Arriving at Bistro Vadouvan in Putney, having cycled with my husband for forty-five minutes from the city on a warm spring evening, I ordered a glass of Jacquart champagne as I took my seat at the bar.
I got lots of inspiration on what to eat whilst sipping my champagne and watching the chefs hard at work creating their mouth-watering dishes.
Bistro Vadouvan offers interesting fusion dishes thanks to Head Chef Durga Misra who combines his classical French training with his Indian roots. I had already checked out the website in advance of our visit. The photographs showed the ingredients looking bright and fresh and coupled with the menu descriptions there were many dishes that looked enticing. Although the decor felt a little old fashioned, the location was brilliant and I looked forward to trying many dishes from an exciting menu.
To begin with we ordered the goats curd labneh, with pistachio and olive tapenade, served with some flat bread which was cooked in their Tandoor oven, a traditional Indian oven, giving it an amazing smoky flavour.
I enjoyed the textures, colours and combined ingredients of this dish. All the flavours of the fresh tomatoes, red onion, creamy goats curd and crunchy pistachio were a delightful combination.
We also ordered the ‘Pâté de campagne’ a country style terrine of pork and chicken liver served with guendillas chilli and apple chutney.
Meaty chunks of paprika terrine combined well with beautiful warm chargrilled French bread and a very flavoursome apple chutney.
After this we went on to have the Middle Eastern beef tartare with smoked aubergine. I initially worried that the aubergine would take away from the beef but luckily this did not happen.
The tahini dressing and flaked almonds encouraged a more interesting texture and the beef was high quality, hand chopped and well seasoned. It was a beautiful dish to look at too.
Next arrived the prawn, crab and cucumber salad served in a zesty and punchy sauce. This reminded me of thai cuisine, full of intensely fresh ingredients that tickle your tastebuds and make your mouth water. A perfect offering to cut through some of the richer dishes we ate.
The more I recollect what we ate, it feels like a meal that could have fed ten people. Yet, when you are swept in the moment, it is easy to get carried away by good food options.
For mains we ate the barbecued seabream which was cooked in the tandoor oven. This dish came with a herby fennel and orange salad as well as a highly addictive indo-chine dressing consisting of lemon grass, ginger, spring onions, lime juice and chilli. A spectacular array of flavours, I would highly recommend ordering this dish.
Our second main was the succulent and slow cooked lamb shoulder, which came with mini potatoes and tahini yoghurt. I enjoyed this dish but the seabream was my absolute favourite and possibly a bit lighter considering how much had been consumed already.
To accompany our dishes we drank a full bodied cabernet sauvignon, ‘Terroir hunter’, Alto Maipo from Chile, a brilliant red wine pairing.
For dessert you’ll be glad to hear we shared the passion fruit dessert cheese cake which was cleverly crafted cheesecake, light and fluffy, with just the right amount of biscuit base and topping, the best possible ending to a stream of incredible culinary feats.
Head chef Durga creates stunningly good food which is exceptionally well presented. The use of special ovens and grills adds gorgeous smokey and BBQ flavours to quality meat and delicious breads. I look forward to going back very soon.
It is worth noting that on Wednesdays Bistro Vadouvan offer half price on a bottle of champagne. Also, if you show my blog post, or quote ‘City intrigue’, you will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival.
Bistro Vadouvan is in a great location, perched overlooking the river Thames. There is also a wonderful outdoor area which I’d like to take my friends to visit this summer.
30 Brewhouse Lane,
Tel. +44(0)203 475 3776