BEST THAI, BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT, BEST OUTSIDE DINING, BEST ATMOSPHERE
Indochine is one of the most competitive restaurants on encore’s readers’ poll—and has been for 16 years now—thanks to the dedication of owner Solange Thompson and her family. They opened the popular eatery on Wayne Drive in 2000 to bring healthy and flavorful ingredients of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine to southeastern NC. The establishment showcases the most prevalent flavors of southeast Asia, aside from Korean and Indian.
“The braised Vietnamese catfish is one of my favorites as my mother used to make it for me back in Vietnam,” Thompson says. “Also, the Bon Bo Hue is very special to me. It is a traditional Vietnamese soup that originated from my hometown, Hue, which is the Imperial City of Vietnam. It has a beef base and is highly seasoned and spicy.”
Both items can be found on an expansive menu that covers everything from dim sum to sushi, pad Thai to pho bac, to curries galore, among specialties and noodle and fried rice dishes. Thompson travels the world frequently and especially back to her homeland, often eating at various places in Vietnam. “We are constantly updating our décor inside and outside with treasures from my homeland and local artists,” she tells—indicative of her Best Atmosphere and Outside Dining wins. The cabanas outside of Indochine sit among lush foliage and a koi pond that makes the restaurant feel far from the busy Market Street it faces.
Dedication to customers remains their number-one goal in keeping the parking lot overflowing daily, and on weekends they flip the 250-seat restaurant twice. Though they don’t take reservations, Indochine prides themselves on friendly and quick service, so everyone is treated to exceptionality. “We have many customers that continue to come weekly to our restaurant and support us. We are very grateful for their continued support of Indochine,” Thompson tells. “However, this can only be done with all hands on deck, to ensure the greatest service.”
“The hardest part of running a successful restaurant is managing employees,” Thompson says. “We have a huge employee base and it comprises a variety of cultures and nationalities. I strive to promote the employees to bond together as a family unit. This takes patience, understanding, organization, planning, and knowledge of management. I make sure to give the employees all the tools that they need to do a good job and to be successful for our restaurant.”
Photo by Chris Brehmer Photography.