Ask anyone who's been there about Lamb Popsicles and watch them salivate. The staff is so knowledgable and friendly and the atmosphere is unreal.
If you've never been, you're only excuse should be that you live in Nunavut.
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.
My sisters and niece were in Vancouver for a visit. We got to Vij's at 6pm and there was already a big wait. We didn't mind soaking the late afternoon sun and the service was very gracious that the wait didn't seem that terrible. They were serving us complimentary appetizers. All very good!! We would be excited every time the server came out with something different to try. When we got our table we weren't grumpy from the wait and had a very pleasant dinner. Lamb popsicle was amazing. Believe the hype :)
Dining at Vij's was a much-anticipated thrill but the reality of the wait to be seated -- it's appalling and even though the food was exquisitely ambrosial, I will never dine there again. Three generations of my family (there were nine of us) decided to celebrate at Vij's on a Saturday evening -- obviously a busy night so that was mistake number one. My brother went to the restaurant at 4:45 and put our name on the list. He waited outside Vij's the whole time and kept the rest of us posted via phone -- finally we were told to get down there ASAP for a 6:30 seating. We arrived and waited another 45 minutes before being escorted into the restaurant at 7:15. While we waited, the servers brought drinks and a tray of appetizers but it was cold outside, my 80-year-old parents had some difficulty with the wait, etc. -- 45 minutes on top of the initial 1 hour and 45 minutes!! When we were finally seated, our group of nine was not even able to sit together: our two tables were on opposite ends of the restaurant and due to serving time differences, half of our group had to leave long before the rest of us were finished with our meal -- we were like ships passing in the night. The wait certainly gives you ample time to ponder why the owners insist on such an inhospitable way of managing their guests' dining schedule! I get it that it's probably an ego-rush for the owners to see all these people lining up in desperate hope of a chance to dine, but seriously -- it's just absurd to expect people to put up with such a ridiculous process. I was sitting at a table near the door and over and over again I heard Vij explain to a bewildered would-be customer that a typical wait is 2 to 2.5 hours to dine at Vij's. Maybe if you're a 20-something it adds some cache to the experience (wow -- I waited 2.5 hours for my meal...so extreme)?? I'm happy that Vij and Meeru have produced cookbooks so we have a chance to try and create some of the food ourselves at home -- I will certainly never, ever go to Vij's restaurant again. Not only is it unpleasant and exasperating to wait for so long, it's disturbing to think the owners care so little about their customers -- it's a mystery to me that they don't simply take reservations.
Went to Vij after being scared off by line-ups during previous attempts. Got one of the last seats for the first sitting at 5pm. Service is definitely outstanding including the free snacks.
We had the beef tenderloin and lamb popsicle entrees while starting with the portobello mushroom appy. The lamb was perfectly and the sauce was excellent. My partner's beef tenderloin was slightly over-cooked but the sauce was still great. The meal came with rice and naan. Food wise, everything lived up to our expectations.
Ambiance of the room needed a change; it looked a bit dated. The bar at the back reminded me of lining up for the restroom at a club.
Will visit again but perhaps only once every six months or so.
After our meal, we visited Rangoli's for the pre-packaged meal (one package of chicken and beef each). Don't do this as its over-priced and under-delivers. We made the meals a couple days after purchase and anticipated a quality meal but were surprised to find small portions with very little sauce. Consequently, the protein was chewy and less then appetizing. For the money paid, you are better off just to have it at the restaurant.
First -- before you go, you should know that Vij's is more a traditional Indian restaurant but more along the fine dining vein. If you want your creamy take-out butter chicken, then this is not the place for you.
The food here is always delicious, delicately spiced, and always a treat. The drinks are delicious too.
Make sure you order naan and I prefer the "saucey" dishes over the drier meat dishes, but everything is good. Sometimes I find the spicing a little understated compared to other "commercial" Indian restaurants, but it is a nice change.
The worst part of going to Vij's is that they do not take reservations, so you pretty much cannot plan your night around it. This is a big downside -- unless you are there lining up at 5 or 5:30 you won't be eating dinner at a reasonable time, despite their complimentary appetizers.
It's not worth it. I find it a bit pretentious that they don't take even a few reservations every night, and to me it's not worth the hassle of standing around for hours just to eat some great Indian food. Still -- if you've never tried Vij's, then you must go at least once.
My partner and I went to Vij's this past weekend after hearing many (mixed, mostly good) reviews. We knew to expect a wait (although we deliberately went a little later to avoid the beginning-of-dinner rush). First impressions: the room in general could do with a little touching up. For a supposedly 'higher-end' Indian place, the decor seemed a tad amateurish. This is Vancouver, after all. First impressions do matter. This impression was carried through to the rather desolate back bar. Emphasized by near emptiness, the space was poorly done-up indeed.
We had a drink each while waiting and before we were done with them, we were informed that our table was ready. Wait time was definitely reasonable, and the much-heralded 'complimentary' appetizers tasted great. I was definitely prepared to forgive the mediocre decor if dinner tasted as great as their little amuse-bouches. We ordered the punjabi heart attacks and samosas to start, and their famous lamb popsicles plus the halibut and BC Spot Prawns for mains.
Punjabi heart attacks were... interesting. While tasty, they were really nothing to write home about. The quinoa 'palate cleanser' was the star of that dish. Similar for the samosas. Technically well prepared, but nowhere close to amazing; the tomato chutney stole that show.
Our theme was emerging here. For the mains, the sauces easily outperformed the proteins. So much flavour and nuance. However, my partner's halibut was tough. To overcook a piece of fish, and to completely dry out the BC Spot Prawns, is frankly, a rookie mistake at this level of restaurant. The lamb, too, could have used a few less minutes of grilling. In talking with other foodie friends, one came up with an interesting theory - could the cooks who prepared the food be vegetarian? All the vege components were, to be fair, incredible. But there appeared to be no testing for the done-ness of the meat/fish before it was brought out to the table.
The constant attention by the waitresses (refilling of drinks, checking on how we were) was great; service was impeccable. There's no mistaking that this food has all the makings of a truly elevated dining experience. We will probably be back, in the hopes that our meat was prepared on an off night. I'm hoping to be able to write a more favourable review then.
I ate at Vij's restaurant this evening with my boyfriend who works full time as a chef. We had recieved a gift certificate for Christmas for this restaurant and had heard it was incredible. We are both huge fans of Indian Cuisine, so we thought this place better be good! I honestly, was amazed...I have celiac disease and find it incredibly difficult to go to a restaurant and have people who actually care about your allergy and will do just about anything to make you comfortable. Vij's did it all! My boyfriend had naan bread and they brought me some wheat free naan bread, which was absolutely delicious! I've been to tons of restaurants and this is the first one I have ever had the need to write about how great it was. The people are great, the service was great, and the food is unbelieveable! I know sometimes there is a bit of a wait, but you know when there is a wait, you are at the right place! Anyways if you haven't tried this place, please try it!
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