Once boasting three branches around town, Ginger has consolidated and regrouped on Xingguo Lu. The space is a gem. Cozy and compact, it sits perched over a small park complete with wizened old men practicing their tai chi and playing chess and stuff -- very atmospheric. The menu is largely the same cuisine that Ginger has been known for, drawing inspiration from Southeast Asia, Japan and the Mediterranean. The homemade nigari tofu and the laksa come highly recommended.
I have been a frequent diner at Ginger over the years, the restaurant is not too far to walk for a late lunch to escape both the monotony of work, and of course the searing heat for a while, and to catch up on the current book I am reading without interruptions.
Arriving after the main rush at around 13h45, I was shown to a corner seat and offered a glass of water, no hard sell here which is a pleasant change.
I had seen a recent posting of a dish that I had not eaten in a while, gazpacho, Ginger excelled with a blend of Summer Tomatoes, Watermelon, and Green Curry Sorbet in this Gazpacho, what a combination and what a treat this was, so refreshing on a sticky summer’s day.
I followed on by ordering the Vegetarian Hanoi Rolls, which came with an abundance of leafy greens, butter lettuce, the deep-fried Hanoi rolls, were not laden with oil nor left a bitter taste of old cooking oil on the palate.
I finished off with the Freshly Baked Perfect Lemon Tart, I was told that I had to wait 15 minutes for this to be baked, the lemon curd was amazing, as was the smooth pastry crust, now I consider myself to be a dab hand at baking pies, crumbles and tarts, including the making of lemon curd, particularly since Marks & Sparks left town, I have also had many a tart in Shanghai at various restaurants, but must say this was the best lemon tart ever.
The service this Monday lunchtime was efficient and friendly as ever, I finished off with a glass of freshly made Ginger Ale, all for a total of 255RMB, going slightly over my budget for a lunch.
Do go and visit this amazing restaurant, you won’t be disappointed.
Take a stroll under the plane trees on Xingguo Lu and you will find this charming dining spot. A multi-storied establishment where you can choose to sit inside amongst the eclectic mix of contemporary asian wall paintings; or out on the wooden patio. There is also an intimate private dining area on the top level; tree hut style with colourful embellished cushions and tree stumps for stools. They describe the food as a collection of “exotic flavours curated from travels around Asia”. They have captured this vision well with a tasteful modern touch.
Dishes of mention:
Crispy garlic & peppercorn squid served with a housemade tartar – crunchy batter and not too oily
Spicy Australian beef curry - a rich and comforting dish balanced with a sweet and spicy chutney
Detox vegetable curry (vegan) – a lighter take on a classic Thai green curry but made with almond milk. As the name suggests, a perfect dish if your body is in recovery mode.
Coconut sago with pandan ice cream – everything you’d want in a South East Asian dessert. Highly recommended.
Its worth noting that the prices were on the higher side with entrees averaging at 100 RMB and mains at 200 RMB. The only suggestion I would have is to revamp the website as the current set up does not reflect what is on offer.
Ginger is a restaurant that takes their guests on a gastronomical journey, so much so that you feel transported to South East Asia. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this place simply because of how well the food matched the aesthetic. If you’re looking for a casual and cosy dinner out of the city centre this is the place. I’d suggest heading there soon before the dreaded mozzie-monsoon season is upon us.
I have always been partial to dishes from South East Asia having lived in the region for a number of years, and has been hard to find consistency in dishes from the region in Shanghai, however, am fortunate to have Ginger on my doorstep that offers some classic dishes from across the Straits that encompasses both Singapore and Borneo.
Went along for dinner with a German visitor to Shanghai and took the liberty to arrive without a reservation on a wet Sunday evening, and they were able to squeeze the two of us in, just, the place was packed at 19h00.
Having dined at Ginger over the past, took the liberty to order with the following dishes:
Chunky Tuna Tartare, Crushed Mint Peas, Anchovy Tanari soy labane.
Calamari bits, with Crispy Thai Basil accompanied by a sweet dipping sauce.
Spicy Australian Beef Curry, Potato, Cashew Nut, Coconut, Chutney and Pickles (unsure why one would state that the beef is Australian when making a curry).
Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Coriander preserved Lemon & Cumin served with Couscous.
All the dishes came out in the correct service order, i.e. starters first, followed by the mains, each of the dishes was flavoursome, right amount of spice, seasoning and one could taste the individual elements of the dishes, only gripe was that for the Chicken dish, a whole leg was served, and difficult to cut through the sinew, with the rather blunt table knife.
My only complaint would be the selection of wines by the glass. It was either a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or an Argentinean Chardonnay, and the measures for the price somewhat on the short side, and the young lad pouring the wine was measuring the size with a stick, which wasn’t a yardstick by any stretch of the imagination.
Ginger as a venue has a certain charm about it, along with genuine ambience with warm and friendly service personnel, not always on the ball but nevertheless friendly.
Damages came to 798RMB for two, would I go back most certainly, and can highly recommend.
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