Review: Wild Ginger

Last month’s Happy Mouth outing was to Wild Ginger, a pan-Asian restaurant in Hyde Park.  It’s a place I’ve tended to go to for lunch, historically– I’d get their pad thai (good), sushi (good, yet a bit expensive) or miso soup (delicious).  This was the first time I’d gone for dinner, at least since they’d first opened.

There were, I believe, 10 of us– a pretty good size crowd, so we were seated in the newly remodeled back room.  I think that Wild Ginger was one of the first restaurants in town to really think about sustainable building– they use a lot of recycled materials, eco-friendly paint, and bamboo.  The sunlight through the paper shades gave the room a really warm, yet modern feeling.

Terry and I started off with some appetizers– light ones.  Summer rolls and seaweed salad.  I love summer rolls– they’re like a small, portable salad.  These tasted fresh, with a hint of mint that paired nicely with the rich, salty peanut sauce that they were served with.

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The seaweed salad was standard– seaweed, rice vinegar, sesame– and I love the combination of nutty and tangy.  It was a pretty generous portion, too.

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Terry also picked up a Wild Ginger house salad, which had a nice, tangy peanut dressing that wasn’t simply food-processed peanuts and soy.  It had a nice dash of chilis for some heat, and a great sweet-and-sour flavor with a touch of ginger.

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I had a really hard time deciding on entrees.  Part of me wanted pad thai (because I love pad thai, even if it’s basically the most entry level Thai dish around), part of me wanted to try something else– so I did.  I vascillated between the duck and the ribs– and though I love duck, the ribs won.

And what a winner they were.

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The ribs were meltingly delicious and falling off the bone. The sauce they were paired with involved sauteed onions, tamarind, soy, and chilis (Drew got the ingredients from the server, as the sauce was also on his fish).  It was delicious!  It’s a great combination of sticky, sweet, spicy and rich, and I could see the sauce complimenting beef or certain sorts of fish as well.

Terry got a sushi plate– which included some sushi, some california rolls, and his favorite type of sushi, unagi.  I think instead of Unagi sauce, they used the same sauce as my ribs– delicious.  The sushi was fresh, and nicely done– but I preferred my entree to any of his sushi.

IMG_0210They accomodated our large group flawlessly, which was impressive.  On the outside (and with the decor), the place may seem “hipper than thou”, but there’s no attitude– just good food.

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon