Indochine
Chili-pickled tuna with watermelon, ginger salmon floss, Thai basil, peanuts, limes, coconut, grapefruit, coriander, caramelised onion, garlic and roe. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

Known for its fresh and flavoursome Asian-influenced cuisine, Indochine restaurant at Delaire Graff estate in Stellenbosch now boasts an impressive new menu inspired by Head Chef Virgil Kahn’s recent trip to Southeast Asia.

Indochine
Hovering from the ceiling of Indochine restaurant is Lionel Smit and Andre Stead’s ‘Swallows in Flight’ art installation, which comprises a swirl of over 1 000 birds. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

The fine-dining experience at Indochine restaurant has always been one to savour. With its serene surrounds, exquisite interior and iconic ‘Swallows in Flight’ art installation by Lionel Smit and Andre Stead hovering from the ceiling, the setting alone is breathtaking to behold.

Indochine
Beef broth with shin, dumplings, spring onions, coriander and crispy basil. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

The food focus has always stayed true to Delaire Graff’s philosophy of using only the best seasonal and ethically-sourced local ingredients, with produce picked daily from the estate’s own greenhouse and vegetable gardens. Indochine’s new menu is no different, and boasts artful culinary creations that are a true celebration of nature’s bounty.

Indochine
Indochine Head Chef Virgil Kahn. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

It was a three-week stint in Southeast Asia, working and dining in some of the world’s best restaurants, that led Kahn to the Afro-Asian offerings now being served at Indochine. Thanks to time spent in Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong, the Asian influence is immediately apparent, but the chef has added his own South African flavour to the dishes.

Indochine
Gochujang pork with smoked loin, terrine, belly, white kimchi, lacto-fermented apple and burned endive. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

To start, there are the salads, with gochujang pork, chilli pickled tuna, ponzu kudu and octopus miang kham setting the scene for the courses that lie ahead. For a warmer alternative, try one of the soups, which include beef broth, tom yam goong, shitake and fennel dashi, and chicken, coconut and lime soup.

Indochine
Octopus miang kham with peanuts, lime, coconut, grapefruit, caramelised onion and garlic, and kale meringues. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

Next there are the grilled options, consisting of sticky beef short rib, Karoo lamb cutlets, Korean free-range chicken, grilled line fish and free-range beef rib eye with handcut chips. The curries are hearty, flavoursome and varied, ranging from woodfired chicken and beef rendang to seafood madras and red curry of prawns.

Indochine
Pineapple and coconut dessert with mojito sorbet, grilled pineapple, malibu, coconut lime cake and pineapple jellies. Image: courtesy Indochine restaurant.

For sides, choose from edamame and shitake potstickers, homemade spring rolls, crunchy mussel omelette, som tham, Thai beef salad and egg-fried rice. The crowing glory is the dessert course: think plum shiso and chocolate, mandarin cheescake with quince ice cream, strawberry and rose geranium parfait, white chocolate green curry panna cotta with sticky coconut rice, and mojito sorbet with grilled pineapple and coconut lime cake.

Indochine
Plum, shiso and chocolate dessert with curd, chocolate Aero, poached plums, shiso jellies and plum and beetroot sorbet. Image: courtesy Indochine.

Indochine at Delaire Graff is open daily for lunch from 12 – 2.15 pm and for dinner from 6.30 – 9pm. Find the sample lunch menu here.

Want more South African restaurant news? Read about Balducci’s standalone vegan menu in Cape Town, David Higgs’ restaurant Saint in Johannesburg and six local eateries to try next.