NEW YORK’S ICONIC INDOCHINE OWES ITS LONGEVITY –30 YEARS AND COUNTING– TO A VIBRANT FUSION OF FLAVOR WITH A PLETHORA OF SIGNATURE COCKTAILS Gold AND A GLITTERATI-FILLED CLIENTELE.
Front row is allocated for Indochine to observe the show– trends, superlatives, and ephemeral compliments: from where it stands, it has witnessed the “best” being kicked to the curbs and some of “the most” dwindle away. Without getting carried away by the hysteria from the world of gastronomy, classic restaurant Indochine sees New York with both feet on the ground – and perhaps that is why it has succeeded for more than three decades since its inauguration. Its roots date back to 1984, but it was in the early 1990s that the restaurant began to blossom and thrive. Coincidentally or not, it was back then when two of the longevous employees of the restaurant joined a third partner and bought the restaurant in 1992.
The Swiss Jean-Marc Hourmard and the Vietnamese Huy Chi Le have practically known the business since its foundation, and they have had the opportunity to play different roles in different positions until they finally reached the top of the company. Huy Chi Le invested, at that time, all his savings to become the major shareholder, and still plays the role of executive chef and closely monitors the progress of the business. At the same address and with the same mania for perfection, Indochine, has no target audience: everybody is welcome to the restaurant that, in the 1990s, attracted top models, fashion icons, artists and intellectuals: “the beauty of the restaurant is precisely this mixture: one can see suburban boys sitting next to magnates and socialites”, explains Jean-Marc. Meeting so many different people in one place only seems to be possible on account of the good food and its always cool environment.
The franco- Vietnamese menu features dishes such as ravioli of smoked chicken, Sea Bass marinated in a kind of black bean chili pulp and the classic Vietnamese Bouillabaisse, a local fish served with sheets of lime and ginger. In addition to the traditional dishes, Indochine’s menu is updated according to the seasons, to ensure freshness, healthy food and novelties. The concern with the drinks is as big as the attention paid to the dishes – and the greatest proof of that is the extensive menu of drinks, which is particularly tempting offering a selection of signature cocktails created especially for the restaurant. Fresh Ingredients are also mandatory in drinks. At Indochine you can bet that an old and good Mojito will taste even better and more natural with organic mint. Considered a non-official cultural heritage of the city, the restaurant continues to disregard criticisms and prefers to focus its energies on their day-to-day routine, trying to do better today than it did yesterday. As it seems, it has worked out for 35 years.