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“A taste of Asia.”
Review of Apsara

Apsara
Ranked #89 of 1,522 Restaurants in Quebec City
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Downtown Quebec City
Description: For now over 37 years, the Restaurant Apsara offers authentic cuisine from Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Located right in the heart of the Old-Quebec, the restaurant welcomes you with pleasure within its walls that will remind you of Cambodia, with original statues and illustrations of Angkor Wat.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The food was fresh and very flavourful. The Saigon beef was so tender it virtually melted in my mouth.

3  Thank Krista G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 135 of 292 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2013

The atmosphere is elegant and at the same time relaxing. Our hosts were helpful, warm and friendly, and the food was the best Asian cuisine we have enjoyed in a long time. We Williston certainly return and recommend it to anyone visiting Quebec City!

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4  Thank Inkypink1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Very good restaurant in vieux Québec. There's thaï, viet et cambodgiens food. It's clean, the service is very good and the food very tasty. This is one of my favorite restaurant in Québec city.

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4  Thank Caroline P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

I am a little surprised by all the great reviews this place got, and "surprised" is putting it lightly. Let me give Apsara one compliment upfront: the service was great, and the server was a lovely, friendly woman.

The food? Another story. We stopped there for lunch and I can sum it up in one word: mediocre. I have travelled in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, so I have an idea of what southeast Asian food should taste like. The meal I ate at Apsara was a pale imitation at best. I am wondering if perhaps the food is better at suppertime, because I really just can't reconcile what we ate with the glowing reviews I've read here.

My husband and I both had the beef noodle soup, veg spring roll, shrimp and veg stir-fry, and for dessert I had tapioca while hubby had sorbet. I found the soup to be wholly uninspired and a little too salty. A few scraps of beef, a few noodles languidly floating in the oil-slicked broth, and few scallion slices. No real hint of any Asian flavours.

The spring roll was okay, not great. A little too greasy, and frankly it tasted a little old. I get much better spring rolls made by a Thai couple who have a booth at a farmer's market we go to near the wilds of Cornwall!

The main course was incredibly bland and uninspired. The one thing I can say is that the shrimp, while not exciting, were properly cooked and not rubbery, and the broccoli in the dish was green and crisp, not mushy. But the meal was drowning an ineffectual sauce that turned the white rice brown and made what was supposed to be a crisp stir-fry SOUPY. All very insipid and uninspired. Most of the veggies had the look of having been cooked earlier, then reheated. What had once been a jade-leafed, sturdy stalk of bok choy was now a pale, flaccid, morsel of vegetation dwindling to a shrivelled clump of green. So sad!

The tapioca was fine. I have no idea why I picked it over the sorbet, which looked better, but there's not a whole lot you can do to make tapioca worse than it inherently is, with that look of frogs' eggs in a nest of slime. That said, this dish had a pleasant fruity taste I couldn't quite identify, and I ate it all. I find tapioca strangely compelling.

The set price for that lunch was about $12.95. I don't mind paying that for lunch; it's reasonable. But for such a sad excuse for a Thai or Vietnamese or Cambodian meal (I have no idea which it was supposed to be!) it was too much. My husband said he would have given Apsara a zero rating, but it wasn't the worst meal I've ever had. It reminded me of something you'd get in a downscale shopping mall food court.

The restaurant decor should have been redone about 25 years ago, along with the canned music. I am truly baffled by the people who complimented interior design. There was some cool art from southeast Asia, but apart from that, the place looks like it hasn't been redecorated since fast food restaurants had orange and brown chairs. The building housing the restaurant is lovely and historic, and the location is great, but the inside walls sport the same horrific dark-blue floral wallpaper we ripped off our bedroom walls upon moving into our century-old farmhouse six years ago. The whole restaurant seemed dimly-lit and tired. Actually, the decor kind of matched the food: depressing.

I got the sense that Apsara used to better than average, but has been coasting on its reputation for a long time. With so many great restaurants in Québec, let's just say we won't be hurrying back here. They need to up their game!

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Thank caberwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

The food here was surprisingly great! I say surprising, because the menu, though easy to read, makes it look like run of the mill tourist trap. But no, it was good and the wines are reasonably priced. If I had to complain about anything, it's that the room itself is rather stodgy old Quebec (we guessed it was to make the locals feel more comfortable about trying something less... Quebec) and the hostess could have went a little easier on the perfume. Those things aside, great food (we ordered a second serving of the Legumes Saute - they were really good, so was the Pad Thai, and we've had A LOT of pad thai), exceptional service, reasonably priced food and wine.

You should go here if, like us, you're tired of the cheese/cream/butter/meat. If you like Asian food, you'll probably be surprised.

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1  Thank Jeremy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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