Inspired Asian eats in Cancun
Nizuc Resort & Spa’s Indochine brings contemporary twists to traditional pan-Asian dishes that are served in an inspired atmosphere catering to those who prefer an intimate dining experience. Tucked away on a secluded Cancun beach, Nizuc has six restaurants that manage to lure in both resort guests and those staying at other hotels — Indochine’s peaceful outdoor infinity pool sets the mood as you arrive. A large flaming stone feature that reflects in the water nods to a water and fire balance. Beyond, the Caribbean laps at the powdery white beach.
Indochine’s exterior glows at night with two-stories of a backlit wooden façade carved with an intricate, repeating diamond motif. Inside, columns with geometric Oriental designs rise from a dark mahogany floor and are set off by low, golden accent lights. Asian pottery and lamps sit atop distressed wood tables and trunks. Contemporary high-backed dark wicker chairs front heavy slate tables, and thick chopsticks rest next to heavy silverware on dark bamboo placemats. Black lacquer dishes with light wood edging and spotless crystal stemware complete the elegant place settings. Tables range from two-tops on the candlelit deck overlooking the infinity pool to plush booth-and-chair four-tops. Long tables can accommodate large families and groups. Throughout the restaurant, dark wood, warm light, stone accents and plants give Indochine a decidedly cozy, organic feel. Large windows and an open deck allow for sunset views.
Service is prompt and attentive, as is it throughout Nizuc Resort & Spa, and servers easily accommodate non-Spanish-speaking guests. Indochine excels at sushi, sashimi and nigiri catering to an international clientele. Sashimi include the catch of the day, tuna, salmon and hamachi (Pacific yellowtail). Nigiri plates are served with three pieces and include eel, tuna, shrimp, king crab, hamachi and salmon. Sophisticated sushi creations include banana maki (avocado, cheese cream, shrimp, fried plantain with eel and sesame seed sauce) and black cod tempura (eel and black cod tempura, cucumber, avocado, eel and sesame seed sauce).
Other menu items span Asia’s various cuisines. The grated green papaya salad is dressed with garlic, coriander and tamarind vinaigrette with a dash of chili and sugar and finished with crushed peanuts. Tuna tataki with teriyaki sauce is prepared with a sea salt crust. There’s also choice of coconut and udon-based soups and dishes from the wok (pad thai, chicken in oyster sauce).
Entreé standouts include the black cod glazed with sweet white miso and served with bok choy and hajikami, chicken satay (chicken skewers marinated in yellow curry, sugar and soy sauce served with white rice and peanut sauce), and Oriental scallops in a spicy celery rémoulade orange and honey sauce with cauliflower purée.
The Cancun restaurant is also where to go at Nizuc for steak — its grilled black angus fillet with demi-glace and teriyaki sauce is widely appreciated. Desserts are refreshing, especially the tapioca with coconut cream, and the sweet rice with ripe mango.