Having driven past Indochine on many occasions, and wondered how it compared to Phnom Penh, we decided to give it a try.
I knew that Indochine featured menu items that are very popular at Phnom Penh, but was unaware of the actual relationship between the two establishments. As explained by our server, the two restaurants are separate but have a shared bloodline. The grandparents own and operate Phnom Penh, the grandson (or was it grand-nephew) owns and operates Indochine.
While Phnom Penh is a family restaurant that features Cambodian/Vietnamese cuisine, Indochine is a lounge that features a menu items that spans south-east asia, including Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian.
The interior is decidedly contemporary and youthful (and with much less lighting). It features wide-screen televisions screening sporting events, a prominent bar, smaller tables, and a lounge area with a sectional couch.
We started with the Garlic Butter Chicken Wings. These are marinated chicken wings, dredged in flour and starch, deep-fried to a light crunch, and topped with stir fried chili peppers garlic and scallions, served with a small bowl of lemon & white pepper dipping sauce. It is similar, but not identical to Phnom Penh’s renowned Deep Fried chicken wings
These had a good light crunch, and the chicken is still moist and tasty (a lot of chicken wings in pubs are dry/overcooked). Indochine’s chicken wings are spicier and less sweet than Phnom Penh.
Coconut Red Curry with beef brisket and a toasted baguette
This is cubes of beef brisket and potatoes braised in a red curry sauce, and slow cooked for hours until the brisket is tender. This a mild red curry, and in the low lighting, it could be mistaken for a yellow curry for. But the brisket was very good. Lots of flavor, and very tender.
We had a choice of rice or a small toasted baguette. We chose the baguette, it’s soft and tender in the middle and crusty on the outside, and it’s terrific for soaking up the curry sauce. I would have liked a larger serving of this bread, there was a lot of surplus sauce.
This was followed by Beef Luc Lac with tomato fried rice and salad
The salad is shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onions and cucumber… it was fresh and crisp with a light acidic bite from the dressing. The beef consisted small chunks of steak in a sweet garlic butter soy sauce. The steak was tender but the flavor of the beef was overwhelmed by the sauce. The sauce was good, but I really couldn’t taste beef because the sauce was so bold.
It comes with a toasted baguette or tomato fried rice. For this, we chose the rice. The rice has a rice tomato-y taste is quite novel (as opposed to plain white rice).
The servers were very friendly and helpful, and came by several times to ask how everything was.
The room is a little cramped, and quite dark. Being a bar/lounge, it gets pretty boisterous.