December 29, 2010

O Canada

We recently spent a few days in Vancouver BC and had a truly marvelous time, visiting with family and friends and eating,  drinking and shopping our way across town.

Dinner at Vij's was clearly a highlight. We'd eaten take-away from Rangoli, the less expensive sister place next door, but this was our first time at the real thing. The line outside the door starts at 5 PM for the 5:30 opening. We were the 20th-26th people in line and were seated right away after they opened the doors.

Servers offered complimentary hot chai tea and appetizers of tapioca-root "fries." Our dinner was simply amazing. Because we were six people, we were able to sample many menu items:
Jackfruit in black cardamom and cumin masala 
Samosas filled with lamb and beef sauteed in fennel, cloves and sumac
Yam, paneer and cabbage kofta in pureed lentil curry
Seared venison medallions with figs and khoa in pomegranate curry
Beef shortribs braised in yogurt, fenugreek and cumin curry
Wine marinated lamb "popsicles" in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes
Marinated and grilled salmon in coconut and green onion curry
And of course, mango-pistachio ice cream for dessert
In 2003 the New York Times called Vij's "easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world." I concur!

We stayed at the Westin Bayshore and were upgraded to a room with a fabulous view. This hotel is very near Stanley Park and was convenient to many cafes and shops. Rik and I spent a morning strolling down Robson Street and supporting the Canadian economy with some post-Boxing Day shopping. 

At Geomania Rik purchased this charming little First People's sculpture of a champagne jade polar bear perched on a quartz iceberg eating a tiny hematite fish.

I picked up a pair of red 2010 Olympic mittens at The Bay. And we saw the most perfect dress on display at Premiere, which I simply had to have.

At the end of our three kilometer walk and shopping spree we picked up some dessert from True Confections on Denman to share later. Then it was off to ice skate. Well, Rik and the kids all skated; I drank hot coffee with my cousins and friends. Everyone was ready for a treat at that point, so we headed to Casa Gelato to taste among the 218 flavors of ice cream. I tasted fennel, fig and walnut, and ended up with fig and chocolate. (I wanted to taste the pear, balsamic and blue cheese flavor but the server was too busy.) Rik had mango-jackfruit.

After dinner at our friends' home, we enjoyed the desserts from True Confections: one slice each of Boston cream pie, chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting, triple berry pie and Black Forest cherry tart (with loads of whipped cream). By this point Rik and I were completely pooped, so we went back to the hotel and crashed over TV.

The next day we met up with our friends for breakfast at Scoozi's, where I enjoyed eggs benedict with smoked salmon and my annual glass of fresh grapefruit juice. Somehow we rolled into the car and made it home to Seattle, sated with good food and even better company.


  1. Stephanie5:01 PM

    Sounds like a great trip!
    Vij's Cookbook got me through the first line of chemo. Hope it will help with the second.

    Happy New Year to you.

  2. The food sounds awesome but I'm really jealous of the Olympic mittens! I tried to buy a pair online last winter but they were already sold out. (Hmm are they making new ones?) I just wanted really warm wool mittens...the Olympic logo was a cute plus.