No. 27: Vij’s
This is a big year for Vikram Vij— and bigger still for the hungry customers accustomed to queuing or just milling about in the standingroom holding bay of the bar and lounge of original Vij’s on West 11th.
In December, this much-loved contemporary Indian hot spot relocated to spiffy new quarters on Cambie Street. And, while the regrettable no-reservations policy has come along for the voyage, seating capacity is up from 60 to 85, which should ease the pain of a wait further tempered by a new 40 seat lounge. Décor is now airy, modern and colourful—expressed most notably with a ceiling made up of 6,000 predominantly orange chai cups.
The menu has been transported intact. Vij’s signature Western-palate friendly take on Indian spicing married to quality local ingredients will as usual be expressed in the form of lamb popsicles with fenugreek cream curry, grilled sablefish in yoghurt-tomato broth, Rajasthani stewed goat, and other favourites. Whether its singular joyful atmosphere survives the transition with equal facility is as yet unknown—but early reports suggest the answer is an emphatic yes.