Saturday, September 22, 2007

Indochine Vietnamese Bistro

Indochine.JPG

Last weekend started with drinking bubbly out of Pilsner glasses at a friend's 40th birthday party (which is what happens when your friends are beer connoisseurs as opposed to wine). We kicked this weekend off in a much more civilized fashion, sharing only one bottle of wine Friday night, getting a good night's sleep, and even making an appearance at the gym this morning. What better way to reward ourselves than with a warm meal at Salt Lake City's newest Vietnamese restaurant?!

Indochine occupies the space formerly known as Gepetto's (and for about a minute, The Flying Scotsman) on University row near the University of Utah. Gepetto's had been dark, mysterious, and the site of a handful of first--and last--dates for me in college. I was curious to see how the new tenants had fixed the place up.

Our knowledge of Vietnamese food is certainly limited, but Indochine's menu, at nearly five pages long, is not. We finally narrowed it down from the array of interesting and diverse choices, and then sat back to take in the space. It's nothing fancy, but with white walls meeting up against those painted in crimson, bearing black and white photographs of French Indochina, Indochine is a vast improvement on the once lurid space.

Coconut-Curry Mussels.JPG
Coconut-Curry Mussels - $7.99

With lemongrass, lime leaves, tomato, coconut, curry and--oh yeah, mussels--this appetizer was right up our alley.


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Ha Noi Beef Noodle Soup - $8.99

The dish had a sweet and spicy smell: think vanilla or cinnamon. Deliciously comforting on a cool September day. (Of course, J loaded it with a selection of spices from the condiment tray.)

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Braised Shrimp in Crab Paste - $12.99

Sweet, light, and somewhat healthy--or at least, that is what I convinced myself in ordering the brown rice.

The menu promotes Indochine as being open 7 days a week, and our server indicated that beginning in November, Indochine will indeed be open for lunch on Sundays. In a city where Costco is about the most happening thing taking place on the 7th day, it just doesn't get much better than that.

- K

Indochine Vietnamese Bistro
230 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
801.582.0896

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7 Comments:

Blogger Sara Z. said...

Oh, good, thanks for posting. I've been wanting to try this place. It is finally pho weather!

2:21 PM  
Blogger K&J said...

It certainly hit the spot on a rainy Autumn afternoon.
You'll have to let us know what you think of their Pho, as we are relative beginners with Vietnamese food.
-J

6:34 PM  
Blogger Valley Girl said...

You must come to Silicon Valley and try the Vietnamese food here! Best in the U.S.! Don't eat anywhere else until you've had it here. =)

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed it as well, almost solely based on proximity, and the fact that there's no decent Vietnamese food downtown. The service at Indochine is spotty bordering on terrible. Understaffed and inexperienced depending on the time of day.

If it were up to me, (and I realize it's not...) I would really suggest they tone down those florescent light panels inside and dim the overheads more. The panels are clever but still let too much light green light through. Nobody looks good in florescent and food looks even worse. Tip: Buy color correction gels at Oasis stagewerks.

A light color on the wall behind the lovely photographs would add some life as well.

Anyways, I'm told that if you want to get truly authentic Viet in Utah to head to the Viet Town in West Valley on Redwood Road.

I will go back, but these are my criticisms so far. I wish them the best of luck!

3:02 PM  
Blogger K&J said...

valley girl-

I'm sure that the S.V. has some amazing Vietnamese. We eat like hedonistic gluttons whenever we visit the bay area. There is never a shortage on excellent dining.

PS, we love visiting your blog. Thanks for keeping us entertained.

4:59 PM  
Blogger K&J said...

anonymous-

For a thorough review of Pho around the greater Salt Lake area, check out this review by Lesli Neilson from the Trib...

http://extras.sltrib.com/diningguide/detail.asp?ID=188

As for the ambiance...it could use a little more effort, but it sure beats the two previous establishment’s use of the space.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diem is in a restaurant business since I was a young man, now I am a middle age man, I still love her Vietnamese cooking. I think, she is a daughter of the Original "Cafe Trang" in Salt Lake City.

11:01 AM  

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