You know a restaurant is going to be good when there’s 40+ people crowding around outside, waiting for the doors to open at 5:30pm. On a Tuesday night. WOW, Vancouver people are intense. Clearly, they know where to eat. Someone adopt me please?
My friend and I weren’t sure if we were going to make the first round of seating (they have room for about 50-60 people) but we got lucky and were able to snag a table. Vij’s knows what he is doing – when you first walk in, he’s there to greet you and shake your hand. A very nice, unexpected touch. The service was excellent, seriously, top notch – the only hiccup was that they forgot to give us menus at the beginning. Other than that, this is the type of service you want and expect when you go for fine dining. The room was buzzing with waiters and waitresses constantly on the go and I just really digged the atmosphere. Laid back (warm and friendly), classy and unpretentious.
While we were deciding what to order, we were offered a variety of samples and complimentary chai tea. Again, this was completely unexpected but we were both thoroughly impressed. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant that offered so many freebies. From what I can remember, we had papri chaat, cassava fries and pakoras. Going that extra mile sets them apart in my mind, other fine dining establishments would be wise to steal a page out of their playbook.
The rice was fluffy and perfectly cooked. Perfect to soak up all the delicious sauces from our entrees.
Eggplant in thick yogurt and garlic curry. The sauce was delectable and being an eggplant fanatic, this made me one happy camper.
Lamb popsicles ($29.75)
Wine marinated lamb in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes. The lamb popsicles were tender, juicy, succulent, I could keep going on and on describe how good it was. There’s a reason that this is their signature and most popular dish. The cream curry sauce was rich, flavourful with a hint of spiciness to it. The twist came from the fenugreek, which gave the sauce an unexpected sweetness to it. A perfect balance of flavours. A must order!
Saag paneer with Punjabi daal and chapatti ($24.00)
This dish was a let down. The saag paneer was a bit too thick and flavour wise, it was lacking compared to our other dishes. It wasn’t spicy and the flavours were mild. The daal was similar. Maybe we should have ordered another meat entrée as this dish didn’t impress and was overpriced for what you get.
Vij’s is the real deal. Amazing service, absolutely delectable food and a restaurant that actually lives up to the hype! It is pretty rare for me to wait in lineups (I hate lineups with a passion) but I would be willing to wait to eat at Vij’s. Apparently, an hour to two is quite common – forget that, just go early if you can and minimize your wait time. One of the best meals on my trip! If only we hadn’t forgot our leftovers. Cue super sad face.
1480 W 11th Avenue