Ser­vice:

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

At­mos­phere:

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.

Food:

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.

Ver­dict:

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.

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