No. 26: Vij’s Restaurant
VIKRAM VIJ AND MEERU DHALWALA HAVE RELOCATED THIS MUCH-LOVED CONTEMPORARY INDIAN HOT SPOT TO EXPANSIVE NEW QUARTERS.
And while the regrettable no-reservations policy has come along for the voyage, seating capacity is up from 60 to 85, with additional seating for 40 in two private rooms on the second floor. Fortunately for the owners, the extra capacity has been amply filled with even larger crowds of hungry customers. But instead of having to queue outside, as was customary at the original Vij’s on West 11th, a new 40-seat lounge with its inventive Bollywood-inspired craft cocktails has made the wait for a table (average: 45 minutes) much more civilized.
Decor is now airy, modern and colourful—expressed most notably by the 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 is, as usual, finely expressed in the form of lamb popsicles with fenugreek cream curry, grilled sablefish in yogurt-tomato broth, Rajasthani stewed goat and other favourites. In the summer months, a small menu of pre-prepared curry bowls and snacks (including short-rib papri chaat and curried chicken liver pâté) is available on a sunny rooftop patio.
Monday to Sunday
5:30 PM until late
IMAGES COURTESY OF VIJ’S RESTAURANT