Duc’s Bistro

Reid, 22. July 2008, 16:38

(on Maunakea, close to Berentania)

I don’t like writing reviews of restaurants where the food neither really good or really bad. Duc’s is such a place. I’m going to list everything we tried and for the most part all the dishes were of the same quality: just OK. The restaurant is a French-Vietnamese restaurant that pulls more towards the Vietnamese side (although, according to our waiter, the food used to be more in the classical French vein). Here’s what we had: We started with seveal appetizers, a ground veal dish wrapped in la lot leaves (something like luau leaf, I guess); beef tartare (they used wagyu beef); and seared foie gras. The veal appetizer tasted similar to the filling in gyoza or pot-stickers. Mustard, onions and tomatoes over-powered the beef in the tartare. This is the second or third time I’ve had tartare and I have to say that each time, the meat is very bland. At $17, it was definitely not worth the price. The foie gras was the best. I enjoyed that. Larri also got a salad, but she didn’t comment on it.

For the main course, we orded the dishes family style. We had a garlic olive oil green beans (not very tasty with a limp consistency) and roasted eggplant. I liked the smokey flavor from this, but it had a lot of seeds in it. The main entres consisted of a two fish dishes–one a basa, with a kind of sauce I can’t remember and the other a mild white fish (can’t remember the name) with a shiitake and sun-dried tomato sauce. The basa was a fresh water fish. The flesh had a similar consistency to butter-fish, but it also had a gamey quality to it. For meats, we got a lamb dish, steak and chicken with crab meat. The steak came with a peppercorn sauce. Everything was OK, nothing exceptional. The price range for each of the dishes ranged between $15-$20. We also got bread, which came fresh out of the oven, although they served it late, and mashed potatoes. These were good, real buttery and a little lumpy.

I can say that that atmosphere is quite nice inside, which is a strong contrast to the surroundings outside. The place was pretty empty on a Saturday night though. You could probably get just as good Vietnamese or French food someplace else, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

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