Our small family of three runs on all cylinders starting early each day — at the gym by 5:30 am., leaving for work by 6 a.m., a quick Wawa run, and so on, until picking up the kid from football practice and deciding whether to take chicken out of the freezer or play it by ear for dinner.
Somewhere along the line, always running to get things done and meet commitments can become more important than the commitments themselves.
Enter the safety zone that is Wild Ginger. Hear the quiet and solace. Be seated in a giant red leather booth against a tank of African freshwater fish. They swim for your enjoyment, and whisper not of deadlines and commitments. Relax in an atmosphere of decorative accoutrements and tables that are large enough for two to spread out and look at each other and communicate.
This is the quiet of Wild Ginger, and the quiet is loud. We order a pot of jasmine tea and it arrives immediately.
There is really nothing else to do with a menu that spans better than 100 items of Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisine except to peruse and select what sounds appealing and hope what arrives is what you were expecting.
That was certainly the case with the sashimi appetizer prepared by Wild Ginger’s two sushi chefs, who appear to be working in perpetual motion. Eight fresh, healthy slices of fish arrived — three fatty tuna, three white tuna and two salmon. The cuts appeared to be going on three ounces each, and were garnished with carrot strings and shaved ginger with wasabi.
My companion and I wasted no time in devouring the fish. Knowing that we are expected to eat an entree and consume a “regular meal” for purposes of this review is the only reason that we did not simply order four more of these plates and end the meal with an orgiastic sashimi gorging. It really is that good.
I moved on to yaki udon noodles with shrimp, chicken and beef with vegetables. The entree came with a delicious miso soup. The noodles were thick and scrumptious. The chicken, shrimp and beef were joined by an array of asian vegetables that were presented in a predominantly soy-ginger sauce. I was impressed enough to attempt udon noodles at my home the next week. The teriyaki recipe on the package was easy and good, but results did not approach Wild Ginger’s prowess.
My companion also enjoyed the miso soup along with the Thai seafood curry pot, featuring lobster, shrimp, calamari and mussels with Chinese broccoli. The portion size was healthy, and the seafood was delicious; neither overly-spiced nor overcooked. The curry, with its requisite heat, was not overbearing, which made for a pleasurable experience all around. I can’t say enough about this dish, but will leave you with the fact that my companion had nothing but a smile of satisfaction on her face.
We asked for the dessert menu, and settled on a banana fritter with vanilla ice cream. The dish arrived as a whole tempura banana with vanilla ice cream, delicious nonetheless.
We will visit Wild Ginger as a mainstay of our restaurant repertoire. The wonderfully relaxing atmosphere and delicious food are a special combination that is highly recommended.
$83 with tip. BYOB.
Wild Ginger is located at 24-25 Logan Square (the prior Fu Li locale); (215) 862-1777.
(The reviewer is unaffiliated with, and receives no compensation from, any restaurant reviewed. His views are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Free Press.)