I think the last place I expected my Hamburger hosts to bring me for dinner was at a Singapore-owned Indochinese restaurant, but that was what precisely happened this evening.
Still, it was nice to be able to compare the Indochine here in Altona, with beautiful views of Hamburg's harbour & busy waterways, with the one back home in Empress Place, along the Singapore river. Verdict: the Singapore one wins hands-down, both in terms of decor and authenticity of food.
Still, Indochine Hamburg did not disappoint. Its trio of chefs: a German, a Vietnamese and a Laotian, churned out some of the spiciest (upon special request) food I've ever had ... anywhere in the world!
For starters, don't miss the special platter which consisted of Vietnamese cha gio and goi cuon, Laotian sausage, fried chicken drumlets & pork meatballs, served with two types of dips: a thick peanut-based sauce and a thinner sweet-tangy chilli-vinegar sauce.
My main was a Cambodian seafood curry: fresh scallops, snapper fillet, mussels & shrimps cooked in an ultra-spicy red curry. Served with steamed white Jasmine rice, it's guaranteed to clear one's sinuses.
Also good was the chicken strips stir-fried with water convulvulus in a chilli-bean sauce. Those wanting something less spicy can opt for the grilled Argentinian beef & lobster platter.
One can also go Thai & choose the larb moo (minced pork salad0 served with steamed glutinous rice.
A standout for dessert was the creme brulee with Tonka beans, served with a scoop of sourish buttermilk ice-cream & cut fresh fruits. But the crowd favourite seemed to be the passionfruit parfait, also served with a selection of exotic fruits.
Indochine is not cheap, around €600 for 8 persons (including drinks). I'd go there for their appetisers which were absolutely fantastic but the mains were not too impressive.
Tel: 040 39 80 78 80