Bringing you the issues since 1986

View Online Print Edition


Keeping the best of Village Szechuan, Red Ginger adds a new look—and sushi

March, 2011

I’ve been a regular at Village Szechuan since The Senior Times and I moved down the street 19 years ago, so it was with trepidation that I noticed the new sign on the outside—Red Ginger.

Fortunately, new owner Tony Yung has kept the Szechuan taste and quality and added sushi to the dinner menu. Now we have to decide— sushi or Szechuan?

We still love those Szechuan lunches with no-meat (soy protein) options starting at $8.95, including soup, entrée and main dish. Tony has also introduced a $6.95 bowl lunch. My favourite is the large vegetarian soup.

The menu du soir ($14.95 - $16.95), including soup, entrée and main dish, looked good to me one cold evening after work. The ample portion of spinach and ginger soup has seaweed, fresh baby spinach, two kinds of Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots and plenty of ginger, in a light vegetable broth.

Red Ginger has a whole new look and ambiance. It’s modern and sleek with dark brown leather seats, cozy booths and a classy dining room that can be closed off with a glass door for private parties.

When you enter, you’re greeted (if he’s not busy creating his masterpieces) by Louis, Ginger’s No. 1 and only sushi chef. In my many visits, I’ve come to feel as though Louis is my personal sushi chef. But more about his creations later.

The sashimi we took home to photograph Photo: Barbara Mosr

After my soup, I was served my favourite dumplings in peanut sauce. For 50 cents more, they’ll make them vegetarian, the only way I eat them. These six little al dente jewels lie in a bed of not-too-thick peanut sauce. Share to leave room for the main. My sizzling salmon in black bean sauce created quite a stir as it arrived.

If you like your salmon medium rare, remove it at once from the sizzling dish. Otherwise it will continue to cook. This sweetish, mildly spicy dish is filled with fat fresh asparagus, snow peas, onion slivers and oyster mushrooms. Split two mains for variety.

Irwin and I returned last Saturday to “review” the sushi. We have been enjoying sushi night out at Red Ginger since they opened, happy to have found a sushi place a block from us. The place was packed with more than 50 diners, choosing from the menu du soir. Red Ginger does a mean delivery business Saturday nights, so if you’re going for sushi, go early or late, unless you don’t mind the wait for the little delicacies. We asked for our usual miso soup, a large and excellent portion, an antidote to the damp cold outside. This miso is a must starter at $3.50.

We ordered from the à la carte check-off sushi sheet: salmon and tuna sashimi ($3 and $4), which come in exquisite little cucumber “bowls” mixed with crispy rice and a touch of spicy sauce. We always request our rolls spicy, but that’s us. These gorgeous morsels are topped with red caviar and served with lots of light ginger and grated carrots.

We went for the tuna and salmon Hosomakis, six small pieces wrapped in seaweed, quite fat pieces dabbed with spicy sauce.

We ordered three kinds of futomaki, five pieces each with a combination of ingredients: kamikaze ($6.50) spicy salmon ($5.75) and spicy tuna. ($5.95) The ingredients are all fresh and tasty and you definitely won’t break the bank at Red Ginger.

We prefer the avocado and tempura in our sushi rolls but avoid the goberge, a kind of artificial crabmeat. We also prefer raw fish to cooked or fried.

Alas, there were no soft-shell crab specialty rolls that night.

We thought about sampling the shrimp tempura entrée instead but thank goodness we forgot to order it. We couldn’t even finish what we’d ordered and took home four pieces of sashimi for midnight snack, which ended up being our breakfast. We also passed on the Japanese salad we usually share ($5.95).

Our sushi dinner with miso soup came to about $45, including tax but not the tip.

And we always tip Louis—our No.1 personal sushi chef.



Post a Comment