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Posts Tagged ‘Vikram Vij’

Believe it or not, to this day I still haven’t been to Vij’s. Yes, I know. The closest thing was Vij’s Railway Express, the food truck. So when My Shanti was opened last year in South Surrey, it presented the perfect opportunity for me to get one step closer to Vij’s. We invited WK and MS to join us on a double date.

Dinner at My Shanti

Food

Going to an Indian restaurant, it’s hard for Mr. to not order a Mango Lassi. So he did. It’s relatively light for a mango lassi, not overwhelmingly thick. There were lots of acidity from the yogurt but just a hint of sweetness from the mango puree. It tasted natural and Mr. liked it.

Mango Lassi

I ordered the Shaam Masti, a very fruit-forward cocktail. It reminded me of a mojito, refreshing but a bit more tart from the use of citrus juice and blueberry jam. I quite enjoyed it.

Shaam Masti

We shared a couple of appetizers to start. First, Chhatra Sagar’s Wild Boar Kebabs were nicely charred, well seasoned with a good mix of herbs and spices. To WK and MS it was a bit dry, but knowing that wild boar is leaner than pork I thought they were tasty with just the right amount of juiciness. The accompanying chutney offered some sweetness and tartness that worked well with the sausage-like kebabs.

Chhatra Sagar’s wild boar kebabs

We’ve had pakoras before, but never oyster ones. Here the Goan Oyster Pakoras were an excellent deal!
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Last weekend, one young chef was crowned the winner of the inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition. The Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship program is a non-profit culinary foundation created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs, while promoting professionalism and culinary excellence within the hospitality industry. To be eligible, they must be Canadian chefs under 28, with a Red Seal certification, and are working full-time in a professional kitchen. 10 finalists across Canada were selected:

  • Mark Andrew Brown – Ayr, Ontario
  • Ross Derrick – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Arnie Mitchell Guieb – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Talib Hubba – Sherwood Park, Alberta
  • Carmen Ingham – North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Hayden Johnston – Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • John Ly – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Brad Masciotra – London, Ontario
  • Paul Moran – Kelowna, British Columbia
  • Garrett Rotel – Calgary, Alberta

During Round 1 of the competition, these ten finalists competed against each other to create a main course dish for two within two hours, using provided ingredients. The top 3 finalists then moved on to Round 2, the black box challenge. They had two hours and fifteen minutes to cook a main course and dessert using mystery ingredients from the black box.

Welcome to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition

My guest reporter Terence checked out Round 2 of the competition at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and watched the following candidates compete for a chance to receive a $10,000 bursary, provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, and a stage at a leading international restaurant.

From left: Carmen Ingham, Paul Moran & Brad Masciotra (Photo credit: Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Twitter feed @HawkScholarship)

Top 3 finalists

The black box ingredients were  (more…)

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Every other Friday this summer, KB, AM and I would go enjoy the nice weather and stop by a food truck for lunch. When it was my turn to pick, I suggested Vij’s Railway Express.

Vij's Railway Express

Vij’s Railway Express

If you are slightly into food, you would know Vikram Vij. Regrettably, I have never been to Vij’s Restaurant or even Rangoli; so when I heard that Vij’s mobile truck is just around the corner of my office, it immediately got on my “hit list”.

Vij's Railway Express

Vij’s Railway Express

Having heard that line-ups could be long, we got there just after 11:30am and there’s already a line formed. The line never got any shorter from that point on. There was constantly 15 or so people waiting in line. We waited 10 minutes to place our order, and another 10 minutes for food. I really hoped that the food was worth the 20-minute wait.

Long line-up

Long line-up

Food

The food of Vij’s Railway Express is inspired by the railway journey in India. The menu changes on a regular basis, featuring items that represent different regions of India.

Decorations on the truck

Decorations on the truck

I ordered the Lucknow Lamb Kebabs, which has spicy ground lamb kebabs wrapped in a chapati, a thin Indian flatbread.

Lucknow Lamb Kababs

Lucknow Lamb Kababs – Inspired by the region of Lucknow

This was really good! (more…)

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