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Whisper it quietly, but somewhere special has opened at – of all places – Putney Wharf. The brainchild of Uttam Tripathy, of Hammersmith’s Potli, and former Brasserie Chavot sous chef Durga Misra, don’t be fooled by the Indian owners – Bistro Vadouvan deals in classic French dishes masterfully elevated with Middle-Eastern and Asian spice. The room gives nothing away – electric blue banquettes, a big open kitchen and quarry-tile flooring are welcoming yet unspectacular. However, from the first dish, we sat up and paid attention. Our steak tartare ranked among the most original we’ve ever had – adroitly seasoned chopped steak with diced spring onion and pickled chilli, layered on soft slivers of aubergine and topped with crunchy sliced almonds. Alongside it, a chunky bowl of ceviche with avocado – we gulped down the chilli-spiked citrus dressing with a spoon. Misra’s Michelin background is evident - witness a main of soft brill with prawn ravioli, sat in an unami-packed coconut broth. It is a dish that would befit a central London fine-diner – undoubtedly at a £10 surcharge on Vadouvan’s locals-friendly pricing. For dessert, a perfect floating island with candied nuts and caramel sauce. An equally accomplished brunch offering and al-fresco tables astride the river complete a tremendous package.
Image credit: Jane Nina Sarkhel
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