French-Vietnamese by way of New York, now in DIFC
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Time Out Says

As if there were any doubt where the cool kids are eating in 2020.

Since arriving in DIFC at the end of 2019, New York import Indochine has skipped the queue to become the place to be seen – and fed – in the city. And if you can stop your eyes rolling long enough, it’s well worth looking past the hype, and roll call of celebrity diners on any given Tuesday, to give it a try.

Serving up contemporary French-Vietnamese cooking, there’s a retro-chic, ’60s-style feel to the interiors, with geometric prints and rounded silhouettes. Throughout the dining room, bistro chairs and Art Deco tiling are matched with vibrant banana trees and areca palm. It’s all very fusion, and – with that cheery abundance of foliage – so very now.

Indochine’s way with style extends to its team. But despite looking almost intimidatingly like they’re about to stride the runway at Fashion Week, staff are flawlessly hospitable.

Crucially, they know their way around the menu too, reeling off recommendations and explanations of each dish.

Hamachi carpaccio is a light, zingy gateway to the meal, followed by a finely diced beef tartare that’s both rich and fresh, served with almost sheer taro crisps. Elsewhere on the table, a fragrant hit of lemongrass really elevates a plate of otherwise classically garlicky escargots, though the snails themselves are admittedly a little on the small side.

Fried imperial rolls – packed with chicken, shrimp, veg and glass noodles – are fantastic, encased in a perfectly crisp, bubbled exterior. Served with the restaurant’s own bright, acidic nuoc cham, they make for a well-balanced bite.

But even these, and many more (spicy charred corn, caramel black cod), are given a real run for their dong by the end of the meal. By, quite unexpectedly, an absolute showstopper of a dark chocolate soufflé. Sure, you didn’t come here for it, but it’s just that’s good – and then some.

With style, substance and bags of swagger, Indochine is the one to watch – and book – right now.

French-Vietnamese by way of New York, now in DIFC

Because it’s the hottest restaurant in town right now, with good reason

By Time Out Dubai staff  | 20 Feb 2020

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