The Vujon is widely regarded as the best Indian restaurant in Newcastle. It should be stressed that this is fine dining and not your typical “curry house” – Newcastle has plenty of those if that is what you want but the Vujon is several grades above. This is apparent as soon as you walk through the door. It’s housed in an old stately building by the quayside; it has high ceilings and a sweeping staircase next to the waiting area. You are treated well from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. You are invited to have a drink while you look at the menu or you can usually go straight to your table if you wish.
Since this is a high class restaurant you can expect to find some different things on the menu and the Vujon does not disappoint. We regularly eat in Indian restaurants so welcomed the change.
I plumped for the main course of venison which was described as a Goan inspired dish. It came in a rich, dark red stew which was delicately spiced. My partner had the monkfish which he said was nicely spicy without overpowering the delicate flavor of the monkfish. We chose side dishes of okra and aubergine which were both faultless.
More recognizable dishes are also featured on the menu but only a couple – a dopiaza and a tikka masala, for example. At one point, two couples came into the restaurant and were seated near us. They ordered drinks as they looked through the menu but once the drinks were finished they left; I suspect that they had been out for an evening’s drinking on the nearby quayside and had thought this was just a basic “curry house” the menu had told them otherwise.
Our starters were fine – a prawn dish and some pakora – nicely spiced with a good kick and we also ordered some freshly made naan bread to go with our main courses. The bread was light and not so oily as often they are and nicely flavored with mustard seeds.
The Vujon offers a shortish but wide enough wine list. We opted for a new world Chardonnay and found it had been well described and was just as suggested. Bottles start from around £15.
Desserts are available but we could not eat any more. Disappointingly, the only Indian dessert was kulfi – I felt that this kind of establishment should have offered more Indian desserts. Judging by the names, I suspect that most of the desserts were bought in and mass-produced; I really would expect more homemade things at a restaurant of this level.
Although the main room is big and does not have any nooks and crannies, I still felt that the ambiance was intimate. You don’t feel that the next table is too close, though some more intimate spots would be appreciated. Decor is rather plush without being over the top; linens are stylish and simple but crisp and pristine too. The staff were friendly and helpful without being pushy. They did one check back but would always be aware if someone wanted something.
Recommended for a special occasion, not for the after the match curry with the lads.
£70.00 should cover three courses for two people with drinks.