Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wild Ginger

We recently went to Wild Ginger located at 380 Broome Street in Manhattan. Wild Ginger is totally vegetarian and mostly vegan.

Pumpkin Soup w/ Sweet Potato & White beans
Holy Yum was this soup good. I was expecting a blended opaque orange concoction, but this was in fact broth-based with chunks of pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, tomato and white beans. I loved this soup. It was freezing outside and this completely did the trick. The broth was light but flavorful, without being too salty. The pumpkin and sweet potato were smooth and delicious. The beans were soft but still had some give to them. As Jim said, I won the soup round for the night. I'd go for some of this soup right now. -Ev

Seitan Skewers
This appetizer consisted of two skewers with Seitan, onion and pepper. Texture is very important to me when it comes to Seitan, and while this Seitan wasn’t the best I’ve had, it was pretty good and not rubbery like some Seitan is. The best part of the skewers was the sauce on the Seitan, which was sweet and salty and good. Everything on the skewer is lightly charred and it all went together nicely. -Jim

Tempeh Satay
I'm picky about tempeh, often finding it "footy" tasting, and yet I must've known to trust Wild Ginger because this appetizer had a good taste. These were soft tempeh cubes in a sweet-salty brown sauce. The texture of the tempeh was just chewy enough and the flavor wasn't too strong. -Ev

Malaysian Curry Stew
Wild Ginger is somehow related (same owner? Same chef? Same something) to Zen Palate and Gobo, because I’ve had a dish similar to this one at both those restaurants. At Zen Palate it’s called “Curry Supremo” and at Gobo it’s called “Slow Cooked Malaysian Curry”. I’m not complaining though, because I enjoy it at all three restaurants. This dish is soy protein, carrots, potatoes, broccoli and kabocha squash (those last two ingredients being unique to the Wild Ginger variation of this dish) in curry sauce. I really like it. The sauce is thick but not in a greasy way, and the flavor is rich but not overpowering. If I have just a tiny complaint about the broccoli and kabocha. While the potatoes, carrots and soy all work with the curry sauce and absorb it’s flavor, the broccoli and kabocha stand out in a non-stewy kind of way. But overall I really enjoyed this dish and I’d totally get it again. -Jim

Spinach Salad
This was a basic salad of spinach, pine nuts, beets, chickpeas, and sprouts. The yuzu citrus dressing was tangy and light. I wish I could say more about this dish, but each ingredient tasted like you'd expect. While it was fresh and delicious, I would probably order something a little more complicated next time.- -Ev

The Bottom Line
The bad news is that Wild Ginger is a little on the pricey side and it’s small so you might have to wait for a table. But the good news is that Wild Ginger has a big menu to choose from and it seems like everything on it is good. Also, the décor is fancy in a soothing, zen kind of way. So if you can make reservations (they take reservations for parties of three or more) and you have a few extra bucks to spend, this is a good choice. -Jim
I really enjoyed my meal here, especially the soup. For what it's worth, those Vegan-Haters also known as Time Out NY had voted this the best veggie dining spot. While not the best spot in the city, the food here was absolutely delicious. -Ev