Vij's offers a menu of Indian inspired fusion cuisine.
Definitely NOT "ordinary Indian food" as another reviewer puts it. There wouldn't be perennial long line-ups if the food was anything less than outstanding. It's noisy, but it's part of the fun. I've tried many Indian restaurants in London and Paris. Vij's in Vancouver is still at the top of my list. Indian cuisine doesn't get better than what you get at Vij's.
It has been almost 3 years since I moved from the lower mainland to Victoria and in that time I have only managed to get back a handful of times but virtually every visit has included a trip to Vikram Vij's nirvana.
Having travelled the world over and eaten in the best and worst I can easily put Vij's in my top 5 restaurants in the world and I'm hard pressed to name any restaurant where I have had a better all round experiance. Sure the sweetbreads at Lumiere are divine and the BBQ prawns at Brennan's are to die for but time and time again the meals I have enjoyed at Vij's surprise and satisfy.
I'm not sure what the individual in the previous review considers normal Indian food but I guarantee you you'll have a difficult time finding jackfruit like this in Delhi or Bombay.
Vij's is not typical Indian fare. The dishes are exsquisite marriages of ingrediants and techinique that make my mouth water just thinking about them.
Vikram Vij is the consumate host. He remembers us each and every time we come in and in fact last time we walked by Rangoli he noticed us through the window and came outside to say hello.
We typically ask Vikram to choose our meals for us and he's never let us down.
Vij's is a very very popular spot and they don't take reservations so if you want to get a table right away be sure to go early or late. I prefer to go around 7:30 and enjoy a wait at the bar sampling the complimentary nibblies and enjoying a locally brewed beer or glass of wine.
One final thing to note is the value that Vij's offers. Dinner for two with pre dinner drinks and a bottle of wine (all bottles are the same price) is typically about $100-$125. I can guarantee you that you won't get value like that in most other metropolitan cities serving fare this creative and divine.
Have never been disappointed by the food, service and ambiance of this always packed room.
The owner is the consummate host with incredible wine and food knowledge and can make anyone feel right at home in his beautiful room.
The careful selection of spices in his preparations are evident in each and every dish. A personal favorite are the Lamb Popsicle Sticks and it must be for others too as they have remained on the menu for years when other items have come and gone.
The only drawback is perhaps the unlikelyhood of getting a table if you are planning to dine during the prime dinner hours of 6 to 8. Go either before or after but still expect to wait in the chic lounge near the rear of the restaurant.
My other review on Vij's Rangoli voiced a level of hope yet incompleteness about the restaurant. And it turned out the hope was fulfilled and completeness came to fruition at Vij's. Expectations were low as most fancy well known restaurants usually leaves me hungry or broke after the experience. Not Vij's! Wow, no one told me about the complementary appys, they were so good and frequent that I didn't pay attention to their names.
I am not one for service, as I find most fine dining ventures to be uptight and pushy. I think Vij's gets around that by not having just only one server throughout the night, Vij's servers work together as a team creating a dynamic community. As a result, I never felt pushed to order more, yet always felt warmness from the staff. The special aura one feels as a result of the appys and the new approach to service, my wife and I really felt special and part of a new brand of dining experience.
Ok, the real deal, food. Many of my South Asian friends have told me the food is only average and overpriced. For those less informed, like myself, I thought the spices were well balanced and prepared with care. I believe the reason Non - South Asians love Vij's is that the competition out there is quite weak. Most Indian restaurants do themselves disservice by making their curry too liquidy. I have tried Indian food at my friend's house once and it was amazing. The main reason is that it was NOT mushy (i.e. slopped with cream or yogurt), so the veggies, spices, and meat really stood out. Curry is actually a blend of spices (which are in solid form, not liquid) and not what we think of as a mainly liquid texture. Imagine a good home cooked chicken soup full of flavor from the chicken, veggies, and other textures vs. a cafeteria chick soup where there is only 2 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of frozen peas inside. My goat dish and my wife's veggie curry dish were solid.
Coming, coming, coming back!!
What an excellent experience. So yummy. Because I regularly read this site (just started adding to it) I knew to go early.
So we went on Monday night last week around 5:30 and were sat right away -so I think that's the trick!
It was really good food and really good service. mmmm, just thinking about it makes me smile.
I didn't find it typical indian fare (and I love indian food) but that isn't why I went there- most high end places you don't get leftovers, so I was expecting something a little small but really good and that's what I got.
The server and owner were gracious -perfect.
I think this is a place that everyone should try -at least once.
I won't be a regular as it's a little pricey and by 6 o'clock there was an hour long wait -on a monday -(we ran into some friends that were going to wait once they took a look at our food).
Overall a great place!
I came here for the first time the other night with a few others and saw that the place was so packed on a cold and rainy night, we had an hour and half wait! I thought to myself this place better be good if i'm going to be waiting this long. We sat in the small, but cozy lounge/bar area and shared some wine while the servers always brought delicious appetizers around for everyone! What a great idea!
