Mostafa Chhoury, head chef of Indie DIFC reveals his plans for evolving the Dubai venue’s menu in the coming months
Tell me about the concept of Indie?
The concept of Indie is sophisticated, trendy and fun, while at the same time maintaining the very highest culinary standards. We have worked on a menu that is easy to understand and that caters to all types of diners.
Please explain Indie’s menu?
There is a wide selection of starters, both hot and cold, with influences from global cuisines and easy- to- eat food. This is followed by an array of refreshing salads and finally our selection of mains, again with an international flavour, served individually, but which can be shared. We also have mixed platters that combine different items in one plate to share with your guests and our selection of very light sweets includes vegan and dairy-free items. Our menu must complement the overall tone of Indie; chic, effortlessly stylish, always innovative and up-to-the-minute.
What influences and experiences do you draw on for your menu creation?
I look for international cuisines and love to combine cooking techniques from the east with well-loved favourites from western cuisine. I love Asian food and I’m also a big fan of French gastronomy and I dig into this regularly to discover more. I use cookbooks from renowned chefs for inspiration and put my own take on some of their recipes.
What is your hero dish/ signature item on the menu?
It is really our hero dish rather than signature dish because people love it and almost all of our guests order it on their return visits. It’s a recreation of the famous rossino, called ‘Rossini Junior’: cubes of prime beef topped with seared foie gras, black truffle flakes, salt and balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze. Our awesome lobster rolls are also a top choice for non-meat eaters.
What advice would you give chefs starting out in this region?
Most of us chefs come with our own idea of doing things the way we always did. It’s a great thing but I believe in adapting and striving to cater for the local community and all the expats of Dubai. You can never stand still; you must always innovate, tweak, design new dishes, experiment and learn.
What major challenges did you face when launching Indie?
Finding the best and freshest produce was one of the biggest challenges we faced during the pre-opening process as our menu items are simple and the sourcing of good products is paramount to the success of each of our creations. Our innovative menu has been very well received and appreciated by the Dubai crowd, who have voted with their feet and keep coming back for more.
What suppliers do you work with and what items are most difficult to source?
We work with Fresh Express, Classic Fine Foods and Chef Middle East. Good meat can be hard to find as the quality varies a lot and nothing but the very best will do for Indie and its customers. Thanks to all the professional suppliers in the UAE and Dubai we have been able to source what we need and maintain the highest quality of food we insist upon.
How do you see the menu evolving going forward?
There are more items to come, perhaps with some more Asian influence and why not some live cooking stations for our guests in the venue?