Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 5 July 2020

Renowned New York restaurant Indochine opens to the public in Dubai

This is the first branch of the celebrity-favourite outside Manhattan

Indochine opened in DIFC, Dubai, on December 10
Indochine opened in DIFC, Dubai, on December 10

Cindy Crawford, Andy Warhol and Anna Wintour are among the many famous faces that have frequented Indochine, a New York institution with a stellar reputation. UAE residents can now dine in the Dubai outpost of the French-Vietnamese restaurant, which is as famous for its food as it is for its high-profile diners.

Tucked away in Dubai’s DIFC, the restaurant opened its doors on Tuesday, December 10. The ambience bears plenty of similarities to its New York counterpart - the setting features Indochine’s signature tropical decor, and the iconic Martinique wallpaper. It’s an intimate space, with a private dining area and plush booths. Paying tribute to the New York brand is a wall showcasing snapshots of the celebrities who have frequented the Manhattan branch over the past 35 years.

Indochine Dubai 
Indochine Dubai features the venue's trademark wallpaper

The Dubai eatery, which is currently in its soft-launch phase, is brought to the region by Khalil Dahmash and Varun Khemaney, founders of VKD Hospitality. This is the group's second project after the launch of Miss Lily’s – another New York import that has found much success in Dubai.

“We wanted to bring the Indochine brand to this day and age without losing its integrity in any way,” says Khemaney.

“What we learnt from Miss Lily’s is that you can’t just parachute a concept exactly as it is,” adds Dahmash. “People like different things. In New York, the menu is nostalgic for people who have been dining there for 35 years, but we wanted to do something a bit fresher, a bit different. We wanted to make Vietnamese food a bit more progressive.”

Indochine Dubai 
Indochine's famous patrons

Accordingly, the duo recruited chef Steven Nguyen who travelled to New York and stayed there for a week, working with the Indochine team to learn their classic dishes and signature style. Echoing what Dahmash said, Nguyen is also keen on “paying tribute to tradition, while pushing boundaries”.

Foodies can expect time-honoured Indochine classics – the famous duck salad and Vietnamese ravioli made with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushroom, for instance. However, there are also some new dishes unique to the Dubai branch. “We travelled to Vietnam, did some research, and basically had some fun with the menu,” says Dahmash. Chef Nguyen cites the lamb char siu, slow-cooked lamb in honey glaze, as one example.

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Read more:

Popular New York restaurant and celebrity hot spot Indochine is opening in Dubai

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10 world-renowned restaurants coming to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

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Updated: December 10, 2019 07:43 PM

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