If you’ve visited NYC, you probably have read in many guides to go eat and hang at Indochine, where celebrities of the likes of Cindy Crawford, Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell, Andy Warhol, Bella Hadid, Amy Schumer, Anna Wintour and many more go. That restaurant opened in New York in 1984 only has the Dubai branch as its first branch outside of The Big Apple.
The dining area is a very intimate space. Even the lounge area at your arrival in the restaurant is very cosy. There are a few private dining areas which make the whole experience quite comfortable and personal. With tropical décor and chic interior design, the restaurant is also decorated with photographs of the celebrities who have frequented the Manhattan branch over the past 35 years.
At Indochine, expect chef Steven Nguyen to deliver you real delicious Vietnamese dishes, some with a fantastic twists. What we tried during our visit there surely brought me back all the way to Vietnam, my country of origin and also where I have lived for two years.
The team has travelled to Vietnam to do some research and finally has come up with the unique menu items we know of now in Dubai. Not to forget also the strong influence of French cuisine in the Vietnamese cuisine, Indochine does serve some French classics just like the escargots.
During our Indochine experience, we tried many dishes. It is usually recommended to share one item of the menu under each section and complete the overall experience with a main if you are a small group of 3 people.
It was recommended to us to try the Beef & Green Papaya Salad, which I wasn’t sure what Vietnamese dish it was referenced to… until we got served and I realized it hit all the right notes of a Vietnamese salad I would get time to time from my mom. Sauce on point and the papaya gave some great texture to every bite of the salad.
For a cold appetizer, we had the Prawn Kinilaw, which is hand-cut fresh prawns with cucumber vinegar dressing, to be eaten with prawn crackers. Wasn’t a fan of the prawn alone until I ate it all; it’s the prawn cracker, which makes the bite much better.
Escargots were a choice we had to go for in the hot appetizer options. Served with flavourful lemongrass, kaffir herb butter and garlic, which you have to pour on the delicious crispy french baguette slices. It was absolutely delightful and a celebration of flavours in my mouth.
In the menu, find a section of rolls. We ordered some Vietnamese Ravioli and Fried Imperial Rolls. The ravioli is an item on the menu the staff strongly recommends. I personally couldn’t link the dish to any of the Vietnamese dishes I know, until it got served on the table and I realized it was a very of the delicious Banh Cuon, which is traditional is handmade Rice Noodles Filled With Pork, but in this case was steamed rice noodle with chicken and shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, nuoc cham. Both rolls were absolutely delicious for me, the ravioli though, wasn’t the favourite of my dining friends.
For mains, we had Crispy Scale Amadai, Crispy Eggplaym which was absolutely wonderful, and Wok Tossed Rice Noddles. We ended the whole meal with absolutely tasty Fried Bananas and Vietnamese coffee flavoured pannacotta. The fried bananas were the favourite for the whole table! Obviously, I had to order a Ca Phe Sua Da, Vietnamese coffee, to finish the whole experience.
With all honesty, probably have found my favourite restaurant in Dubai, something I haven’t been able to have for years. Not only the food was fantastic, but the service from Vlad was also immaculate. Indochine hired specific staff that have lived in Vietnam or even from Vietnam, which translate into a deep knowledge of the products served to the customers. I particularly enjoyed the company of the staff that served us all night long, not to mention the music and ambience. How can I not like a place that plays some Barry White?
Location: Gate Precinct Building 3, POD Level, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai, UAE.
Dinner Hours: SAT-WED: 7:00PM – 11:30PM THU & FRI: 7:00PM – 12:00AM
Bar & Lounge: SAT-TUE 12:00PM – 1:00AMWED-FRI: 12:00PM – 3:00AM
Parking: Cars can be valeted at the ground floor of the Gate Precinct Building 3 (Opposite Al Fattan Currency House). Alternatively, customers can also use the main valet drop off located at the Gate Village. Cars will only be validated if you dine at Indochine. The first three hours will be complimentary, any additional amount of time will be charged directly to the customer (AED 21 per hour).