Vikram Vij and his former wife Meeru Dhalwala opened Vij’s in 1994 in Vancouver they had a profound impact on Indian cuisine in Canada (and ultimately North American) and are recognized as one of the best Indian restaurants. Meeru was the less known driving force in the kitchen creating authentic Indian dishes with a modern twist and high quality ingredients. Over time Vikram is sometimes described as the Wolfgang Puck of Indian cuisine as he has built an empire of different restaurants, cookbooks, supermarket dishes etc.
One good effect of the pandemic is their recent start of accepting reservations and so that made it easy for us to had an outstanding dinner at Vij’s. Fantastic, vibrant flavors, each dish with unique flavor profiles, great, relaxed service and don’t sleep on the cocktails. One of the best Indian restaurants visits we ever had (including when we lived on England) and a must visit when in Vancouver.
A few complimentary snacks (with some nice masala chai) while you are trying to decide on the menu
Cauliflower, spinach & potato pakoras with date-tamarind chutney - Nice flavor combination which didn’t just taste of potato like many other pakoras and a really good chutney to balance
Beef & lamb kebobs with chutney & Indian masala ‘polenta’ - Wonderful smokey flavors with light, yet flavorful meat.
Garam masala portobello mushrooms in porcini cream curry - Stunningly good umami flavors, served with garlic naan.
Lingcod in ginger, onion, cumin curry with za’atar spice & winter squash - Nice punch of ginger in this curry, very good fish quality and the winter squash were a good addition
Chicken in creamy Bengali-style curry with spiced new potatoes and sprouted lentil salad - Tender chicken in a very flavorful curry. The sprouted lentils add an interesting earthy component and texture
Coconut curried vegetables on black chickpea & lentil brown rice pilaf - In many Indian restaurants many curries tend to taste quite similar but at Vij’s every one was completely different to the other one - this one with a nice coconut note and many different vegetables.
Naan - Not surprising, even the naan is great at Vij’s with a nice fluffiness
Coconut Rice Pudding - We finished the night with some desserts.
Mango Kulfi - Very good flavor (the edible silver a bit gimmicky)