Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dinner at Vij's

The last time we visited our Vancouver friends we ate at Vij's restaurant, an incredible Indian restaurant. Vij is a very creative cook and puts together foods in unusual and delicious combinations. Read more here:

Last night we went, arriving about 4:15. The restaurant opens at 5:30 and there is always a line to get in (no reservations). We took turns going window shopping in the area, where there are plenty of interesting stores. By 5:30 there were nearly double the number that the restaurant can hold, but our group was second in line. Well worth it! 

Vij was all over the place, greeting the diners, making sure they were happy. When he stopped at our table, we spoke a bit in Hindi and of course he asked about us. We said we had lived in Mussoorie, and he said "Woodstock School?" We agreed and he said he thought we had had this same conversation last week. It turns out that a Woodstock alumna was there last week and he was impressed that she spoke Hindi. She also told him she was heading to Seattle for a school reunion, as are we. I assured him it wasn't us and yes, it was quite an amazing coincidence. I haven't figured out who the person was, but I hope to find out during the coming weekend.

Vij, who came from Amritsar

Waiters came around the tables offering small starters, first a namkeen-type of snack, then a veg pakora, and last, this piece of papri chat. (Sorry, I took a bite before remembered the camera!!) Absolutely delicious.

I wasn't interested in the wine the others had, so I had a ginger-lemon drink. A syrup of lime juice, fresh ginger, and sugar was in the blue carafe and sparkling water in the clear one. I mixed it myself. Very refreshing, a delicious twist on the standard fresh lime soda we drink a lot in India.

Appetizer of mango, spinach and dates. Amazing!

Evan had goat curry.

I had saag paneer and Punjabi daal with chapati, the most traditional thing available.

Dan had short ribs in a delicious sauce.

Janice had eggplant and chickpea curry with paratha.

Evan was the only one who braved dessert -- very nice gulab jamuns.

I own both of Vij's cookbooks, the original and one called Vij's At Home. They are culinary and visual delights. When I get home I will pull them out again and try some of his recipes.

Heading for Seattle later this morning.

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