Indochine to 'bring cool into DIFC', says VKD Hospitality

The team behind Miss Lilys hope to make Indochine a hotspot for the creative community
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The lush outdoor terrace at Indochine.
ITP Media Group
The lush outdoor terrace at Indochine.

Indochine is the latest international brand name to enter Dubai and operators VKD Hospitality say the aim is to “bring cool into DIFC”.

The French-Vietnamese restaurant has been open in the financial district since early December, and VKD Hospitality co-founder Varun Khemaney told Caterer Middle East that they wanted to stand out from the other restaurants in the area.

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He said: “I love the restaurants here, but we wanted to create an environment where a lot of the creative community who don’t necessarily frequent DIFC could come in and make it their own too.”

Fellow co-founder Khalil Dahmash has been impressed by the eclectic mix of customers Indochine has attracted so far, saying: “You have the young creatives, you have the old bankers, you have the fashion crowd, you have the art crowd. When you walk into the room you meet people from different walks of life and different careers.”

Indochine is the second Dubai restaurant for VKD which previously launched Miss Lily’s, another New York-born concept, and it’s the success of the Jamaican venue which helped VKD land both Indochine and a prime DIFC location.

Khemaney said: “Everybody who aspires to own a restaurant in Dubai, at some point or another, DIFC is on their radar. Some of the best in the world are here on your doorstep. When we were trying to get a space at DIFC it was tough because there’s so many people trying to do the same thing and if you don’t have that track record or credibility it’s hard for them to take you seriously.”

Having been open for almost two months now, the New York-born concept is finding its feet with increasing numbers of covers as the weeks go by.

According to Dahmash, the “hype” for Indochine is in full swing. He said: “People are giving us really good feedback. We’re seeing a lot of return customers already and for us that’s the most gratifying thing, knowing they are coming back, bringing their friends, using word of mouth, and really spreading the word.”

You can read the full interview with VKD Hospitality in the February issue of Caterer Middle East.

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