Food fusion fizzles then pops
Voujon is a contemporary restaurant in Newington offering a fusion of dishes from Northern India and Bangladesh.Â I took my dad â€“ a great lover of curry and Indian food â€“ to sample the delights of Voujon, which means â€œinvitation to dineâ€ in Bengali.
From the outside, Voujon doesnâ€™t look like much â€“ one of many little shops on the main road through Newington. Inside, it is clean and a pleasant oasis – even if the bus passengers outside can read the menu over your shoulder!
The staff couldnâ€™t be more attentive â€“ even closing the window blinds against the glaring sun and offering us a short delay between courses to allow our food to digest. The overall impression is that a huge amount of effort goes into making this a special dining experience.
Our starters were joyous â€“ we both opted for seafood. My dad chose King Prawn Butterfly and loved every mouthful, while I devoured Sardine Bhorta (pictured) cooked in a tomato-based sauce, with coriander, onions potatoes, fresh herbs and spices, and served on a chapatti with a salad on the side. The subtle flavour of sardine and the delightful way the salad was served â€“ in individual parts on a specially designed plate â€“ made this dish appealing and delectable.
The crispy poppadum, delicious dips, chapati and pilau rice were all well cooked and flavoursome and whilst I was aware that I was filling up fast â€“ I kept munching and picking. That was perhaps a mistake.
By the time our mains arrives, we were both pretty full, and when the dishes didnâ€™t exactly set the heather on fire, our appetites were quickly dulled.
We choose lamb variations (passanda for me and bhuna for dad) which we failed to fall in love with. The bhuna was certainly spicy hot, but just lack something in the taste category. The passanda was average, but compared with the starter, felt a little uninspired. The usual creamy almond flavours just didnâ€™t shine through.
Iâ€™m definitely not writing Voujon off â€“ judging by the TripAdvisor reviews, this little restaurant is a firm favourite for many â€“ the service comes up time and time again as superb and â€œbrilliantâ€, â€œgreat foodâ€ and â€œamazingâ€ describe peopleâ€™s experiences.Â I also recently met someone who was very happy to have Voujon as her local Indian take-away, so we may be lone voices in our partial disappointment.
Prices: Starters Â£3.25-Â£7.95; mains Â£7.95-Â£16.95.
Voujon, 107 Newington Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1QW.