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Feb 9, 2008 10:34 PM

Calgary -- Indochine on 10th Street NW: another disappointing experience

For some reason, every 8-12 months, I pop into this place to see if anything has changed. I am always confronted with the same scene:

* solicitous service;
* a lovely, if dark, restaurant space; and
* food that is acceptable at best; bad at worst.

Now, I got take-out from there last night, but I doubt that dining in would have made a huge difference. Based on the quality of the ingredients used, the prices on the menu are about double what they should be for almost every dish that I had. Not only that, but a bowl of wor won ton soup that I had was positively drowning in what I presume was fish sauce (unless they were using a seafood stock for it). Now, for the fish sauce lover, that may not be a problem, but if I want to order an obviously seafood soup (which I never do), I would go ahead and do so. I wanted a soup with meat and vegetables, a stock that doesn't taste like fish, and some won ton dumplings. Without meaning to upset anyone reading this, I almost got sick trying to eat the soup. (The mere smell of it started to make my stomach churn.) One spoonful, and down the drain it went. I was extremely disappointed. Never again.

Consider yourselves warned!

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  1. I'm not trying to be a dick here (because I don't NEED to try! BA-DUM!), but why order an Americanized Chinese dish at a Vietnamese resto in the first place? How's their Vietnamese, since that's what they'd (presumably) be good at?

    5 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      the few times I tried, hoping to have a nice atmosphere and good vietnamese food, were not good. Unfortunately, the two remain mutually exclusive here in Calgary. I ordered a vermicelli dish. the noodles, meant to be served at room temp came out in a gluey, cold mass. The lemongrass pork was tasty, but was more jerky-like in texture than anything else. The fresh vegetables were warmer than the noodles beneath which they laid ie) wilted. The second time was marginally better, but not enough. The third time was my last. But I fully agree about the service being solicitous. It's too bad.

          1. re: maclock

            Level 2 Bankers Hall- not in the foodcourt, which is 3. It has excellent more "upscale" Vietnamese.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Oh, I have also eaten there, but I found it overpriced for what you get. I prefer Oriental Phoenix on 9th Avenue SW if I'm in that area.

              I have also had some surprisingly good meals at the Vietnamese Village location opposite the 8th Street SW C-Train stop. (I say "surprisingly" only because it doesn't look like much from the outside.)

    2. Why do people keep going back to resturants that have bad service and mediocre food? In general, wouldn't resturants that can't deliver just die and go away?

      1. Indochine? Is this the place that *used* to be in Banker's Hall where the Orchid Room now is?

        The Orchid Room does have great food, but it's a little too pricey for me also. For Vietnamese food in a somewhat nice atmosphere I generally pick Tamarine (on 8th and.. 5th SW?), but then again I work near there and it's handy for me. I'm not a big fan of Oriental Phoenix.

        2 Replies
        1. re: laracee

          Tamarine's been gone for months- it's Escoba at that site now

          1. re: John Manzo

            Wow! Seems like I was just there not too long ago... things change fast in Calgary!