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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 41 - 60 of 95 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Oustanding Dinning Experience
By kirang7 of Surrey (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 13, 2009 - 4:19pm [Dine in]

I think Vij's is one of the best indian restaurants I have been too. The food is indian without the spice but more of the flavour. The lamb popsicles were fab with a great sauce. The goat curry was excellent (hearty and falvourful). Perfect serving of rice and naan. Although I think the naan's could have been better. I found thema bit plain but I think that's the intent!

Overall great food and experience!

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Delicious
By Platinumdimsum of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 3:17pm [Dine in]

Over the past few years I have eaten at Viji's many times, and have enjoyed every meal experienced there. Vij is a gracious host, and (like Bishop's, where he has worked before) visits each table to greet customers with a warm welcome.

No reservations are taken, but you are guaranteed a table if you go early. If you do have to wait, the backroom is pretty fun. As you're waiting, they have a constant stream of small bites to tide you over until a table becomes available.

The food is fantastic, with sauces made from scratch, and fresh BC ingredients. This isn't authentic Indian food, but more like the fresh/seasonal bounty of BC with Indian inspirations.

To the previous poster that complained about the restaurant being inflexible: Kosher, no dairy, no meat, no grains -- perhaps it would have been much easier to stay at home a homecooked meal.

Items like curries are made from scratch, but not on the day of (welcome to flavour country after flavours have had time to mingle). It is unreasonable to ask for all those changes. Not only because it's not an easy thing to do, but items may taste a bit strange with the various requested substitutions (not the way the chef intended). You may have fared better at other restaurants (West comes to mind), they could have planned a custom tasting menu for you.

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overall
By jcmackinn of victoria (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 6, 2008 - 12:46pm [Dine in]

I think for a restaurant to stay as "solid" as Vij's is a huge task. I have been many many times and the quality remains "solid" The service is also important and that remains consistent as well. I rather like to sit in the back and be served lovely apps and chat with the people in the same situation. If I want to be through quickly I go early and never have to wait. I am a chef and can tell you that to keep a restaurant consistently "solid" and keep filling it up is an achievement. Vij runs a wonderful restaurant and of course you may have better food at another Indian restaurant but keep going back and see if you continue to get it. That is the secret to success. And the "owner" is ALWAYS there!

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Pay more for smaller portions
By indianlover of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 9:15pm [Dine in]

I have to wonder if people who rave about Vij's have been to other indian resturants?! Don't get me wrong, I like Vij's very much but you over pay for small portions. It is as if you can say, "this is high end, you should pay more," when in reality it is not high end. Small portions does not make this high end. I also find it over spiced in some cases.

This site needs a rating for value. I would give it a 2 for value but 4/5 for others. If you don't care what you get for your money this is great.

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Can't wait to go back
By kmontagu of Main Street, Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 2, 2008 - 3:21pm [Dine in]

I've been to Vij's a couple of times and keep thinking about it. I like Indian food way more than my husband, so I'm having trouble getting him to go with me, but I know it would convert him. This place is amazing. I love the bar where you wait while they serve you complimentary appetizers. I love the lamb popsicles. I love it that Vij stops by to see how you're doing. I loved the duck medallions. I keep thinking about this food. Wow!

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An OK experience at best
By T_Deacon of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 12:38am [Dine in]

I came to Vij's after being recommended by a friend at work. The food was very bland and didn't really offer much in the taste department. Some of the dishes were very unique however. Service was decent as well, but nothing special. The restaurants decor was quite pleasant and had a nice feel to it. I certainly wont pay as much as I did for another meal here. My friend at work will definetly be hearing from me.

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Very Good, But Not Great
By PromQueen of Kitsilano (21 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 3:34pm [Dine in]

Seeing all the amazing reviews for here, I expected more. The food is very good, though quite over priced. The quality is definitely better than most Indian restaurants.
The wait in line was ridiculous, I didnt want to wait but my date insisted, so we stood in line for near half an hour. When we could have walked right in to some other restaurants in the area.
Service was ok, but not super friendly or personable, as I was led to expect. They do make the comment of the food is meant for sharing, but you need to order several plates for 1 couple.
So, while the food is quite good, the line up to get in, and the price of it suggests that I will not be back any time soon.

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Solid experience
By finger22 of downtown (4 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 10:44am [Dine in]

I think calling Vij's average is a little bit irresponsible. You cannot have an ethnic experience like this anywhere else in Vancouver. He is truly one of our stars. You might find a more authentic version of Indian elsewhere but not more unique one.

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Another Vote on Average...
By Davros of Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 28, 2007 - 4:56pm [Dine in]

I agree with the previous review. The food was not that much different than other indian places, except maybe smaller portions and higher prices.
2 of us went, and we were also given the, "our plates are designed for sharing". So we thought great, yet with 2 of us and 4 items for sharing, we were left very hungry at the end of our meal...we actually went to another restaurant and got even more food afterwards.
I can think of at least 3 other indian restaurants in Van I'd rather dine at, and my bill will be maybe 2/3 what it was here, and not have left overs for the next day.
I was disappointed with this experience, hopefully it was Vij's day off, and not indicative of the regular quality of food. May give it another try in future.

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Sadly average
By wyzegirl of Beautiful Port McNeill (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 4:06pm [Dine in]

So yah, we don't get out of the boonies that much. Decided that while in the city we would take in one of the newly acclaimed hot spots. I was so excited. Service is fabulous and friendly. I loved the comment of "We encouage sharing" so that is what the four of us did. It was OK. My first real Indian food, I expected much stronger flavours. Things seemed too generic and made for the masses. Lamb was lovely and mild but I would have liked stronger flavours in the sauces. Everything is cooked very well, and thought the portion sizes were fine. We tried quite a few items and nothing was bad, but nothing knocked my sandals off either. Nice chai and great chocolates with garam masala spices. Even with the waiting lines they do not make you feel pressured to leave. Best ambience? the floral display in the ladies bathroom...

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Always consistent
By asian-qt of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 1:34pm [Dine in]

I have been to Vij's a number of times and it is wonderful that the food and service have been consistently outstanding, if not incredible, ever since this restaurant opened. I had out-of-town guests two weeks ago and brought them to Vij's and they all raved about the food; the lamb popsicle sticks, prawns in coconut and grilled sable fish were all so flavourful. Fingerfoods were also offered with our drinks while we waited for the dishes that we ordered at our ttable. The service staff were great; three came to our table throughout our meal to make sure we had everything we ordered. The place is simply decorated, but elegant. I will definitely keep coming back!

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Not quite what we were expecting!
By LizB of Cambie, Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, March 23, 2007 - 8:31pm [Dine in]

First of all - we had no problem with waiting the 1 1/2 hours for a table, because we knew this was likely. We were, however a little surprised to find the area we were supposed to spend the time waiting was really very small! So we decamped to West ( Granville and 14th ) and consumed very nice cocktails while we waited.
Food - starters were very tasty, though not a huge portion given cost. Mains - beef shortribs delicious! Lamb popsicles way to rich - cream sauce not a good mix. Restaurant very noisy - something to be said for flock wallpaper!! Overall, not an experience we would repeat. Not being able to reserve a table is a pain in the a****. Not sure who the system is supposed to suit. The cynic in me would say the owners, because then they never have to worry about no shows! Service was patchy - I appreciate it was busy, but still.

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Not all it is cracked up to be
By liketoeat of New Westminster (3 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 12, 2007 - 12:45am [Dine in]

I think this place is good.

But overrated.

The staff are attentive and charming.

But the food is not as good as I think it should be considering all that I have heard about it.

I will choose a traditional Indian restaurant over Vig's.

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