Indo In Botanical Heights Near St. Louis Adds Cocktail Bar

Indo chef-owner Nick Bognar has just given customers two more reasons for visiting his three-year-old restaurant in Botanical Heights. The 31-year-old chef-owner added a cocktail bar to the already existing modern Southeast Asian offerings and a handroll menu.

A menu of 14 handrolls is now available, with prices ranging from $5 to $14 per person. A handroll, also known as “temaki” (Japanese for handroll), is a type of sushi that’s usually made from vinegared rice, sashimi, and other fillings. It is wrapped in nori. Bognar says handrolls are similar to sushi tacos. “I have been making handrolls at home for many years and I am excited to share more of this less-known sushi with the St. Louis community.”

Handrolls made with seared salmon belly and seared sea bream are among the new options. Omakase is a Japanese style of eating. The chef can make three handrolls for $22 and five for $32. Bognar states that adding handrolls will allow indo to evolve into what it is going to become in the future. He recommends “leaning more towards the cold side” and “in a very approachable, cost-conscious manner.” It’s evident that there is value and it’s apparent.

Indo offers a 20-item daily menu that includes gyoza and shrimp toast as well as vegetable crunchy rice and coconut mango rice pudding.

The former counter of a chef has been transformed into a bar with seven seats. Bognar stated in a release that they had always wanted to have a bar at Indo, but did not have the space.

Kira Webster, beverage director at Nando’s new bar, oversees the cocktail program and will also be the head of Sado at Bognar’s sushi-themed restaurant. She’ll open the 5201 Shaw space (which used to house Giovanni’s on the Hill) later in the year.

Webster was second in the inaugural National Sochu Competition. It was held in Brooklyn, New York, earlier this year. She released, “As a second-generation Japanese-American who spent my summers in Japan, working at Sado and indo is a way to explore my identity through cocktails.” “I love introducing less-known Asian ingredients into the beverage industry.”