We came here for lunch after a great visit to the Delaware Museum of Natural History. We were very, very disappointed with our meal.
For starters, I ordered one of the "specials of the day" appetizers, eggplant tempura, for $10.00, and my husband ordered the spring rolls served with lettuce for $6.50. The eggplant tempura was well cooked, but it had absolutely no flavor whatsoever. The only flavor you could get from it was by dipping it in the special Vietnamese dressing for dipping that was brought along with the appetizer. My husband's spring roll, advertised on the menu as (3) "nice" portions made of pork and cellophane noodles, were actually 3 miniature pieces of spring roll, each about the size of a small round frozen breakfast sausage.
For my main course I ordered the Saigon Duck for $12.50, advertised as crispy brown duck with bean sprouts in a rice wine sauce (spicy). The duck was not freshly cooked. Either it had been pre-cooked or had been frozen, and put back into the deep fryer to heat it up. As a result, it was so overcooked, that you could absolutely not taste any duck, just whatever batter it was covered with. To add insult to injury, there was a brown sauce that was poured over the top of the duck, with way too much fish sauce, that drowned out whatever taste there may have been. The bean sprouts underneath were sadly wilted and tired looking. There was nothing spicy about this dish, there was no taste at all except for that salty fishy brown sauce.
My husband ordered the Shredded duck with lemon grass, for $11.25. He said his duck also did not taste fresh, and although he had requested it to be prepared authentically spicy, it was not spicy at all. Additionally, once again a heavy hand in the kitchen drowned the duck in the same fish sauce, so there was no flavor to it. He said his meal simply left a bad fish sauce taste in his mouth.
Everything is extra. If you want rice with your meal, there is a 50 cent charge per bowl. If you want hot tea, there is a $2.00 charge for it.
We have eaten Vietnamese cuisine many times, and know that while fish sauce is an integral part of the ingredients used in the preparation of a meal, never should it overpower the food to the point where you can not be sure if the food you are eating is really fresh, and the fish sauce becomes the only flavor.
We really like to support local, independent restaurants, especially in this economy, but this restaurant was a big disappointment, and that is too bad, because the wait staff was very professional, and the restaurant looked very nice and clean inside, but in the end we go out to eat to enjoy our meal, and this meal was not good.
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