In 2017 chef Virgil Kahn led Indochine to yet another nomination for the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
We start with the tikka lamb Scotch egg and the tom yum goong. I loved the contrast of a Scotch egg, a dish so seemingly British in origin, with Asian flavours. Indochine’s version is both delicate and fresh, with fermented chilli dressing, dehydrated yoghurt shards and onion raita. Then it is on to the tom yum goong soup. There is something hugely satisfying about the depth of flavour of fish sauce, lime and lemongrass in Thai soups. Chef Virgil nails the balance of heat and umami, richness and freshness. It’s one of those dishes you think of for days after.
For mains we have the grilled line fish and the vindaloo of local seafood. The line fish with ginger salad is fresh and well-spiced, though the salad overpowers the fish a little. The vindaloo is tasty but very mild (though this may be my fault for requesting it not be too spicy). I will be back to try the vindaloo and the other curries, except without making any special requests.
Pairing wine with spicy food is seldom easy, but the sommelier at Indochine must be commended for his enthusiasm, attention to detail and attentiveness in this regard. From the rieslings and bukettraubes to chenins and chardonnays that could stand up to these dishes, are walked through wines for each and every dish we might choose.
In the restaurant the service is great. Everyone is friendly, professional and informed.
Driving up to Indochine is a little like entering a portal to the lost world. Delaire Graff’s massive old trees, giant cycads and impressive statues all add to the sense of a journey into another realm. It’s even better if you go for lunch, as the views across the mountains and vineyards are incredible. You’ll notice interesting art across the estate, from the sculptures on the drive in to the Swallows in Flight installation in the Indochine dining room. In winter, pick a table by the fire. You’ll also enjoy magnificent views of the mountains.
Seeing as the spa is right there, why not book yourself in for a morning spa session before lunch?
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