Next time you want to treat yourself, head out to Indochine, the Afro-Asian restaurant on Delaire-Graff estate. We recently joined them to taste their new menu, and we were seduced with bold, exotic flavours served in their spectacular dining room, with breathtaking views of the Banhoek valley spilling in through the tall glass windows.
Executive Chef Virgin Kahn recently spent three weeks travelling Southeast Asia to find inspiration. His trip was packed with spectacular dining experiences, from humble street food (the best way to eat in Asia, in my opinion) as well as meals at Nahm and Paste in Bangkok and Belon and Ronin in Hong Kong. A highlight was a 25-course “emoji” dining experience at Gaggan in Bangkok, a restaurant that has held the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for four consecutive years (you’ll know it if you’ve watched Chef’s Table). Yeah, what a life right?
Happily for us he has brought some of that magic home. His new signature dish, for instance, brings an original twist to an authentic dish that left a lasting impression on him in Bangkok: an escabeche of tuna lightly cured in a ginger-chilli pickling liquid, served with salmon and ginger floss, caviar, Thai basil, caramelised onion and garlic.
A highlight of our meal was the Massaman Chicken Curry with smoked potato, pickled shallots and cashew nuts, which delivered an explosion of complex and perfectly balanced flavours.
Indochine doesn’t aim to be purely Asian though. The dishes definitely have an oriental flare to them, drawing inspiration from across the continent, but at the same time they hit home with distinctly African and South African elements. Their one dessert, for instance, serves grilled pineapple on a stick – an iconic Durban treat – along with various coconut elements. It was a perfectly refreshing end to our lunch.
The new menu is currently being served at Indochine. Dine under a swirl of over 1000 swallows, an exceptional art installation by acclaimed South African artists, Lionel Smit and André Stead, and soak in the exquisite views of the winelands.
For more, head over to their website.