The FACT favourite keeps getting better and better.
French-Vietnamese restaurant Indochine is still going strong, 38 years after opening in New York’s hip NoHo neighbourhood. Frequent by a celebrity clientele including Kate Moss, Madonna and Mick Jagger, the trendy restaurant has seen a resurgence in recent years, expanding its reach to Dubai with an opening in the upmarket dining enclave of DIFC.
Winner of ‘Best Pan Asian Restaurant’ at the FACT Dining Awards Dubai 2020 and 2021, Indochine is more than just a place for a great meal and masterful mixology. Building on its seductive and infectious vibe with live music evening Room84, the venue is upping the ante once again with the one thing on every Dubai diner’s bucket list – brunch.
Inspired by the golden glamour era of Paris, Bistrotheque is a new Saturday brunch for those in the know. Here, partygoers can indulge in a curated menu of French-Vietnamese dishes and innovative cocktails whilst dancing to the tunes of Abri and his live band. It certainly makes a welcome change from the saxophonists and percussion instrumentalists that have become the trend du jour across the city in recent years.
First things first, our FACT tip would be to ensure that you make a brunch reservation to dine in the vibrant lounge rather than the main restaurant. Sure, the low-slung couches and short tables are not ideal for a weekend feast, but they are so close to the live band that there is nowhere else we’d rather be.
Whilst brunch takes a little while to get going, there’s a sense of occasion to Bistrotheque. A place where staff wear sunglasses indoors and fun and frivolity are guaranteed. At Indochine, the crowd are encouraged to leave their inhibitions at the door and indulge in an afternoon of good vibes, great music, delicious food and plenty of photobooth snaps.
The alluring atmosphere of what feels like an exclusive members club is matched by a menu of Indochine signature dishes served throughout the generous four-hour brunch runtime. Appealing appetisers are served to the table and include Hanoi chicken salad, black truffle crystal dumplings, salt and pepper squid, tuna tartare and (our personal favourite) Vietnamese ravioli stuffed with chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms.
We’re impressed that many of Indochine’s signature à la carte dishes have made it onto the brunch menu, ensuring culinary connoisseurs and those in search of liquid refreshment are well catered for. Diners are asked to select one main course from a selection featuring Cha Ca Cod, Bun Cha, Vietnamese Crab Cakes and Wagyu Banh Mi. We, however, opt for a tried and tested favourite: Typhoon Shelter Prawn. A winning combination of jumbo prawns, fiery xo sauce and e-fu noodles.
By the time the desserts roll around, we’re up on our feet dancing to soulful renditions of Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Miguel and Tupac tracks performed by the ultra-talented Abri who keeps the crowd moving well after the brunch is over. What were the desserts? We don’t even know. We were having THAT much fun.
Bistrotheque is the perfect way to kick-start the weekend, offering an unrivalled vibe and one of the city’s most atmospheric brunch experiences. Throw in a selection of handcrafted cocktails, a lively crowd and delicious dishes and Indochine have created a winning formula.
With reservations backed up weeks in advance, demand for this brunch is high. But for an unrivalled vibe in the heart of the city, Bistrotheque is well worth the wait.
Indochine’s Bistrotheque Brunch is available on Saturdays, from 12pm to 4pm. AED 295 (soft beverages), AED 440 (house beverages) and AED 625 (sparkling).