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Mar 25, 2007 05:52 PM

Ginger - Japanese in Bedford

Three of us had a delightful dinner this evening on Great Road in Bedford Center.

Apps were grilled portobella mushroom slices & asparagus, and TaTa Tuna. I don't know if that's Japanese for tartare, but the tuna was very gently seared on the outside and still raw in the middle, and melt-in-the-mouth tender. The mushroom & asparagus were lightly grilled on skewers. Each came with its own sauce.

For entrées we had udon with chicken (rather lo-mein like); grilled boneless fillet of eel, absolutely delicious; and seafood tempura, absolutely fresh with a wonderful light batter. Two of us shared a large sake. All entrées came with miso soup. The tempura came with an iceberg lettuce salad, nothing special.

Dessert - three people, three kinds of icecream: red bean, green tea and ginger, all excellent.

With tax & tip it came to about $80.00 and worth every penny. Efficient service as well. A wonderful meal in an unexpected location.

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    1. I ate at Ginger in Bedford last night, and was kinda disappointed.

      I ordered seaweed salad, shrimp & vegetable tempura appetizer, and sushi: spicy scallop, tomago, unagi, spicy tuna with tempura "crunchies" and a crazy roll.

      After the seaweed salad (which was excellent), the tempura came.

      Within a minute of serving the tempura, my sushi was on the table. The cooked Unagi and Spicy Scallop roll now were getting cold, while the Tempura was still steaming hot. (Pet peeve: I *hate* when cooks can't wait between appetizer and entree.) I switched to the sushi since the tempura would stay hot longer.

      First I hit the spicy scallop roll. I eat regularly at Sushi House in Concord, and fell in love with their Spicy Scallop roll. To die for. But everyone else's has been a disappointment, and Ginger's was the worst of the bunch. There was too much spicy mayo without enough zing, some kind of tart vinegar that clashed with the sweet mayo, and some kind of very crunchy vegetable - could have been carrots - which severely clashed with the soft rice and scallops. No balance in this dish.

      The Unagi was fine, though barely warm.

      I went back to the Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura appetizer, which was very good. At first I thought the oil smelled old, but I couldn't taste anything like that so it must have been my imagination. The shrimp were good, the vegetables were perfect.

      After the hot food ran out, I hit the cold fold. The tomago was a strange orange-yellow color with a texture slightly reminiscent of plastic. It was not so great. The spicy tuna was bland, oh so very bland. As with the spicy scallop there was a clash in the texture - the avocado was sliced far too thick, cucumber (I think) was too thin to taste but thick enough to be crunchy. With the bland "spicy" sauce this was a serious waste of time. Wasabi made it somewhat more interesting.

      All in all, good, yet still disappointing. I have never experienced such an imbalance in the dishes - I really think the chef was going out of his way to clash tastes and textures in his food. Maybe others like that, but I always expect a delicate balance, a harmony of taste and textures, in my sushi.