Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I look forward to the Dining In section of the New York Times every week. There are inevitably delicious sounding recipes (usually saved and of which most are sitting in a notebook, waiting for their turn to be made) wine reviews, and news about restaurants around the world. So imagine my delight today when the feature article is about Vancouver, and not only that, but about one of my favorite restaurants that I have ever visited! Vij's is a small family owned place, with new takes on traditional Indian cuisine. When I visited Vancouver with my family a few years ago, it was recommended to us by the owners of the bed and breakfast we stayed at, who went there all the time. The restaurant has two parts: a lounge and take out area and the actual restaurant. I don't remember exactly what I had, but it was some kind of portabello mushroom curry that was unbelievable. In addition, I particularly remember the mango lassi and the naan as being especially good, and my sister got a chai that makes one from Starbucks seem like watered down cinnamon tea. This was no ordinary chai -- you could taste all of the spices individually, while none of them overwhelmed the others. It was spicy and sweet and mysterious, exactly what chai should be and what I imagine it would have tasted like 200 years ago to the explorers who ventured to India. Of course, I had to get the cookbook. Regrettably, I have only made a few of the recipes as many of them call for hard to find spices and ingredients, but Vij's Family Chicken Curry is delicious. If you are anywhere near Vancouver, I would highly recommend this place.
From the New York Times:
"First is Vij’s, an extraordinary Indian restaurant that Vikram Vij opened in 1994. Vij’s is notable for its intricate regional interpretations of Indian food — grilled sablefish in a fiery mango reduction curry, for example — and for its all-female kitchen staff, as well as for its curiously non-maddening policy of taking no reservations (beer and free snacks in a pleasant lounge help) and its graceful, deeply efficient service. For food, try a plate of chickpeas stewed in star anise and date curry, served over grilled kale, and see if your universe doesn’t expand. Eat lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry and color yourself groovy. More naan to scoop that all up, another I.P.A. to wash it down? These come in a flash, accompanied by a smile." (Sam Sifton, "If Meals Won Medals", 3 February 2010)
and their website: http://www.vijs.ca/index_in.htm
images from http://www.scallywagme.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Vijs.jpg and http://www.dmpibooks.com/get/img/book_image/XL-eh9zm8fp.jpg