Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wild Ginger

If you find yourself on the Southside of Richmond in need of dinner, head over to Wild Ginger. We found ourselves south of the river one Friday and headed over The Vino Market for their wine tasting (Dave, Hunter, and gang are always welcoming). We also browsed in the newly opened Bella Arte Gallery. Both establishments highly recommended Wild Ginger as THE place to dine.

So, we tried it. And if you find yourself dining at Wild Ginger, ask for Chris. This multi-pierced, yet clean-cut and sharp-pressed waiter will treat you right.

Wild Ginger featured Pan Asian cuisine and an extensive and decent-priced wine list. The atmosphere evoked a contemporary hipness. Were we really South of the James and bordering Powhatan?

As usual we slowly perused the menu and the wine list. Maki Rolls, small plates featuring Grilled Lamb Lollipops and Sashimi Napoleon cried out for us to try. Entrees of Sambal Shrimp and Pork Chops in a Malay Coffee Sauce seduced our tastebuds. Chris gave us a run down of the specials for the evening as well as the featured Italian wine. He ascertained that we were definitely going to order some wine. He then went on to tell us about his favorite wine on the list - Patricia Green Pinot Noir. We listened politely and asked for more time. He left us to make our decisions. And after about five minutes he returned with two sample glasses - one of the featured Italian red and one of the Patricia Green Pinot. Wow! This had never happened before where a waiter handed us wine to sample to assist in making our decision. And while we liked the Italian and would have considered ordering it any other time, the Patty G simply blew us away. I had always heard about this Oregon Pinot, but had never had it. With Chris' simple, yet generous gesture, I became a fan of both him and the wine and we ordered a bottle. And at $50 retail, it was extremely well-priced. As we saw Chris serve other tables he continued to use this selling technique to great advantage both for him and for his diners.

So, the tone was set. We luxuriated in our surprisingly hearty, yet silky smooth red and proceeded to order dinner. My spouse ordered the special Halloween Maki Roll featuring tuna and an eerie glow cube. Both fun and delicious. He also had an order of Wild Ginger Fried Rice with cashews, red peppers, raisins, pineapple, and edamame ($11). The rice was very interesting. My first thought was that the pineapple and raisins would dominate the dish and make it too sweet. This was not the case. All of the ingredients were subtle and added up to a wonderful taste experience.

I finally decided upon the Two88 Roll with shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy lump crab, and eel sauce ($14). I also ordered Yellowtail Sushi Nigiri ($5.25). I think this roll was the favorite for both of us. Great flavors with an added crunchy texture. The avocado was sliced thin (I have no idea how) and wrapped around the shrimp with the crab mixture on top. And, of course, the presentation also evoked oohs and aahs. Beauty to be savored by both the eye and the tongue.

A great evening. A new favorite dining spot. Remember, ask for Chris.

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

We love Wild Ginger! And we live walking distance away! :)

Although, can't believe you were on Southside and didn't swing by the "Cellar" to say hey!;) Could have doubled up on your tasting fun.

Hope to see ya soon.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes find myself on a street in western Henrico and wonder how and why I got there. I'll grab a dinner at a corporate place and somehow find my way home in the Richmond demographic area.

The Review Lady said...

Our best restaurant experience in Midlothian has been at Wild Ginger, the food and service always seems consistent. Now you've made me want to try that Patty Green on our next trip!

Anonymous said...

Some of your comments about the location of Wild Ginger are somewhat surprising. You do realize that this area (23113 zip) has the highest household income and highest home value for the Richmond metro? The real shocker is that it has taken this long for businesses to take advantage of these demographics. Glad to see Wild Ginger, Zen and Shushi O come to the area!