Login or Register
Do a search below using the city or postal code search box if your city is not listed above.

3.5
  • Food4
  • Service4
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews95

Vij's

1480 West 11th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6H1L1
Tel: (604) 736-6664
Neighbourhood: West Side

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 95 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Snobby, Stuck up server
By grnbastard of South Van (17 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 12:29pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
The New York Times said it was good
By Vangroover of Coal Harbour (11 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 12:25am [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Great Experience
By hotshot of north vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 1, 2007 - 5:19pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
It was not the food that wow-ed us!
By winnie_epooh of West End, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 8, 2007 - 11:27pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Not as Good as Expected
By Tom G of sundre, Ab (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 5:03pm [Dine in]

First of all, I couldn't fault the service. The staff were really friendly and genuinely wanted you to enjoy your experience. We also enjoyed the snacks whilst we waited for our table. We didn't actually have to wait as long as expected but it was a Tuesday evening. Sadly, we were disappointed with the food. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't amazing - especially for the price. We both had the lamb Popsicles and although well cooked, I just found the sauce far too rich and sickly after a while. By the end of it we both said we would have preferred some popadoms and a madras from our local takeaway!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Favourite restaurant in Vancouver
By dal of van (35 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 10:22pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Unique and Pleasant Indian Fusion Experience
By ryyeung of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 21, 2008 - 2:15pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
Prince Gastronome
By PrinceGastronome of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 9:09am [Dine in]

On its surface, you could dismiss Vij's, baring you possessed some form of extrasensory culinary clairvoyance. I had criticized restaurants in the past that matched the straightforward décor approached by Vij's, but here, it's intentional and not the result of a limited budget. Vij's stands a proud achievement in a city of over half a million people that the most respected, most critically praised restaurant is so modest and unpretentious that it refuses to take reservations. Compared to the other dinners I would have on this Vancouver outing, Vij's not only came up the cheapest, but the friendliest as well. Of course, the day had to balance that experience with a depressing lead in.

I had arrived that same day, and after dropping my bag on the bed of the hotel, I hustled out and took to the road, guided my by TomTom voiced by Billy Connolly ("Turn around, if possible…it's important to turn your whole car around; don't just turn around inside the car."). Prior critics had recommended arriving around 5:00, thirty minutes ahead of the dinner service, if one had any hope of getting in on the first seating. My watch read 5:00, unaware that it would take 15 minutes to find a parking spot in this cursed town. I eventually stumbled into an empty stall mated to a Canada Trust that threatened to tow any car before 6:00 unless it was owned by a customer. Anxiety began to build. I couldn't remember if the doors opened at 5:00 or 5:30, and I began to worry that I'd be standing in line for hours, my empty stomach trying to convince my brain to eat the toddler in front of me while his parents tapped away on their iPhones.

Vij's is paired with another restaurant, Rangoli, owned by the same chef and promising modest prices with smaller portions. Rangoli also features a store where interested buyers can purchase prepackaged food and cookbooks related to the franchise surrounding the head chef and owner, Vikram Vij.

My substandard $15 dollar watch silently flipped to 5:30 and the doors opened, revealing the pleasant head chef and host, the celebrity himself. What modesty to welcome each customer personally? I managed a table at the first seating and took a moment to enjoy the décor, or rather lack thereof…well, what I could see in a restaurant as dark as an adult video store…I've heard. I did make out a painted but otherwise unfinished roof with exposed pipes and air ducts, bargain light shades only in fashion before 1979, and a cluster of female chefs clad head-to-toe in black like gastronomic ninjas frantically preparing the first set of orders.

The first waiter placed an unidentified brass jug on my table and I spent the first few minutes of the meal staring at it, unsure what could be concealed in its dimly-lit depths. As I pondered this culinary Lemarchand's box, passing waiters kept offering me free food. To start was pana puri, followed by glass of masala chai, a cassava root fry, and a vegetable pakora. My assigned waiter followed and poured water from the brass decanter still mocking me at the center.

Just water, huh? Kind of disappointed now.

Disappointment is being sarcastic. Some critics have pointed at the owner's boisterous attitude as being pompous, that the restaurant's refusal to accept reservations is inexcusable. My scholarly counter to such a criticism is to tell those people to bug off. Show up at 5:00 and swallow your damned pride; or better still, just avoid Vij's and drop twice as much money on a pretentious slab of cow you self-important philistine. I'm sorry that Vij treats each patron equally, regardless of the house they live in or the car they drive. There's no bouncer, no mandatory tie. Vikram Vij wears a scarf over an un-tucked kurta and doesn't ask for anything from his patrons. Expensive? Vij's was the cheapest place I patronized for dinner during my vacation, and maybe it might be expensive if what you're used to is the Indian equivalent of a culinary bukkake (yeah, I went there), where you're offered thirty variations of curries and kormas and can eat nonstop until you bankrupt Macau. Waiting twenty minutes is a small price to pay for the best Indian-inspired food you likely ever to find.

