Red Ginger in SoFi: Thai Coconut Soup, King Crab Robata (Photos)

Beautiful fish
Beautiful fish
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Red Ginger has been open a little more than a week, and it's time to make your way to the South of Fifth eatery that has decor simulating a Cambodian temple. After all, it is helmed by a Top Chef Masters star.

New Times was invited for a taste of the omakase-style menu brought to life by executive chef and Top Chef Masters competitor Herbert Wilson and sous-chef and former Makoto protégé Jesse Erwell. Menin Hospitality's newest concept is as well curated as its other nearby establishments, Radio Bar and Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. 

Cocktails at Red Ginger.
Cocktails at Red Ginger.
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

The night began with a sampling of Red Ginger's signature cocktails — all three of them. The Bijinshu mixes Tozai plum sake, John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, and citric acid. Or have a Twisted Dark Fantasy, comprising Rittenhouse Rye, Ancho Reyes, Luxardo Maraschino, orange flower water, and absinthe. Particularly intriguing is the Prenup, with Nolet's gin, Dolin Dry, blueberries, lemon, Greek yogurt, and honey, though there were a few inconsistencies in its preparation.

Red Ginger also boasts an impressive Japanese whiskey selection, with high-end and rare cask options from the early '90s, aged vintages, and even a discontinued whiskey that's a decade old. Keep calm and drink Japanese whiskey. 

Thai coconut soup
Thai coconut soup
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

The best dish of the evening and ultimate must-have item at Red Ginger is the Thai coconut soup ($10). Tiger prawns and PEI mussels swim in an impeccably balanced and piquant broth spiked with serrano chili and with a surprise at the bottom in the form of tapioca pearls. 

Miso eggplant
Miso eggplant
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Miso eggplant ($9) flash-fries Japanese eggplant in sesame and sake.

Shishito peppers
Shishito peppers
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Shishito peppers with Szechuan sauce, crisp garlic, and bonito flakes need no further explanation. 

Shrimp tempura
Shrimp tempura
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Rock shrimp tempura ($12) with momiji, black truffle, and pea shoots would have benefited from a bit less oil. 

King crab robata
King crab robata
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Another favorite, king crab ($25) from the robata grill, comes dressed with lemon butter and Thai basil. 

Robata corn
Robata corn
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Other robata items include short rib, chicken meatballs, cauliflower, lamb, and corn on the cob with togarashi and Parmigiano-Reggiano ($8). 

Sashimi selection
Sashimi selection
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Sashimi runs the gamut from oh toro (fatty tuna) and chu-toro (medium fatty tuna) to golden-eye snapper, sea urchin, and live scallops. You can also indulge in the chef's omakase selection for $30, $60, or $90. We sampled a bit of king salmon, Japanese omelet, cured mackerel, and medium fatty tuna. 

Beautiful fish
Beautiful fish
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Another chef's selection, this beautiful presentation didn't last long on the table. 

Spicy tuna roll
Spicy tuna roll
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

For nonsashimi eaters who prefer to roll with rice, there's maki in the form of shrimp tempura, salmon, negitoro, and spicy tuna. The last one rolls tamago, spicy mayo, tobiko, and scallion into one ($11). Pro tip: Stick with the sashimi. 

Sea bass
Sea bass
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Mains include a flawlessly cooked miso sea bass with saikeyo miso, spinach, coconut foam, and garlic confit. 

Curry
Curry
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Seafood curry ($42) packs tiger prawns, PEI mussels, langoustines, and Peruvian potato in pool of curry. It's served with rice and feeds up to four people. 

Filet
Filet
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Forget the fact that you have only chopsticks and are wondering how you'll cut through the sliced filet. A bite of the ultra-tender, perfectly cooked meat will make you forget about cutlery. Besides, you can use your chopsticks to bathe it in the accompanying foie gras sake sauce, as well as pick up some Japanese mushrooms along the way. 

Mochi
Mochi
Courtesy of Chat Chow TV

Only one dessert choice — mochi — makes it easy to decide. 

Follow Carla on Twitter and Facebook.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >