Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Voujon - Bengali & Indian Cuisine in Edinburgh.* [AD | Gifted]

*I was gifted a meal for two in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.

As I've mentioned before, I can never resist a curry. Indian food is probably my favourite cuisine ever, and I relish any chance I get to try something new. Therefore, when I was invited to sample something from the menu at Voujon, a Bengali and Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, I took approximately 0.001 seconds to say yes, please!

Voujon translates from the ancient Bangla language as 'invitation to dine', and we were more than happy to accept that invitation. As we stepped into the cosy warmth of the restaurant, we were struck by the stylish decor and the contemporary touches such as floral displays and intricate napkin settings. The dining area is airy and bright, and there is a 'party suite' in the back for larger bookings. I can imagine this would be a great place for a family gathering or a work night out.

A quick glance through the menu showed there were practically endless options available! I particularly liked the look of the 'complete dinners' where you hand over control of your menu to the chef. Yup, instead of picking your own meals, the chef prepares your full dinner from starters to desserts based on your taste preferences. At £34.95 for the veggie option or £38.95 for the non-veggie (both serving two people), this mystery meal experience is something I'd love to try when we go back!

I was delighted by how large the vegetarian range was, and there seemed to be a few vegan options too. Perhaps they could make that a little more obvious on the menu, as it is a huge draw and I think would really encourage people to try the restaurant out. As always, we informed our server of Blair's nut allergy and they were very helpful in advising what he could eat. It turned out my choice of main had nuts in - what a shame, I'd have to eat it all myself! What a tragedy... ;)

Our orders were taken very quickly, and while we waited for our starters we tucked into some delicious poppadoms (I swear they are impossible to resist). We both opted for pakora starters: Blair had chicken and I had the vegetable option. They were both delicious and came with individual sauces. Mine had a hot sauce that was the perfect accompaniment, bringing a hint of heat to complement the spices within the pakora. Crispy yet light, I demolished every speck of them. Blair loved his chicken pakoras, mentioning that they were perfectly fried without any greasiness. They came with a mango sauce that he said was really tasty.

For our mains, I opted for the Sabzi Makkani. It consisted of mixed vegetables in the most delicious, mild, buttery sauce. It was creamy and slightly sweet, but I was also able to taste the flavours of the spices within. It was absolutely incredible, and despite rapidly becoming full, I couldn't bear to waste any and ate every drop. Blair had opted for the Khatta Tarkary, a slightly spicier dish with either chicken or lamb (Blair had chicken), cooked with garlic, herbs and tomatoes. We shared a portion of pilau rice and the most exquisite, giant garlic naan. The naan was absolutely loaded in garlic goodness and I had absolutely no hesitation in swiping the last of it before Blair could. It's also worth mentioning that the food was all really reasonably priced, making this perfect for couples, families, or perhaps the students from the nearby halls of residence.

The staff we encountered were a real credit to the restaurant. Without exception, they were friendly, knowledgeable and the service was efficient and fast. One of my favourite parts of the evening was watching a staff member interact with a family - clearly regular visitors. He was so warm and genuine with them and his interactions with their young toddler were lovely to watch. The family looked so comfortable and at home in the restaurant, which goes to show how friendly and relaxed the atmosphere in Voujon is. I also saw him helping other customers into their coats, pulling out chairs for them and he personally spoke to and thanked every customer as they left which I just loved. This kind of service is above and beyond and made a huge difference. 

We always tend to go early to restaurants (and usually on Monday nights, not known for being particularly hectic!) so that we can take photos without bothering other customers, but by the time we left, Voujon was starting to get quite busy. It is clear that this is a bit of a hidden gem in the area, with lots of fans flocking to it even on a school night! From looking at Voujon's TripAdvisor reviews, they have an incredible reputation and I would highly agree with the praise they receive. This is an excellent restaurant where the incredible food is matched by the brilliant service. I can't wait to go back.

*I was gifted a meal for two in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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