Vudu is a Queenstown institution. Unassuming and understated, it is tucked away in Beach St behind a rickety wooden door. The decor is retro with a mix of modern paintings and kitsch New Zealand artworks.
The seating is booths and surprisingly comfortable wooden school chairs.
While aware that the popularity of Vudu is a sign of good food served well, it is also a bit of a down fall in that it is often difficult to get a seat. On the cold Sunday we arrived for lunch it was, predictably, full to the gunnels. We were offered a seat outside but with snow threatening we opted to wait for a table and were seated within five minutes. It seemed a bit chaotic at first. With two children we were trying to balance what was on the menu with the spectacular display in the cabinet. We were attended by a waitress who it turned out was new to the job but had a feeling there was a children’s menu available. There was. And after further enquiries some crayons were located to colour in as well.
We ordered at the counter and were pleasantly surprised at how quickly our meals arrived.
We began with a round of hot drinks including what must be among the best coffee and hot chocolate in town. The youngest child had her usual orange juice – Phoenix organic in this case.
Madam 4 almost always wants fish and chips when we go out but was forced to branch out with her staple missing from the menu. Despite having eaten pancakes for breakfast she chose the pancakes with fresh fruit and maple syrup off the children’s menu (all $8) and immediately declared it the best meal ever.
Her sister was drawn to the cabinet and eventually chose a breakfast roll with egg, bacon, pesto and salad. It was delicious and large. She ate half and took the second half home or her school lunch the next day.
I struggled to make a selection with the incredible goodies in the cabinet competing with excellent lunch and brunch menus. Everything at Vudu is full of colourful, fresh veges and many meals are served with pesto and tomato relish. It all sounds so good. On this day I was torn between the soup of the day (broccoli and blue cheese - $10.50), the pea, feta and corn fritters with cured salmon ($19) and the pulled pork soft taco with grilled pineapple salsa, black beans, avocado, lime and coriander ($17). The taco won out and this adventurous option was everything it promised – a generous portion with subtle and slightly unusual flavours and a great mix of textures.
Karl was keen on the fish cake ($10) from the cabinet but concerned it would not be enough so he also ordered a chicken burrito (also $10). The fish cake was a little disappointing with only a small amount of salmon dotted through the otherwise delicious potato cake. However, the burrito made up for any shortfalls, the flavour a hit with Karl.
Vudu is very good. Once you get a seat the food is almost impeccable and the service friendly. The selection of cafe meals and sweet treats is among the very best in town.