Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Indochine in Salt Lake City

Before a lecture at Westminster College in Sugarhouse, we had just enough time to swing by Indochine Vietnamese Bistro for dinner.
First up, an omelette-style Vietnamese Crepe, "bánh xèo," stuffed with shrimp, bean sprouts and meat garnished with standard traditional-style staples of lettuce, mint, cilantro, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots and bowl of prepared fish sauce. This turmeric pancake, stuffed with all sorts of fillings. is one of the French influences. These Vietnamese crepes are made from coconut milk, rice flour, water and turmeric powder (reason for the yellow color, not egg) vs French crêpes which are made from eggs, flour, milk, butter and salt.
Approach this à la lettuce-wrap. Yum and interactive (demo pic below). The shrimp was peeled versus shell on, a gesture directly intended for the American.
Next up, comfort-food, "Hu Tieu Ap Chao Do Bien," a Chinese inspired flat rice noodles stir-fried with seafood. I was disappointed to see such a soggy starchy sauce (especially after that light turmeric crepe plate). Nevertheless, this was delicious in dive-Chinese-buffet sort of way. No one complained. The noodles were burried beneath a mound of extra-saucy bokchoy, bean sprouts, carrot, shrimp, calamari rings and scallops.
It has been just forever since I've enjoyed a drip coffee outside my home. Finally, a REAL Vietnamese Coffee out and about! 

10 minutes dripping and my Vietnamese coffee was ready for stir and pour over ice. Hit the spot :)
Next up: Shrimp Patty on Sugarcane "Chạo Tôm!" Platter came decked out in traditional condiments... more lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, cilantro, pickled carrot and daikon, sitting on a bed of vermicelli rice noodles drowned in peanuts and scallion oil served with peanut sauce and (see below) fresh rice paper with an accompanying bowl of hot water (for softening the rice paper before wrapping). I was in charge of the rice paper dipping, diligently dipping rice paper.
(Rice paper curls up when exposed to air. They even provided a plastic screen weight to hold the rice paper down.)
Ready to roll. 
A Vietnamese meal must always include a soup. "Canh chua cá," which is a tamarind base sour soup with fish, made with pineapple, tomatoes, okra, bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapenos and topped with fried shallots and garlic. Beware of fishbones!
Finally, we had "bò lúc lắc," which is beef (sirloin, I'm guessing here) cut into slivers (vs the traditional cubes) marinated in oyster sauce (pretty sure that's what I tasted here) tossed in onion and poured over tomatoes, lettuce and cilantro. Another winner and everyone (but pescetarian hubby) loved it (although I would have preferred it rare with a nicer cut of meat, but this was tasty!). 
Our table was officially overflowing with food. We finished everything after an 1 hour and 15 minutes and ran out to Westminster for the lecture.
This was a cute restaurant serving traditional authentic (well, as authentic as you CAN be for Salt Lake City, Utah!) dishes, with a warm attentive staff, great food and we left satisfied and full. I can't WAIT to come back. Who wants to come back with me?!

Indochine Vietnamese Bistro on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Oh, funny question- "who wants to come back with me?" WHO DOESN"T? Not only do you describe it deliciously, but you provide the pictures as well. Here I sit in Massachusetts salivating.. You're on! I'll be out April 25th for a week.