Vij puns

Can you even make a pun out of “Vij’s”? I’m having trouble. I mean, if it’d been bad or really expensive I could say I’d been “sa-vij’d”, but it wasn’t either of those things.

Anyway yes! Louise and I went to Vij’s finally on Saturday, after meaning to get around to it for years. What made it happen was that we were going down to 11th and Granville anyway to see Les Miz, so we’d have to deal with the parking anyway.

Not the best ever picture of Vij's but you get the idea.

Not the best ever picture of Vij's but you get the idea.

If you’re not aware, Vij’s is an immensely hyped sort-of-Indian restaurant near downtown Vancouver. You have to either get there really early or wait forever or both. We tried the getting-there-early plan and it actually worked pretty well. They open at 5.30pm for dinner, and we were the second couple there when we showed up around 4.50pm. By about 5.10pm I think everyone who got in for the first service was there, but people kept showing up and sort of wedging themselves in the patio out front in no apparent order. I was a bit worried we’d get screwed when the doors finally opened, but happily everyone was extremely civil and people were seated in the order they arrived.

So being the second party in we scored a very nice table for two and proceeded to disgrace ourselves by ordering immediately and stuffing ourselves on the free samples. Yes, free! Pretty generous of them to do that, given they could probably rest on their reputation at this point. Vikram, the owner, came over a couple of times during the evening too, not too much chit-chat, just seeing if we were happy. I thought this was pretty cool too, most of the time you don’t see celeb owners in their own place. He also took orders and welcomed people at the door. I really like that personally, I think it shows a nice commitment to the place.

So how was the important stuff, ie. the food? Well, pretty good! Not the best Indian food I’ve ever had but definitely tasty, well-made and plentiful. Samosas to start, then we shared the beef spare ribs in a red curry sauce and the lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream sauce. The lamb was the standout, with an unusual but excellent flavour. Nothing was too spicy and all the naans were plain (I love spicy food and garlic naans) so that could’ve been better but it’s all good. And it wasn’t too pricy either – the bill came to about $120 with tax and tip, and we both had a drink.

I won’t be rushing back or anything, it’s too far and I don’t like waiting 45 minutes on a regular basis, but it was definitely worth trying out. The service was great, the food good and the price reasonable. People apparently drive up from Seattle just to eat here, so you should probably try it out if you’re nearby, just to say you’ve been!

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