When we finally were seated, everything we ordered was absolutely delicious! It's pretty dark in there so i kind of found it difficult to even make out my friends faces, but either than that the place seemed pretty neat. Service was fabulous with constant chai refills, rice top ups and fresh nan bread. Will definately be back and recommend this place to anybody.
Vancouver seem to have many hyped up restaurants that don't live up to it's name..i.e. Tojo's, DB Bistro...Vij is certainly well known and I was somewhat skeptical about what to expect having been disappointed so many times in Vancity.
I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quality of food at Vij's. There's certainly some innovation and thought put into the menu and while it's still indian based, it's not something you can get elsewhere at other restaurants.
The no reservation policy certainly is a pain and probably helps wit the hype...but I guess it's worth a little wait to give it a try!
This place is probably to most over rated place I've been to in my life. I mean the ambience is fine as it looks like a fine dining with a bar type touch to it. Serrvice is fine. Food is horrible. I think people are getting overwhelmed by the atmosphere they are rating it so high. Most Indian restaurants I have found have poor service. This is the only restaurant I have seen with good service. Downfall is that the food is horrible. They don't even use any of the Indian herbs. Either that or they use them is such low quantity to save monay. If you want real Indian food you must go to Dehli in India as you will get superior service with superior food.Unfair however as Dehli is in India. To sum it up, Vj's is over rated because people are overwhelmed by the ambience that they over rate the food. Th e food plain is horrible. It is not Indian food at all. Teh lolly pop lamb is a peasant dish called "kurry" which is not the same as normal curry. This can be found at most places in Surrey tasting much better. People that go to Vj's are so impressed. I am a cook and have great recipes for Indian food as I learned of a 5 star chef in India. I have great deal knowledge about Indian food.
I went to Vj’s with a friend of mine. I had no expectations since the only thing for me to measure was the pictures from the website. When I came in I was impressed by what I saw and experienced. With the ambience, it felt like I was taken away to another place. The host and servers were great.
As we started out in the evening, we were served chai tea (I love chai tea but very few places have them made from scratch) and some biscuits. I couldn’t have any cause I have an allergic reaction to wheat flour. But later in the evening I was served automatically served a plate of chapti (corn bread) just before I was about to order rice. I was impressed that they had taken in consideration of my wheat allergy. I was disappointed to see that even though there is a lounge area in the back, they don’t serve cocktails/specialty drinks. This is the kind of place that I would see mostly likely to serve besides wine and beer.
We shared the venison medallions, lamb popsicles and jackfruit curry. I wanted to try something different and to see how good it will be. I was really impressed with the dishes. A variety of spices and flavors really made it stand out. Our water glasses were never empty and I loaded up on chai tea compliments of the restaurant.
Would I go again? Yes definitely. A perfect place to really impress your date.
Honestly, no, it doesn't! We have been going here since it opened its doors on 11th and we are devoted fans of this place. We have eaten all over...and our favourite meals still remain here. Service is impeccable. Yes, there is usually a line-up. We usually curtail this by going to line-up around 5-5:15 and get in right away at 5:30. Once in awhile if we are late, we end up sitting around for awhile (in the bar or patio) but with good company and good snacks that they provide, it is not a bad wait. If they took reservations it would be booked solid for months and none of us regulars could get in when we decide to drop in! Yes, prices increase but as a treat every few months it is more than worth it for this type of food and service! The flavours are so complex and intriguing that it does not have to be "burn-the-roof-off-your-mouth spicy" typical Indian food. If that is what you like- go elsewhere. If you like to try world-class "foodie" food in Vancouver- go here. It seems Vij tries to use seasonal products and typically has a very nice, yet succinct, menu based on a few good vegetarian options and several different meat options- usually chicken, lamb, pork, beef and fish. If they have an appetizer with jackfruit- try it! You will not be disappointed. We never leave even a small smear of curry on our plates as we sop it all up with the delicious naan. The best part of this place is that the owner is usually present- greeting and seating guests. I think this is crucial to any place sustaining its popularity and for the owner to keep up his high standards.
If you are unable to get into Vij's for quite awhile- go to Rangoli- but expect that the food won't be quite as flavourful and high-end as Vij's but is still wonderful on its own accord. Again, don't go if you can't wait for good food or desire standard Indian fare like butter chicken. Go there for delicious food and marinated chicken with ghee dressing!!! It doesn't get any better than this!
It's been awhile since I've been here (I think it was 4 yrs ago, before I became a mom and had no time to go out). LOL
But it was an excellent restaurant, and from what I heard Vij's has not lost its touch.
My husband and I lived a few blocks away so we dined here often when we lived close by.
I will try it out again when we can get a babysitter.
I remember the lamb dishes melted in your mouth.
And desert was delicious.
Good service too.
