Question on Red Ginger, new Asian restaurant in Stow
A new restaurant called Red Ginger is opening in Stow, and since this area is a generally a dining wasteland, people have high hopes and are anxiously anticipating the opening. A rumor has started flying around local message boards that it is related to Blue Ginger in Wellesley (rumor based solely on the name, perhaps?). Does anyone have any actual knowledge whether or not this is true?
Since this is near where I work, and I wanted a quick lunch, I decided to drive from Boxborough to Stow to see about Red Ginger.
The place is in a shopping center (Shaw's Plaza) near Papa Gino's on Rt. 117 in Stow. When I got there yesterday, there was a sign above the door which indicated that the place opened December 12 (the day before). My worries started when I walked in and saw one of the hostesses trying to explain something about the point of sale system, but I also saw somebody picking up take-out (quite interesting! Where did he get a menu???). A white board indicated MaiTais for $3.99 and a few other specials.
Instead of taking up a table, I decided to sit at the bar.
The cuisine seems to be Chinese and Japanese, and the menu splits the cuisines (there is a section for appetizers, and another for Japanese appetizers, for instance). There were lunch specials in the menu, and as I was deciding what to order, the bartender pointed out that there was a buffet. I'm not normally a buffet person, but I didn't have a lot of time, and I figured it was a nice way to get a taste of a bunch of their items to get a feel of the place.
The buffet wasn't particularly amazing. It had a lot of the usual suspects: chicken fingers, egg rolls, crab rangoons, chicken wings, etc. Nice for appetizers, but a lot of fried stuff. There was also some different (non-fried) appetizer dishes as well.
There was a good assortment of main dishes: pork fried rice, vegetable lo mein, shrimp chow mein, salt & pepper shrimp.
On a separate buffet table were all sorts of sushi, ice cream (green tea and ginger, I think), as well as a salad and a bunch of dipping sauces (ginger, duck, sweet and sour, etc.).
I didn't try the sushi, as I don't like mixing sushi and Chinese. Nor did I have the salad (I didn't see any dressing) or any of the dipping sauces, so I cannot report on these.
For the standard items in the buffet, the food was nicely done. The service was quick to resupply items as they emptied. I enjoyed the salt & pepper shrimp, despite it being another "fried" dish.
I totally expected to see inexperienced wait staff and associated commotion, especially as this was their second day of business. It's perfectly normal, and even (to some extent) excusable. Instead, what I witnessed was an atmosphere of professionalism, and I was very impressed.
I intend to go back there in a few weeks to try some main courses instead of the buffet to get a better feel for the food. I also intend to try out the Japanese food as well.
They also have a very interesting design for their take-out menu; I saw it and knew that I would have to show it to my daughter, who is a graphics designer (she loves impressive business cards and menus!).
I hope this mini-review helps.
117 Great Rd, Stow, MA 01775
We went today to check this out. The decor is very nice, much nicer than we were expecting, much larger than we were expecting too. They definitely spent some serious money building the place.
We both got the lunch buffer for 8.95.
Started with hot& Sour soups which were decent, veggie based so not as dark or rich as many places, no meat.
App area had
Spring rolls - ok rather plain cabbage filling
crab rangoon, chicken wings, chicken teriyaki, chicken fingers. Tempura veggies.
Some sort of puff pastry thing with beef inside that they called "philly steak"-not very chinese tasting.
A cheese/"crab" melt dish which i didnt try.. again not very asian looking.
Some sort of little tartlets with fake krab in them... again looked more like something from a BJ's app platter than a chinese restaurant.
Other than those 3 odd items the usual suspects on the app area.
The main dishes had twice cooked pork, chicken with veggies, general gaus, singapore rice noodles, fried rice, beef w/ stringbean, tofu w/vegies, lo mein, and some sliced fried chicken breast that was listed as "southern fried" or something like that. Salt& pepper fried shrimp.
The other side had salad, fruit and a large sushi platter that looked to be mostly rolls.
They also had jello and Richardson's ice cream. Choc/straw/ginger.
Overall nothing blew us away as being great but nothing was really bad either just all pretty neutral/generic. Certainly a decent value for luch around these parts. The whole place reminded us of Bamboo in terms of food/decor/waitstaff/etc...
We would like to go back and try the normal menu and request some things "spicy". They have several Sichuan sounding dishes on the menu with 1 star next to them. The 1 star dishes on the buffer didnt even have a hint of spice to our tastes so would be interesting to see if they can spice it up when ordered off the menu.
They are supposed to open before Christmas, I saw the sign last week on there door. They have done a lot of work on the place, looks nice from the outside and front area. Actually has a bar also. I found this online, which is probably up before the opening.
I'd just be happy with decent Chinese food in my town.
Also checkout http://www.harmonysfood.com/
We have been 2x now. Its a bit chaotic in there as they are very busy but the food is decent. They make all their own dough/buns/scallion pancakes/dumplings from scratch. One cook basically does nothing but that. Best to call the order in ahead.
Dont recommend their bubble tea though...not good. Always seem to be out of the boba and use only powders.