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“Tasty Food, Quaint Atmosphere” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Duc's Bistro

Duc's Bistro
Ranked #248 of 2,313 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighbourhood: Downtown Honolulu
Seal Beach, California
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Tasty Food, Quaint Atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2011

I've been to this restaurant several times but this is my first review. The restaurant is located on Maunakea Street in Chinatown. It's not the most glamorous neighborhood but it is a neighborhood teaming with some very good and up-and-coming restaurants. Duc's has here for at least several years and has a loyal clientle, mostly locals who are "in the know."

I've never ordered specifically from the menu. The owner, Mr. Duc we call him, asks us if we have any allergies or anything we can't or won't eat. From there, he will order your appetizers, entrees, and dessert. You may wish to start off with his homemade ginger ale - very refreshing for our warm island weather but a full bar is available.

Last night we started off with oysters on the half shell, egg rolls, thin noodles with lettuce and basil with a sauce. Entrees included grilled cubes of beef tenderloin in jus, lamb chops with rosemary, basa fish with creamy lemon and capers sauce, and shrimp curry. There was a saffron rice to round out the variety of tastes and textures and bread rolls are available. The meal ended with mango slices and vanilla ice cream.

If you go on Thursday night, you will be treated to a lovely lady named Mihana who will serenade you with her guitar and sweet Hawaiian voice. Mr. Duc will come and check on you to ensure that you are enjoying your meal. He wants to please you.

Go to Duc's Bistro when you want to have a nice, memorable evening of good food and maybe entertainment. While you won't walk away with a very full belly like you do at many local island eateries, you will feel fulfilled both mind, soul, and body.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank rodjune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    18
    7
    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Princeton Junction, NJ
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“An excellent meal and a wonderful Host”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2011

We are always on the look out for great new places to eat. And even after being long time residents of Oahu and then regular returning visitors we though we knew most of the places to eat. We our friends proved us wrong. Tucked away in China Town is a great little place called Duc's Bistro. It is easy to get to and away from the crowds and tourists. Parking was easy and across the street.

It is a small dining room. Nicely decorated . There is another room in the back wiith a bar but we did not go back there.

We put our dinner in Duc's hands and the cooks and asked him prepare a meal for four. He asked a few questions and disappeared into the kitchen. Each course was better then the next, all well prepared. The presentation was great and the food was top of the line. There was plenty of food from appetizer to desert. Duc made us feel like family. It was an great evening with Friends and family. He introduced us to Van gough expresso flavored vodka. A great way to top off the evening. I have to thank our friends for introducing us to Duc's.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Damianz666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
1,143 reviews
857 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 612 helpful votes
“Masterfully Orchestrated”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2011

Some meals at restaurants are enjoyable. Fewer meals at restaurants are exceptional. It is exceedingly rare that any meal is a life event. Thanks to Duc and his engaging staff, my first visit to thisdelightful culinary sanctuary was that seldom in a lifetime experience when all of the stars align, the servers are vigilant and generous in their efforts, and the kitchen demonstrates the flamboyance of a pirate while maintaining a Zen like discipline and restraint.

When my wife and I arrived, despite the fact that it was our first visit ever to Duc's Bistro, we were welcomed like treasured friends. The decor offered a soft freshness, soothing our spirits and inviting a sense of ease. Despite his other duties, Duc took time with us to chat and offer menu suggestions.

Had the food only been adequate, we certainly would have planned to be frequent patrons due to the wealth of warmth and attentiveness bestowed upon us. The food was, however, not adequate. The food was strikingly straightforward, seasoned in such manner that the nuances of the symphony of flavors were fully unfettered, free to blossom with an outpouring of mellifluous notes.

Like a world class orchestra, such a restaurant does not merely drop from the sky. It is the combined efforts of a select staff, ingredients of uncompromising quality, and a conductor of exceptional experience, vision and joy.

Duc is that Maestro.

  • Visited July 2010
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank johnfjohnston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kahului, Hawaii
Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Worked up an apetite trying to find location but it was all worth it.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2011

Duc's bistro, a French-Vietnamense cuisine, was not the easiest to find in the middle of Chinatown at night, but after a few misdirections, we came upon its unassuming door. The dining area was small but unexpectedly very chic with white linen tablecloths and low light ambience. The owner and chef's personal greeting was also a nice touch. We tried their bar menu which included ginger and lychee martinis. Very nice. If your'e not ready to try a full on exotic vietnamese menu, this place will allow you to transition gradually. For appetizers, we ordered traditional springs rolls filled with minced veal, taro and shiitake mushrooms. We tried the mesclun sald with walnuts and goat cheese and we also oredered a few dinner entrees for our dinner group to try "family style". TheFilet of Basa, farm raised on the Mekong River, had a sweet taste sauteed with lemon butter and sprinkled with capers, melted in your mouth. The Black Angus Steak, new york cut flambeed with cognac was also very flavorful. One can't go to a Vietnamese restaurant without trying duck. We had the Duck Beaulie, duck breast sauteed in rasperry vinaigrette and for the finally entree, we sampled the Bun with Lemongrass Beef. The food and drinks were excellent. The service was very good. It could've been excellent but we had to wait for the food a little longer than we would have liked. The location of the restaurant was good to very good, only because parking was scarce and walking around Chinatown at night, one can encounter some very interesting characters. Now that I know where Duc's Bistro is, I will definitely go back and revisit the menu.

  • Visited December 2010
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank hoohiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oahu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Jewel of Chinatown Dining”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2010

Honolulu's Chinatown is not for the faint of heart after dark. That being said, Duc's Bistro makes it that much easier by offering validated parking right across the street. Be sure to cross over from the parking lot at the CROSSWALK as Honolulu police love nothing better than to give unsuspecting tourists and hungry residents a ticket for jaywalking, which will add another $75 each to the cost of your meal. The neighborhood is safe, and also more interesting by day when the lei shops, fruit & vegetable vendors, art galleries, and import shops are open so a nice option is to go for lunch and walk it off afterwards. Although the portions aren't excessive, and the cuisine is lighter than traditional French but richer than typical Vietnamese, you won't be able to resist ordering an appetizer, entree and dessert,

Duc and his wife take great pride in their cuisine and pay attention to all the details. He makes his own ginger syrup then uses it in both food and beverage preparation. Try it in his signature cocktail, or in the refreshing homemade ginger ale.

A recent addition to the menu, Vietnamese style crepe, a crispy version, served in similar fashion to their egg rolls, with lettuce leaves and herbs to roll pieces up in, was a delightful combination of flavors and textures. That sums up whatever you order at Duc's. One of Honolulu's best restaurants, in a very crowded field.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MegaMaverick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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