I very rarely write reviews, despite having dined at pretty much every top restaurant in London, as my general opinion is that there's no point re-iterating what everyone else has already said. In this case, however, I feel I must make an exception.
My wife and I went here when our plans got cancelled last minute, as it's just down the road and amazingly, I thought at the time, they had a table for 2 at 8pm on a Saturday. Everything about the place was brilliant; delicious food (the steak tartare with smoked aubergine is one of the best starters I've had this year), great wine, friendly and attentive service and amazing value for money.
The only thing we didn't like was how empty it was. Despite it being Saturday night, the place was less than 25% full. I understand that the location is not the best, at the bottom of an ugly, modern block of flats, sandwiched between a ghastly Wetherspoons and a Carluccio's, but with high street rents being so high these days, this is, unfortunately, what small, independent restaurants have to do and, once inside, you really don't notice. Also, there is absolutely no competition nearby. Putney is a restaurant desert, with nothing else decent for miles around. The nearest cooking of this quality is in Fulham, at either the Harwood Arms or River Cafe and both of those are about twice the price. Whilst I love the idea that I can get a last minute table at a great local restaurant, I fear that if more people don't discover this hidden gem, it won't be around for long.
So, people of South-West London, I implore you to visit Vadouvan and rejoice in the fact that finally Putney has somewhere worth dining.