Duc's Bistro: "DUC'S BISTRO: International food in Chinatown" Top 5 Page for this destination Honolulu Restaurant Tip by thinking

Honolulu Restaurants: 296 reviews and 467 photos

  diners at Duc's
by thinking

This restaurant is owned by Duc Nguyen, a Vietnamese, who is the heart of the community in Chinatown. It is a white table cloth restaurant with inventive food, a warm welcome and a pleasant atmosphere. The warm, pink glow of the lighting had a strange effect on my three dining pals and me: Suddenly, everything seemed rosy. An air of romance melted away concerns and aroused appetites.

Duc's curtained veneer and neon decoration of red roses hide a classy but casual French-Vietnamese eatery. A black grand piano welcomes guests in the entryway. White tablecloths and real, lavender-pink hyacinth blossoms adorn tables. We noticed the refined details as we made our way to the rear, passing through the long dining room, past the bar and into a larger space.

I was taken here by Mitsue Cook, my friend for over 20 years for the first time on February 18, 2005. I will definitely go again.

Favorite Dish: And then there was that lighting that flattered everyone and which seemed to miraculously erase wrinkles along with cares. Soaking in these various elements after being seated caused a friend to remark gleefully, "I feel like I'm back in Manhattan."

The Entrées include a soup or salad (each $6.95 a la carte) from a few choices on the menu. A velouté d'asparagus and a bisque of tomato and lobster surpassed both a mesclun salad and an avocado and papaya salad dressed with a tad too much of a sweet, balsamic vinaigrette. The soups were creamy rich and coated your mouth with their intensity.

Our entrées consisted of large portions in the traditional setup of meat, starch and vegetable; in our case, lightly sautéed fresh strings beans. Duck supreme Grand Marnier ($26.95) was tart with Valencia orange slices. Rack of lamb ($32.95), accompanied by gorgeous mashed potatoes, had two bones per chop in a Bordeaux-Chivry sauce (made with a compound butter of shallots, tarragon and chives). These dishes were tasty, but their sauces lacked depth and did not have the robust, full-bodied quality some of us desired.

Filet of bass nonpareil ($27.95) was the plate into which all of us tried to get our forks. Nonpareil Spanish capers sprinkling the dish were the biggest we had ever seen. Without dominating, they added a perky bite to the delicate lemon-butter sauce blanketing the tender, moist white fish.

Address: 1188 Maunakea Street
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Chinatown
Phone: 808-531-6325
Price: US$31-40
Rating: 4
Theme: Other

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 26, 2005
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