Shanik – South Lake Union

Sauteed onions and tomatoes on paneer

Sauteed onions and tomatoes on paneer. Photo by Laura Smouse.

For food-loving Seattleites, going to Vij’s Indian fusion restaurant in Vancouver is a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage, cough, I’ve never undertaken because it involves an hours-long wait that might be outside.

Its new Seattle sister restaurant, Shanik, hasn’t achieved foodie spiritual significance quite yet, but it can definitely be said they’ve become the talk of the town. (See Exhibit A below, people huddled inside the front entrance, waiting for its 5:30 PM Thursday opening.)

Waiting for Shanik to open

By the time Shanik opened its doors at ~5:30, there were easily 25 of us waiting in the front entry and outside. Once it opened, they offered a lounge area in the back where people could wait in style.

Overall Laura’s and my meal there on Thursday went pleasantly, especially for a new restaurant. I liked soaking in the honey-hued dining room, where service was amiable and we could really, truly hear each other without any hollering. (Did you hear that, MistralKitchen? No, because your dining room is too loud!) As an added bonus, they poured complimentary chai.

Shanik dining room

Shanik’s dining room may be one of my favorites in Seattle: It’s easy to move through, has relaxed lighting, and is quiet enough for conversation.

Oh, and there was food, food loaded with spices and textures. We tried three appetizers and one entree:

  • Sauteed onions and tomatoes on layers of paneer
  • Brussels sprouts with bell peppers, cashews, and paneer
  • Lamb-beef kebobs with Bengali style curry
  • Kale, jackfruit, cauliflower, and potato curry with roasted almonds

I particularly enjoyed the hot mixture of sauteed tomatoes and onions, with melt-in-your-mouth lamb-beef kebobs placing a very close second.

Of course, when appetizers fall in the $9-$12 range, ordering requires thought and discussion. We decided on a little curry, a little meat, and different varieties of vegetables… and we lucked out! I left feeling satisfied, but curious to try more dishes a few months down the road. Or maybe even up the road, in Vancouver. Especially if they pour complimentary chai.



  1. Laura · December 31, 2012

    The pictures turned out great! It’s made me curious to start investigating Indian recipes as well.

    • ebenbow · January 1, 2013

      Girl, you’re going to take the best photos in Manila! Don’t forget to bring me back some envelopes.

      Can’t wait to hear what recipes make the cut. Several years ago I went through a phase where I tried cooking more Indian recipes, but kept forgetting to buy 2-3 spices.

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