Don't expect butter chicken or masala chops; Vij's is about something entirely new, original recipes inspired by classic Indian traditions. The menu is a meek collection of dishes, scattered on the single page in seemingly no sensible order. I opted for the popular wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes. The dish was delivered with a side of rice and chapattis. Given the snacks preceding the meal, I hardly required an appetizer, although I would've liked to have ordered those somosas. Although I'm not one to enjoy tearing meat off bones, I found myself bravely diving in. There was no gristle or tough sections, the bones stuck up inviting from the large bowl and I alternated between them and the cream sauce, spooned up with rice or bread. The curry was without a doubt the best I had ever had.

The stress of my car's fate took hold and a rushed through the bill, racing to the stall to find my car still waiting patiently without a ticket. I wandered back to Vij's and dropped down cash for one of his cookbooks. The clerk asked if I wanted Vij to sign it. Yeah, she actually asked. While the chef signed my sister's name across the leaf, he recounted how easy the fenugreek sauce is to make at home, and that the secret to the lamb's tenderness is to marinade it in the wine for a full day. Oh, simple as that?

If I lived in Vancouver, or anywhere near it, I would make it my mission to order each and every dish on Vij's modest menu. I would run a blog dedicated to just this one restaurant. It truly is that good, even ignoring the demands imposed by its novelty. It isn't pretty, could stand with a few extra lights, and I did feel rather tight against other patrons, but Vij's placement on the upper echelon of the culinary elite is well earned.

DECOR: 6
PLATING: 9
SERVICE: 10
FOOD: 10
VALUE: 9

OVERALL: 9 out of 10

By the way, I think describing a buffet as a culinary bukkake may be my most disgusting metaphor yet.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
One of the best dining experiences in Vancouver
By natsully of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, July 13, 2012 - 9:45am [Dine in]

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!!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Consistently Fabulous!!
By Foodie999 of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 9:13pm [Dine in]

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!!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
PERFECT place
By vancouver604 of burnaby (4 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 21, 2011 - 11:39pm [Dine in]

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

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Great food - but a bit chilly inside
By CoolDiner of North Vancouver, BC (25 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 10, 2011 - 11:38pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Not bad
By food_lover_van of Vancity - east (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 26, 2011 - 9:08pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Believers
By ma99ie of vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 3:34pm [Dine in]

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 :)

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Long Wait Kills the Experience
By whitejade of Victoria BC (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 5:58am [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Much anticipated first visit
By niftydiner of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 4:46pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Wonderful -- but a hassle
By VancityAllie of Vancouver (Fairview) (7 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 8:57pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Unfortunately doesn't live up to the hype
By jmozery of downtown vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 1, 2010 - 12:55pm [Dine in]

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.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
If you have Celiac Disease this is for you!
By jessi of New West (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - 12:32am [Dine in]

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!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
A favourite
By ngibzak of Burnaby (22 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 6:34pm [Dine in]

While standing in a lineup with the girlfriend Saturday night, waiting for Vij’s doors to open, the guy queued behind us asked what the big deal was with the restaurant. He said he passed by often, and was curious why there was always a crowd waiting to get in, what type of food was served, etc. I was a little surprised by his questions, as I’ve always considered Vikram Vij and his namesake restaurant to be relatively famous Vancouver entities. Nonetheless, I was happy to advise him that he could expect really good (albeit not entirely authentic, at least according to a South Asian friend who refuses to eat there – it’s her loss) Indian food. I’ve been to Vij’s a number of times over the years, and this most recent visit was probably the best yet.

After being shown to one of the last tables in the house (much to our relief – the people a few spots behind us were advised they’d have to wait 45 minutes to an hour), and a small debate over the menu, we decided to get things started with an order of samosas. Without exaggerating, they were some of the best samosas I’ve ever eaten. Crunchy/flaky pastry on the outside, savoury meat on the inside, and a sweet sauce with a dab of coconut as accompaniment … absolutely delicious. Both the girlfriend and I agreed that we would’ve been perfectly happy if dinner consisted of nothing but a dozen more. But we moved on. For her main, the girlfriend chose a dish of halibut and spot prawns in curry, while I went with grilled sablefish and zucchini in a mango reduction. The halibut and prawns were excellent – the fish held up well to the moderately spicy sauce. And as for the sablefish, simply put, it was out of this world. I’ve eaten a lot of sablefish dishes recently, and Vij’s, by far, has been my favourite preparation. The girlfriend tried a little and agreed that it was outstanding. To finish, we shared an bowl of … some sort of frozen pistachio dessert. The girlfriend called it ice cream, while I thought it resembled granita. Whatever it was, it was very good, and a refreshing way to end dinner.

Despite the fact that there’s a bit of a revolving door approach, service was top notch. There was never any confusion or delay with the orders, and every server who approached our table was polite and professional. Vikram Vij – the consummate showman and host that he is – greeted guests personally at the door upon opening, and was a perpetual man in motion during dinner. He even spooned curry sauce onto my girlfriend’s rice. Awesome! Ambiance-wise, the small, dark room is cozy and intimate, yet the atmosphere within is lively. The ‘no reservations’ policy actually adds to the restaurant’s charm – it's a guilty pleasure to sit inside and eat wonderful food, while the lineup of hungry patrons grows outside on the patio. Finally, in terms of value, considering the quality of food served, the charming ambiance and the spot-on service, Vij’s is definitely worth extra. It remains among my top picks.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

Images

Displaying 101 - 3 of 3 Images Found