Ever since Indochine opened on Broadway, I have always wanted to go. Chicken wings that are comparable to Phnom Penh? I’ve got to try it out for myself! I believe I nagged C enough he actually remembers. The parking on Broadway and social circumstances always deterred me from trying it out. Finally, the opportunity came and we went for it!
We went at 9:30pm for a late night munchie since we ruined our appetite for dinner by having a caramel candy apple from Rocky Mountain at like 6pm. By going at that time, we would only have to pay 30 min of street parking then it is free to park after 10pm! Walking in, the restaurant is literally quite dark. Dark wall, bar, tables and chairs. I think it aims to be a restaurant where people can go drink and have a bit of food to eat. (C: The loud music, cool atmosphere, and standout bar is reminiscent of Hapa Izakaya). The bar is fully stocked, and one side of the wall is filled with Greygoose Vodka. The 3 waitresses (1 is a bartender I think) are all dressed in sexy black dresses. It definitely reminds of me Ebisu izakaya. At 9:30, the restaurant, it was 1/3 full? Then 15 min after we were seated, people started streaming in! I guess it is more of a late-night kind of place. C and I were lucky to be just a tad ahead of the game.
(C: It was dim on the inside, so we didn’t take a picture of the menu. They have it on their website, so check it out here.)
We only ordered 3 dishes as we actually don’t want to get too fat…Shocker isn’t it? We ordered the Garlic Butter Chicken wings, Black pepper poutine and Beef Luc Luc. Pls excuse the quality of the pictures as it was very dark inside!
Garlic Butter Chicken wings!! That’s the dish the restaurant is known for and it was not a disappointment.
With a delicious, crispy exterior and a moist interior, the chicken wings were good. There is a good punch of garlic flavour for sure. It also is more spicy compared to Phnom Penh’s chicken wings. Indochine uses the small Chinese pepper you often find in Chinese fried dishes (椒鹽). The dish came with a lemon butter dipping sauce which has tons of white/black pepper powder.
It is quite refreshing to pair the two but the white/black pepper powder in the dipping sauce also enhance the heat sensation! If you are not someone who can take spicy, this probably is the dish to shamefully avoid. (C: chicken wings were awesome! They came super hot and crispy, but as Q mentioned they were a tad on the spicy side of things. The lemon sauce is awesome, and you can really taste the delicious garlic butter! It’s not as great as Phnom Penh’s, but these chicken wings are still delicious).
Now the poutine! How can I not? It is fries and I have been craving for something salty and crispy the whole day. It is quite neat as it came topped with a sunny-side up egg. C was very excited about that until he remembers I dislike egg yolk. After trying out the fries, sauce and the mean it came with, I gave him the ok to pop the egg yolk and let it run all over the poutine. He was grinning ear to ear.
The fries were very cripsy and not starchy. I love them the way it is. It is the perfect size and texture to hold the sauce. Instead of gravy, it has black pepper sauce with ground beef. The black pepper sauce is something one often get in a dish at the HK-style cafe. To me, that sauce is a nostalgic taste of childhood! Even though the dish might appear small, it is very filling. By the time we finished, C and I were a tad afraid of how big the beef luc luc would be…
(C: The poutine was quite meaty and the portions were pretty decent. The egg was great, and popping it over the fries made it a caloric beast. It was peppery, but not overly so!)
I guess it is a blessing at disguise that the Beef Luc Lac wasn’t ginormous as C and I were pretty stuffed at this point. We opted for the tomato rice instead of baguette! How boring does baguette sound? I over ruled C’s decision for baguette and I am glad I did!
The beef was very tender but again I find the sauce over the beef is the same peppery sauce on the poutine except spicier…The tomato rice helped cool down the heat a bit which was a nice complement. The tomato rice itself though is not spectacular. It is really fresh white rice mixed with tomato paste/sauce and some sugar.
(C: The Beef Luc Lac was fantastic! Beef was really tender and, like the theme of most dishes here, peppery. The salad was pretty boring, but it was refreshing. Tomato rice was pretty simple, as it tasted like ketchup flavoured rice. The rice also had some hard clumps, so I wasn’t a big fan. The beef was really good though).
Overall the food was great BUT…maybe BUT is the service/kitchen. It was a Friday night and it was getting busy that I understand. The kitchen was slow. It seems like food only came out fast if multiple other tables order the same item. All a sudden, every table would have their chicken wings and poutine orders. After the speedy two appetizers, it took a really long time for our beef luc lac to come (C: I think it took a good hour or longer for the beef luc lac). One table got impatient and wanted to get that dish to go. After another party came and placed an order on beef luc lac too. After a while, all the beef luc lac came. That peeved me a little but I held it in as I enjoyed the company of C. We asked for the bill finally, our waitress completely forgot about that and served another big party. The bartender noticed I was getting annoyed and offered to help me with the bill.
I think food quality is there but not the organization, service and speed. Definitely for a younger crowd for party, drinking or predrinking to clubbing. (C: Yep, this place isn’t for everyone. Music is pretty loud and lots of people will be drinking here. We were both pretty surprised to see a family bring in their baby! Great for drinks and tapas or a meal with friends).