Oct

09

2010

Asiatique: Unfulfilled Potential [Closed]

Written By Caroline in Reviews

Asiatique Jasmine Tea by Caroline Wik

Asiatique Bistro And Lounge

9228 Centre Pointe Dr.
West Chester, OH 45069
513-889-2272

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 plates
Hours: Mon-Wed: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Thurs-Sat: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Price Range: Appetizers: $6 – $8
Entrees: $10 – $30

www.asiatiquebistro.com

Asiatique Bistro and Lounge on Urbanspoon

Anticipation had built up around the Asiatique Bistro and Lounge which took nearly a year to be built – we don’t really know what took them so long. It is the sister restaurant of Asiatique in Louisville, KY.

I kind of wonder if the people who built the shopping center that Asiatique resides in actually want you to visit the various businesses located there.

Just trying to get into the parking lot of Asiatique was a bit of a challenge, and maybe it’s just that I am not as familiar with that area as I thought I was, but it seems a little excessively difficult. We made it, eventually.

The giant white modern building is easily looked over and, if you ask me, looks like a car dealer from a distance. It’s only once you are close up do you see all the rain chains that adorn the sides. Once inside though, it is impressively huge. The concrete floors and sleek modern decorations give the restaurant a cool but inviting feel. When you first walk in, you’ll notice a huge bar and lounge area, then several dining areas deeper within the restaurant. If you’re not careful, I’m pretty sure you could get lost.

Asiatique Vietnamese Coffee by Caroline Wik

The food at Asiatique is unique, and they don’t stick to any particular cuisine or style – other than trendy fusion food. Everything from Indian to Vietnamese and Japanese can be found on the menu. They also have an extensive wine and alcohol list

To start we got the Lemongrass Scented Beef Kebob and Asian Basil Pesto, as well as the Spicy Minced Chicken with Water Chestnut, Scallions and Romaine Lettuce. The beef kebob didn’t really smell or taste like lemongrass. In fact, it just tasted like beef. The spicy minced chicken had more flavor to it, however by and large wasn’t really remarkable, and when you wrapped it up in the wet lettuce leaves it really just tasted like lettuce.

While we waited for our entrees I ordered a Vietnamese Coffee and Adam got the jasmine tea. The Vietnamese Coffee was quite good, but just a tad bit bitter. The condensed milk helped a lot, but not quite enough in my opinion. Otherwise, it was a bit heavy (good thing) and tasted really good. The Jasmine tea was alright – from such an upscale place I expected a bit more than a branded tea bag in a pot. So, it wasn’t of exceptional quality or anything and it just tasted okay.

I noticed that our waitress seemed unusually timid, almost scared. I wanted to tell her “don’t worry, we wont bite… we totally aren’t reviewing you either” but I couldn’t. She was very polite and nice, but just seemed new. I’d also like to note that it got dark very quickly this fall evening, and the lighting inside Asiatique is of the the dim variety. So I apologize for the lowered quality of the latter pictures.

Asiatique Beef Kebab and Stir Fried Chicken by Caroline Wik

For our main courses we got the Spicy Lamb, Scallion and Fragrant Ginger in Black Bean Sauce and the Dry Rubbed Peking Duck Breast, Picked Root Vegetables in an Espresso & Cabernet Reduction.

Asiatique Peking Duck by Caroline Wik

The Peking Duck had a good flavor and wasn’t too oily or gamey. I think the espresso-cab sauce is really what made it a good dish though. By and large it was forgettable, not bad but not great either. The rice that came on the side of both dishes kind of felt like an afterthought and we wound up not touching them – they were just plain rice and didn’t compliment nor add anything to the dishes.

Unfortunately, the Spicy Lamb wasn’t near as good. The lamb was overcooked which made it chewy, grainy and tough. The black bean sauce was rather bland and I couldn’t pick out any of the flavors in it.

Asiatique Spicy Lamb by Caroline Wik

We decided to end with the Assorted Crème Brûlée and Gastrique and the Bitter Sweet Chocolate Torte and Saffron Creme Anglaise.

The Crème Brûlée came in four flavors, all of which the waitress said a bit too quickly for me to remember. One was vanilla, one was chocolate, one passionfruit and the fourth mango. The vanilla was okay, the chocolate was an abomination, the mango forgettable, and the passionfruit one was almost a bit too citrusy for me. I would have been happier if the portion sizes were a bit bigger (they each came in a roughly one ounce cup) for the price, however due to the fact that I didn’t even enjoy eating it, I’m happy the portions were little.

Asiatique Creme Brulee by Caroline Wik

The Bitter Sweet Chocolate Torte came out a lot better, but was still kind of underwhelming. The sauce was the best part of it, but even then I took one taste and was done. Actually, I think underwhelming is the best way to describe our whole visit to Asiatique. So much potential, a lot of anticipation and with a menu that makes the food sound delicious, but then you get it and everything is just kind of bland.

Asiatique Chocolate Torte by Caroline Wik

Thusly, we’ve decided that we’d rate Asiatique a 2 1/2 plates. The decor inside is really nice (we didn’t even notice they had a sign on the building until after dark when it was all lit up), the Vietnamese Coffee was good and some of the dishes were alright, but none were great and some were even not so good (the lamb sucked, let’s put it that way). The service was good; despite being timid and I’m assuming new, our server was still polite and attentive. The food is really what dragged our review down. I wanted to like it, especially since we enjoyed just being inside so much, but ultimately I can’t give it a better rating. Maybe if others have had great experiences there we’ll give them another shot, but for now it’s a 2 1/2 plates.

You can find more pictures from our visit on our Facebook Gallery.

What do you think? Did you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Verdict: Doesn’t Live Up To The Reputation

The decor inside is modern, sleek and cool yet utilizes warm inviting tones to make you feel at ease and relaxed once you’re inside. Several large dining areas and a huge bar and lounge area lead me to believe that you shouldn’t fear visiting on a weekend night, but yet the food was just not up to par. Some dishes were not so bad, but the overwhelming majority were just bland and ultimately forgettable.

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