My Shanti
By YP Contributor

A Million Sequins Reflecting Vikram Vij’s Personality

It’s rare to have a restaurant that draws a "wow" before you’ve even entered the parking lot, but the gloriously bling-y exterior that designer Marc Bricault has created at My Shanti certainly does that and more. Its covering is thousands of silver sequins (painstakingly threaded by hand) glittering in the sun and shimmering in the wind.

The first solo project of acclaimed Vancouver restauranteur and TV star, Vikram Vij’s (Vij, Rangoli and the Vij’s at Home line are co-owned with his partner Meeru Dhalwala), My Shanti is an exuberant reflection of Vikram’s personality. “My Shanti is just my baby: the style I wanted to create, the music I wanted to hear and the menu that I wanted,” Vikram says. “Gloriously bling-y? That’s who I am! I’ve got bracelets, pearls, toe rings, nose rings — there’s nothing about me that’s not in your face, and I feel that My Shanti is all about bustling colours and craziness.”

My Shanti’s menu brings the best of my travels to South Surrey. - Vikram Vij, chef and owner
Wine, beer, cocktails, curry, Indian food, Surrey, Vij, My Shanti
My Shanti's exterior is made up of thousands of silver sequins (painstakingly threaded by hand) that glitter in the sun and shimmer in the wind.

Creative Curries and Unique Cocktails

In line with Vikram’s other restaurants, My Shanti doesn’t take reservations: “It’s first come, first served,” declares Vikram. “I’ve never done reservations, it’s about ‘come in, hang out, have a glass of wine.’ I have space now, I want people to come here and chill out!”

Guests can relax on the spacious patio or in the cozy lounge area and order unique cocktail creations such as the British Raj, a spicy twist on a G&T featuring gin from Gillespie’s Distillery in Squamish spiked with fresh ginger. There's also the silver leaf-decorated Badam da Naasha, mellow with saffron, honey syrup, vodka and almond milk.

Another welcoming touch that’s equally appreciated at Vij’s, is that waiting diners are treated to complimentary snacks — such as the wildly addictive multi-coloured tapioca chips — until a table becomes available. All the wines and beers on tap come from BC, and there are plenty of non-alcoholic creations, too. The velvety hand-whipped cardamon coffee is a must-have, end-of-meal treat for everyone.

Wine, beer, cocktails, curry, Indian food, Surrey, Vij, My Shanti
My Shanti is a departure from modern Vij's in Vancouver, in that it focusses on the more traditional foods and techniques of Indian cooking.

A Critically Acclaimed Culinary Journey

Open daily for dinner, the My Shanti menu takes diners on a culinary tour through Vikram’s travels, with inspiration from the dishes coming from all points of the globe, not just India. Vikram explains, “At Vij’s we create modern Indian food and push traditional cooking, but here at My Shanti, I’ve come back to the tradition with things that I ate when I travelled that I absolutely loved.”

You’ll still not find butter chicken on any of Vikram’s menus but his Chicken Korma, made with marinated chicken and cooked in a creamy sauce is one of the most popular on the menu. The spiced Goat Curry, one of Vikram’s favourites, even drew praise from notoriously hard-to-please Globe and Mail restaurant critic, Alexandra Gill, who called it "meltingly tender."

“I’m most proud that I’ve made a success of this far away from downtown Vancouver,” Vikram confides. “I could have gone anywhere downtown, but people in Surrey need a chance to eat good food, too! There are so many young couples coming here, people don’t have to go all the way to Vancouver — now they can enjoy a really delicious meal here — inexpensive but really well done and served with love.”

Wine, beer, cocktails, curry, Indian food, Surrey, Vij, My Shanti
"People in Surrey need a chance to eat good food, too!" says Vikram, here pictured outside My Shanti.
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