Monday, April 21, 2014

Ginger Sushi

When I moved to NJ, I was nervous about the take out/delivery options I would have. I got really spoiled in NYC with the plethora of choices around my home. I certainly wasn't expecting a close representation of the kind of places I had in Hell's Kitchen. But I did need to know if I could count on some of the basic meals I ordered frequently. Sushi is such a meal. When it comes to this delicious Japanese cuisine, there are kinds for me: moderately priced and high end. The latter is usually set aside for a special occasion. What I wanted was a moderately priced neighborhood sushi restaurant that I can count on. Now, you may have noticed that I didn't say cheap. In general, I do not enjoy cheap sushi. I think the quality lacks so much that it's worth paying just a bit more for something substantially better.
So Mr. M&P and I one night decided to try out Ginger Sushi which was only a block away from our home. The convenience was clear. But what about the quality of food? Well, a good sign was that the restaurant was regularly filled through all nights of the week. At least the ingredients were having a good turn around rate. That's important to me when it comes to sushi. But the real test was actually going there and trying it for ourselves. For the first attempt, we went to the restaurant to eat in. We started with a seaweed salad ($3.75) which is a simple staple. The serving size was quite small and the addition of fake crab meat was neither warranted nor needed. Otherwise, the seaweed salad was just fine as it met every one of my expectations.

Next up, we ordered the pan fried gyoza ($5) which had a beef and vegetable filling. These were just okay. The wrappers were crispy all over which is a bit strange to me. I'm more used to a crispy bottom and soft pliable wrappers everywhere else. The filling inside was standard. Overall, just meh so I probably wouldn't order it again. There are plenty of dumplings in my freezer ready to be cooked whenever I want so I would very much prefer those instead.
For our main dishes, we decided to share a bunch of sushi rolls and pieces. We picked a few staples of ours to see how they compared. From top left going clockwise: eel avocado roll ($4), scallops ($4 each), sea urchin ($4 each), yellowtail roll ($5), tuna avocado roll ($5), salmon roe ($3 each), and red snapper ($2.50 each). These are some cheap prices for the quality of the fish. I repeat $4 per piece of sea urchin sushi.
Overall, the sushi was good. The flavors were clean and tasted fresh. The rolls were decent and filled us. The sushi pieces were overly large and the abundance of the fish did not go unnoticed. In fact, those scallop pieces included a whole scallop each. Normally, sushi restaurants will cut a scallop in half or thirds per piece. Mr. M&P and I were very happy with our meal. It satisfied us and we welcomed Ginger Sushi into our lives with open arms.

At the end of the meal, they offered us a free sample of sushi that they were experimenting with. This is a fried California roll. The rice got really chewy and sticky almost like sweet glutinous rice. The inside was warm. The sauce on top was sweet and savory but mostly sweet. Overall, I didn't really like it. The texture and the sweetness of the sauce really threw it off for me.
But luckily, that wasn't the last thing that I ate. They gave us free dessert as well which was an orange that was peeled and segmented for us and an ice cream mochi. The orange was sweet and juicy while the mochi was creamy, ice cold, and chewy. A nice way to end a good meal.
After that good first meal, we decided to try take out the next time. I decided to opt for the chirashi don ($20) this time and what I got was a plethora of sliced raw fish on top of delicious sushi rice. From what I remember, I had: yellowtail, clam, octopus, scallop, tuna, salmon, fake crab meat, and red snapper. Some avocado and plenty of pickled ginger too. This was a great deal for the size of the dish. In fact, I liked it so much that it's my go to dish now.
And to explore the cooked side of the menu, Mr. M&P and I shared the shrimp tempura ($14). Seven pieces of tender shrimp fried until golden and super crispy. No greasy dough bombs here. Light, airy, and delicious. These stayed crispy through the delivery and until the last piece was eaten. I really enjoyed this as well.
Mr. M&P decided to get rolls and pieces again. This time, he tried the spicy salmon roll ($5), some other roll that I can't remember, scallop ($4) each, and fatty tuna ($5 each).
The meal was very good again. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we've been ordering from them consistently now. The food is always good and the service is friendly. I'm so happy that I can count on Ginger Sushi to satisfy my sushi cravings. Phew! NJ isn't that bad after all.

Ginger Sushi
266 South Avenue
Fanwood, NJ 07023
(908) 490-0013
gingersushinj.com

2 comments:

  1. Wow, $20 for that chirashi is the bomb digs! You had me at $4 uni - that piece is overflowing too. If we ever do a movie night at your place and aren't cooking, we're ordering from here!
    (My local go-to sushi place is $36 for the chirashi!) (It's super quality, but nowhere near as big as yours. YUM!!!)

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    Replies
    1. I totally lucked out with some of the places I've found around my new apt. However, I still have yet to find a good pizza place.

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