Some of the best Indian food in North America is supposedly at Vij’s in Vancouver. The food there is not what one might consider classically Indian but is perhaps fusion, incorporating some ingredients and cooking styles from traditional French cuisine.
Vij’s is famous is Vancouver for not accepting reservations and so one must be prepared for a bit of a wait. We were told we’d have to wait an hour (we arrived at 7pm) but we were ushered in about 45 minutes later. This was on a Monday too – it’s busy everyday! The wait feels much shorter though as waitresses stop by every once in a while with a tasty little morsel to keep you happy.
Like little sprout topped crunchy flatbreads.
Or crispy potato fritters.
Oh, and chai is also offered for free.
To start, we each had a spoonful of Dungeness crab with coconut, cilantro and candied beets. Now I’m not fond of the usual pickled beets but these were delicious and not at all candy-like. Might have to roast some beets myself to replicate this. The crab wasn’t bad but was a little too cold for my liking.
We also split a dish of BC spot prawns in coconut masala on grilled kale. The prawns were so tender and juicy and the kale still had a good bite to it, giving a good contrast.
As mains, we all split the following four dishes: Beef tenderloin with almonds and garlic in tomato and yogurt curry. This was the most disappointing dish that night as the curry was quite bland in comparison to the others and the beef was not as tender as its name suggested.
Wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on spinach potatoes. My number one dish that night! And yes, I’ve had the dish before but it was so memorable that I had to order it again. The lamb is so tender and cooked to a perfect pink and the curry is soooooo rich and creamy and so good with rice.
Grilled pork tenderloin and back ribs in fennel seed, ginger and coconut curry with roasted cashews. This was served on some rice (even though there was rice on the side) and was the second best dish on the table.
And “hook and line caught” ling cod in roasted red pepper and saffron curry with grilled vegetables. Again, this one was a bit blah. The fish was beautifully fresh though.
Oh, and there’s unlimited rice pilaf and naan bread on the side. For four people with a couple of drinks, the bill came to about $150 Canadian. While this isn’t the cheapest meal around, it’s not the most expensive either and the price is actually comparable to many of the chain restaurants around here. It’s a nice place that’s definitely worth a try if you’re fond of Indian food.
1480 W 11th Ave