That’s what yesterday was for me. So close, yet so far. On my last trip out to Vancouver, BC, nearly 15 years ago, Vikram Vij’s restaurant Vij’s was on my radar of must hit up places to dine.
It didn’t work out that visit. they don’t take reservations so it’s a first come first serve deal. Vij’s is popularrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So the waits are long if you don’t get there early. It just wasn’t meant to be that visit.
15 years is a long time to pine for something. Like seriously looooooong! Like utter devotion I only have eyes for you kind of longing. I’m back in Vancouver and you know I’m going to Vij’s if it’s the last thing I do.
Let’s just say it didn’t go to plan. Not by a long shot. If I was travelling alone then it would have been a done deal, but I’m not and there are others to take into consideration.
I have waited for this moment, for yearssssssssssssss. And in an instant it went from a “I can cross this off my bucket list” moment to a “WTF you can’t be serious” moment. Just. Like. That.
I really need to learn to become mean, selfish and demanding, cause I’m to much of a pushover sometimes. I’ll kick myself on this matter later.
We pulled up to the curb. I jumped out of the car. There is a line up, it’s uber busy tonight, but a nice man came up with a plate of pakoras and offered us a nibble. One bite and I think I’m in heaven. This is going to be great!
Then the words “90 minute wait” were uttered, followed by “I don’t think that’s a wait I want to make.”
You know I didn’t utter those words, other people uttered those words. And now my brain is about to explode cause I think “who asked you, this is my bucket list!”You people need to go far away from me right now.
90 minutes in nothing in the grande scheme of things, not when you are taking about Vij’s!
Holy crap, is this really happening. Yup, you betcha it is buttercup.
This is when I walk to the end of the street to the corner, cause I think I’m about to lose my freaking mind.
I want my Vij’s experience gosh darn it! And if I didn’t fear being stranded in the middle of Vancouver on my own without a car to get home, I totally would have thrown a revolt. 90 minutes is nothing when you can nibble on free Vij’s treats and sip drinks and wait for your chance to have some of the best food you will ever put your lips too.
I know it’s this good. I sent an American friend to Vij’s when they were up from the East Coast on a visit. The consensus was unanimous. This food was freaking GOOD.
So close, yet so very far away.
Vikram Vij has another restaurant right next door called Rangoli. Which only had a 20 minute wait. You guessed it, Vikram Vij’s Rangoli was the place that won out that night. It was very good, the food was excellent, but it wasn’t the Vij’s experience I was dreaming of.
Rangoli is excellent and I don’t want to take away from it at all. I am happy I got to sample a little of his wonderful food, but when you’ve longed for so long for something else, it wouldn’t matter how excellent something else is, you only have eyes for the one you want.
Some day. I swear. Some day!
I had a lovely mango lassi. I also ordered some cauliflower, spinach, onion and potato pakoras, with daal for my starter.
I selected a wonderful black chickpea and onion cakes in coconut curry with vegetable rice pilaf as my main dish. It had a lovely cabbage and coconut side salad as well. It was incredibly good.
It was excellent, simple, yet full of incredible flavours. In its own way, perfect. Rangoli perfect.
It was wonderful, but it wasn’t my Vij’s experience I had longed for. So even though I loved it and am happy I got to eat at Vikram Vij’s Rangoli restaurant, it’s bittersweet.
So, Vij’s remains on my bucket list of must eat places. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s meant to leave me with something to look forward too someday and maybe to keep the idea of it perfect and untouched.
One day, me and Vij’s, one day….