Indochine insider: meet the chef revolutionising Asian cuisine
For David Tran, food means family. It’s a respite from the daily stresses of life. “The Asian mentality is to share food. It’s how you create a community that has become rare in our fast-paced world,” explains the chef and owner of Indochine, Ingolstadt Village’s newly opened Asian fusion restaurant.
Growing up, David would watch his mum cooking and picked up his skills early on, making his move into the food industry and family business unsurprising. “My family has been in the gastronomy business for generations, I grew up with it. Putting together good quality food to create a menu still inspires me – it’s had such an influence on my life.”
Arriving in Germany 40 years ago, David used cooking to grow roots to his new home. He started out in Munich’s hip nightclub 8 Seasons before working at the city-centre restaurant Last Supper (both since closed), eventually returning to the family business before launching Indochine.
Pairing different flavours, herbs and spices meant he’s been able to uphold his Vietnamese values while also introducing new ideas to those traditional dishes. “People’s awareness of culture in food has changed immensely – they appreciate the different influences across Asian cuisine,” explains David.
It was always my vision to combine Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Japanese in one restaurant and that’s been realised perfectly with Indochine at Ingolstadt Village.
“It was always my vision to combine Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Japanese in one restaurant and that’s been realised perfectly with Indochine at Ingolstadt Village.
“We were excited to put the shopping destination on the map as a luxury foodie destination that will complement its fashion brand portfolio.”
The menu changes every week in order to keep up with the latest trends and flavour combinations – “there’s nothing worse than sticking to old habits”, David says. Plus, with sustainability on everyone’s minds, the dishes are created using meat and vegetables sourced from a local farmer. Only traditional herbs are sourced from Asia for authenticity.
While the entire menu has the potential to make your mouth water, the sharing starter platter is the stuff of culinary dreams. Featuring spring rolls, summer rolls, duck salad, chicken and prawn satay and even crispy wontons, “it reflects every country’s kitchen” says David and offers the full fusion experience on one plate.
The restaurant’s ‘fusion’ ethos is also seen in its interiors, designed by architect Jürgen Haller. “We wanted to create a unique ambience that combines modern and classic influences. It was such an exciting collaboration: choosing the furniture, wallpaper, lamps and crockery… all the small details.
“The space has been divided into different levels, inspired by the rice terraces in China, and follows a strict orthogonal arrangement. There are balloon lights and silk fabrics paired with patterned floor tiles and ornaments from the Vietnamese colonial period – we want all the different elements to transport the visitor into another world.”
Discover Indochine at Ingolstadt Village or find the menu at IngolstadtVillage.com