Since 2003, I've been eating at the Duck Walk a few times a year. They always had a great Drunken noodle and if I was in the area for any reason I knew I could count on a good meal. Their wine list is surprisingly extensive, and their decor is so unique (cut outs of clouds suspended from the ceiling, large patio umbrellas open inside, strange kitschy charger plates and candle holders) that I came to like it. I've recommended it to any number of people as a result on this board.
Unfortunately, last night we returned for a celebratory meal and were terribly disappointed by pretty much all aspects except for the weird decor which is unchanged. They seem to have raised their prices- they were always high for the Thai food genre, but I used to feel their food and service justified the prices. Last night, we split a bowl of tom yum goong soup- $5.95 for a flavorful but watery broth with raw white mushrooms floating in it. Raw veggies were the theme of the night. We ordered our typical drunken noodle- used to be very spicy, we had to ask (and wait, and wait) for sambal olek to add. There were chunks of literally raw broccoli and cauliflower in the noodles. The carrots for some reason were cooked. We also shared the wild spare ribs which we'd never tried before and would not recommend- at $15, not a generous portion of meat with very undercooked eggplant and onions. We actually sent this back to be cooked further- there's a reason raw eggplant is not put out on a crudite platter. We also had to ask for chopsticks more than once and serving spoons- while sitting staring at our food. You should never present people with food they cannot eat due to lack of utensils- this is a huge pet peeve of mine. Those minutes of waiting are longer than any other in the history of time.
We ordered a pot of tea to share instead of dessert. After about 5 minutes, the server informed us that they were out of the type of tea I'd selected off the tea menu. No big deal, but then it took another 10 minutes to bring our second choice. (I should mention the restaurant was less than 1/4 full). It's hot water, people! The tea seemed weak, and after drinking a few cups each I looked in the pot- one tea bag, string attached, was floating around in what must have been a liter of water. If you're going to have a tea menu and charge $3.50 for tea, you need to do a little better.
So, one soup, one tea and 2 entrees came to $48. It just didn't seem like a good value. Needless to say, I did not leave a very large tip. Does anyone know if there's been a change of chef or something to account for the disappointing experience? I'd love to say I'll give them another chance, but since Wakefield is by no means nearby for me I just can't see making the trek again unless there's some extenuating circumstances someone's aware of.
Duck Walk On Wakefield Sq
397 Main St, Wakefield, MA 01880