Vij's opens at 5:30...they don't take reservations because it is always lined up. We arrived around 6 and waited 1.5 hours for a table. You wait in the bar...ok if you can get a seat...but they FREQUENTLY come by with hot appetizers that are delicious. The menu is like no other. Outstanding and complex combinations of ingredients. We had the lamb popsicles and a chicken dish. Both portions were large and both meals were first rate. Everything arrives HOT. We had the prawn appetizer and it was excellent. What impresses me is that Vikram is a hands on owner, helping his staff while greeting customers. He came by our table twice to ask how we were enjoying our meal and to sincerely thank us for waiting. (Feenie take note). An expensive meal yes, but to be honest it was worth it! Rangoli next door is a great lunch spot.
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.
The food from here is amazing. Each meal tastes like nothing you've ever eaten. It's always busy, which makes it less than relaxing. But they give you free appys while you wait for a seat. I would try to go during the week if you want to eat early. I loved my dish, a curry with chicken and a bunch of other exotic and cool flavors.
My wife and I had an impromptu visit at Vijs last Thursday. The place was packed and we ended up waiting about 1 1/2 hours to be seated. ( apparently we had just missed the 1st seating ). Fair enough, so we sat in this tiny bar / holding area and while we had drinks they brought around a number of yummy appitizers.
When we were finally seated it felt a wee bit crowded and funny enough, the lady sitting behind me and I had to have a good laugh when she went to retrieve for something in her coat pocket and realized she was searching in my jacket instead of hers.
For dinner we decided to share Samosa's as an appitizer and for entree's I had the Lamb Lollipops and my wife had the Eggplant. I really can not discribe the flavours or textures without doing them an injustice, however the only words that comes to mind is brilliant and masterful.
Vij's has to be one of the top restaurants we have been to in Vancouver and will definitely be going back, and yes, the wait is definitely worth it.
absolutely delicious food. good service. perfect ambience. not too pretentious, the humble owner himself pops around to see you;re enjoying yourself. it really is simply wonderful, i'm so glad this place is around. vikram obviously really cares and that is the reason that his place is so consistently great. it's a passionate place.
I guess you should always start with the positives.
Service is great, friendly staff and Vij himself come around in full garb to make everyone feel welcome.
The atmosphere itself is beautiful and makes for a nice evening setting.
But on the poor side:
The value is horrible - I was expecting to pay a high price to eat there - but the cost was about 30% more than my already high expectations.
As for the food - I found it kind of bland. I think this may be why it is so popular, blandish westernized Indian food appealing to the masses which believe it must be good because it is overpriced. On the positive side, the food was presented nicely and prepared well - just lacked taste.
I probably wouldn't go back but I think it is worth a one-time visit.
After having mistaken the Rangoli for the actual restaurant, and knowing before hand that there were no reservations to be made, I expected the wait for a table to be longer than it was. I had waited for about ten to fifteen minutes, I believe. Perhaps, however, it is the entertainment of having conversation, beverages, and non-alcoholic drinks in the back bar, while waiting for the wait to seem quite short. Regardless, the ambience was “a-buzz” with contemporary music and somewhat modern interlaced with traditional Indian themes, with the elephant lighting was dimmed quite substantially. Keep in mind that we had dined at the restaurant quite late, which is a necessary component of the discussion. The service was diligent and friendly, as one would expect from any restaurant. I must admit though, having stayed as late as myself and companions had, they were quite considerate, it is possible we had stayed slightly past midnight, even though the kitchen had closed at ten. For the table, I had ordered the sablefish and lamb, the attendant then brought to the table naan bread and delicious rice. The naan was quite tasty, soft and complemented the other dishes rich curry and sauce. The lamb was tasty and smoky although perhaps more so cooked than I usually appreciate, with the potatoes cooked well, and the curry was also spicy. I hope to develop my taste in spices soon enough. The presentation was quite appropriate and appealing in both dishes colors and mixtures of tastes. The sable fish was divine, cooked absolutely perfectly with the soft and flaky texture any fish should have. In complete collaboration, I would dine at Vij’s again simply to have the sable fish another time. The rest of Vij’s was satisfactory, although perhaps not as renowned as expected, although it is a definite place to feast at least once.
It was a special day for us and we could not think any where other than going to vijs.So mentally we got prepare to wait for 45 mins and so we did .But the snacks never stop coming ,those carom seeds puris were excellect.
I don’t know who trains those servers very knowledgeable even with a other cuisine.
We had mutton kebab with Bengali curry …amazing even your body will feel it.
As for entrée we ordered spot prawns and Rajasthani goat curry. No complains but really wonder how he gets boneless goat .
About the ambience it always get better when the restaurant are full .
Oh for sure we will be back as we know how much passion vijs have.
When you choose the best you need to pay price.
Went with 4 friends. All got different dishes and shared. I loved the "ragistan? goat curry" --one of the best I have eaten, and I grew up in S. Asia. The curry had a fantastic collection of spices that blended so well with the meat, which must take hours to cook since its goat. The lamb popsiscles were good, so was the pork. The sablefish was very tender and well cooked, but my wife and i did not care for the sauce. Service was good, except it took quite a while to take our drinks order.
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