Restaurant Awards Hall of Fame: Vij’s / My Shanti

The pioneers that brought the culinary world to Vancouver.

Restaurant: Vij’s / My Shanti
Category: Indian/South Asian
Record: Vij’s, 19 Gold Medals in a row from 1997 to 2015; My Shanti, Gold Medals in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 (together, Vij and Dhalwala have won 23 out of 24 years)

Do you know how hard it is to win Gold 19 years in a row? Do you know how hard judges and magazines try to add some variety when at all possible? The reality is that, save for a blip of a year in 2019, the team of Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala have dominated the entire idea of what South Asian food is not only in B.C., but also throughout North America. Want another scary fact? The only reason they don’t have three more Golds is that we didn’t even have a Best Indian (as it was then known) award for Vij’s for three years of the restaurant’s operation, after which point it became embarrassing that a spot that was not only attracting Martha Stewart and Harrison Ford but also making them line up like regular joes might be worthy of its own category.

Meeru and Vikram’s New Indian cuisine introduced Vancouver to a fresh constellation of flavours and spicing, rooted in tradition but always pressing forward. Lamb popsicles rained over us! And they never rest: Each dish continues to reveal complexity without complication, served forth with effortless charm.—Jamie Maw, VanMag Food Editor Emeritus