Le Tuk Tuk de Saigon is a Vietnamese restaurant located in Torcy. The name of the restaurant is reminiscent of autorickshaws, which are more prevalent in Cambodia than Vietnam. In Vietnam, they mostly use their feet.
For european, the name sounds asian enough for them to understand the concept and that’s exactly what this restaurant is aiming for.
The restaurant is fairly new; it’s located in Bay 1, a shopping center located directly near the train station (RER A Torcy).
This shopping center is more like a restaurant alley for people living or working in the area. This area is not necessarily well frequented, but it’s safe enough, especially during the day.
The restaurant is actually one of the closest to the train station exit; the only downside is that you’ll have to climb some stairs first.
The interior design of the restaurant is actually quite nice. It feels like a lounge with a plush leather bench and tungsten lighting that dims at a certain hour. It’s really not too far away from a decoration you would see in a nightclub lounge.
They actually really tried to put some effort into the design, and overall, I feel like the restaurant, even if it’s not that big, looks very nice and modern inside. Perhaps one of the coolest-looking Asian restaurants in this area.
Large groups can still find some tables to eat at in the restaurant. Overall, I think this is a good-looking interior, and I could see some nighttime events happening inside it.
I think Europeans feel more comfortable in these kinds of spaces, since it’s really not the type of space where you feel like an outsider.
The menu is only written in French and English; again, this restaurant is not really aiming at a traditional Asian customer base.
The restaurant focuses its menu on popular Vietnamese and Thai dishes. These are the most well-known dishes in Europe.
Their menu is actually quite large, with a lot of different options. Prices are definitely reasonable for the area and for the quality of the interior design, we would have expected higher prices.
I think most of the typical Asian dishes you would find in an Asian restaurant are on the menu. They have Cambodian food as well, like the famous Phnom Penh. Pad Thai are also part of the menu, as well as Pho and Peking duck.
Basically all the typical dishes, European can enjoy once in a while.
If the food is not that expensive compared to other places with less oomph in the interior design, I think the restaurant makes its profits from the drinks.
For example, count 4.90 euros for coconut juice, 3.90 euros for soy milk, and 6.50 euros for a Saigon beer. Okay, it’s the red one, but still, it’s probably six times the price of the product.
At the end of the day, we understand that they have to earn somewhere, but sometimes it’s hard to believe you are paying for one cup of soy milk the same price as three bottles in the next-door store.
I’ve been many times to this restaurant, and the food is good but nothing transcendent. It doesn’t necessarily taste like the original recipe. It’s a bit adapted to the local taste buds.
The bo bun is probably the most famous Vietnamese dish in France. Most of my friends who are not Asians love this dish. It’s the most popular and easiest to eat.
This version of the Bo Bun Nam Bo in Vietnam was bigger in size than the one you would find in Vietnam, where one bowl is often not enough.
Here it’s adequate in size, and the leaves, like the mint, are not as prominent as in traditional Vietnamese restaurants.
The skewered beef was very strong in taste—salty, garlicky, and with a bit of curcuma flavor as well. It’s the kind of seasoning strength you would find in French cuisine. Something very packed and strong.
The meat was slightly undercooked; even for me, who loves raw meat, it was really blue inside. But still, it was tender and strong in taste.
My wife took the classic recipe for beef sauté with lemon grass. I personally don’t enjoy lemongrass, but my wife loves it.
She didn’t enjoy the seasoning; for her, it was reminiscent of the mix used for dog meat in Vietnam. She believed there was some fermented shrimp paste in it. I doubt it; I tasted her beef, and it was good.
These times, my dad just wants to vary his dishes out of boredom. Le Tuk Tuk of Saigon is not his type of joint anyway; he is 74 and enjoys traditional restaurants.
His stir-fry noodles with shrimp were strong in taste as well; the shrimp tasted slightly spicy and salty but good. I am the type of person who likes concentrated tastes, and I have to say this restaurant delivers when it comes to flavor.
It’s not particularly subtle or refine but it does the job which is to excite your taste buds.
The Pad Thai was good, and spices were on the side so you could mix it as you liked. Perhaps the only issue was that the meat was not that well seasoned and the portion was a bit small for a 15-euro plate.
The broth of the pho was pretty decent. My wife said that this dish was all right. It’s not necessarily the place we come to eat good pho.
The idea is quite the same as the pho; the dish is quite good, but we believe that you’ll find it better in Chinese restaurants.
The Hu Tieu is decent, but it misses ingredients I am used to, such as the liver. Perhaps it’s the Cambodian version of Phnom Penh that has this ingredient in the recipe.
7.9 out of 10.
This restaurant is overall good. The decoration is very nice, and the food is tasteful. Perhaps it’s not necessarily to the taste of traditional recipe lovers. But I think that for Europeans, this place checks all the boxes.
Except for the drinks, the prices are relatively affordable, which is a good thing in my opinion. Asian food is always good value for money; that’s why they outcompete bistros.
If you are Asian or know well asian culture and food, you are most likely going to eat somewhere else. Not that the food is bad or anything, but for us, we would better love to eat in the restaurant in front New Saveur d’Asie where it’s not fancy but the food is more to our liking but again this is just us.
Le Tuk Tuk de Saigon
Address : Prom. du 7e Art, 77200 Torcy
Phone : 01 64 26 43 28
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TUKTUKDESAIGON/