November 29, 2006

I really like Indian food, and I’ll try anything that looks good on the menu. Curries and vindaloos, tandoor and paneer… but I’m a little embarassed to admit that I usually end up with the classic: chicken tikka masala.

This has left me with the impression that Indian food is rich and heavy – a spicy Eastern alternative comfort food. My favorite Indian place in town is Taste of India on Roosevelt, and it’s really good, but I’d been lulled into the misconception that this was approximately the best I could expect from the genre.

I was so wrong.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were up in Vancouver. On some friends’ recommendation we decided to check out Vij’s. We’d been warned about the wait – they don’t take reservations and the wait was 2.5 hours when we got there. So we put our names down, went for a walk, and then sat down wondering if it would be worth the fuss.

It was amazing! Delicious, elegant, inexpensive, light but rich, original… in short, exquisite. The service was friendly without being intrusive, and Vikram Vij himself came around and seemed genuinely interested to in how our meal was going.

Oh, and tikka masala wasn’t even on the menu. We made a meal of a bunch of small plates – prawns, portabellos, black cod. Not exactly what I usually think of as Indian. He just put out a cookbook which has recipes for most of the food we ate.

If you’re in Vancouver and you don’t mind a wait, or you don’t mind showing up at 5pm for dinner, you should go. Vij’s alone makes me want to start an Urbanspoon site for our sister city to the North.

2 Responses to “Vij’s”

  1. Laurel Says:

    I heard some rumors last year that there was going to be a Vij’s branch in Seattle. Probably just wishful thinking…

  2. Ethan Says:

    Laurel, I got so excited I called them to confirm or deny the rumor. They said that they are still scouting for locations and that there had been no decision yet, but it sounds like they are foolishly considering places other than Seattle. You could call and beg, like I did, that they choose us. 604.736.6664

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