Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wild Ginger (Vegan MoFo 2013)

It would seem that Wild Ginger is a vegan staple that has been visited by everyone...except me. 

A while ago that all changed when I had the opportunity to dine at the Bedford location (the SoHo and Smith Street restaurants have a separate website, but a seemingly identical menu) with friends I hadn't seen in some time.  I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant: serene, clean, and with obvious attention to detail.  Translation: we wanted to swipe the table's floral arrangements.

The entrees come with your choice of soup or salad.  The soup is miso; I didn't have, but it received high marks from the rest of the table.

Instead, I went with the salad, which was much larger than expected and very fresh:

We also shared the curry samosas: vegetable pastries with mint chutney.

One friend had the spinach salad: with baby spinach, pine nuts, beets, chick peas, and alfalfa sprouts- topped with citrus yuzu dressing.  I heard no complaints, and it looked just as fresh as my appetizer salad.

Another friend chose the General Tso's soy protein: with breaded medallions of sauteed soy protein with steamed broccoli in a spicy brown sauce.  It was completely different from the General Tso's served at Buddha Bodai and Soy and Sake, but also good.  The sauce- even when ordered non-spicy, was excellent and made the dish.

I'd intended to follow her lead, but I instead chose the sauteed tofu and vegetables: with tofu, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, lotus root, asparagus, sugar-snap peas, and cauliflower sauteed in a rich, brown, kung-po sauce because I wasn't feeling mock-meaty and I really wanted some lotus root.  It was a generous portion and the veggies were fresh and hit the spot, but the dish was bland overall; I'd recommend ordering very spicy for some flavor (maybe they could douse it with General Tso's sauce?).

The last entree of the table was the soy cutlet sizzling platter: thick breaded soy cutlets sauteed in a basil-ginger sauce with zucchini, asparagus, and peppers.  It was very much enjoyed and I secretly coveted the hot sauce that was ordered with it.

While I wasn't impressed with the flavor of my particular dish, based on all of the other positive elements, I would definitely give this restaurant another try. If anyone has a recommendation for improved ordering, let me know; I'm already eying the cold green tea noodles with sesame peanut sauce.


  1. been here a few times, I typically just get steamed veggies and rice with brown sauce and I always enjoy them, but then again, I'm not a super taster.

  2. Is Wild Ginger a national chain or does every city just have a couple of restaurants called Wild Ginger? I would have gotten what you did, not being a big fan of the plant-meats, unless it's soy curls. Didn't they provide any hot sauce at the table? You can just ask for some next time. Bland food in a restaurant is always kind of a letdown.

  3. I ate at the Soho location several years ago and it was the best faux meat I've ever had. If I ever get back to NYC, I will be stocking up from Wild Ginger. Highly underrated, IMO, so you never hear it mentioned among Candle Cafe or Blossom.

  4. Finally, a place I've eaten at before you! The biBimBap is incredible, as is the udon soup.. G and I also got cold spinach rolls once, and they were great. I'm not big on the faux meat, but I really enjoy their noodles though have yet to try the green tea noodles! maybe next time.
    I wouldn't say what I've had was bland, but I can always go for more spice.

  5. Looks like a pretty good haul all round, though the miso looks like it's haunted! I'm fascinated by General Tso's sauce - I've never seen it over here, but everyone raves about it. Could you sort out some sort of air drop?!

  6. BYOL- yawn.

    Andrea- There's something about the phrase that makes it a popular restaurant name; there's a couple near my parents' house that aren't veg in the least. I'm very picky with my hot sauce; sometimes I carry Secret Aardvark in my purse.

    The Shenandoah Vegan- I'm put off by both of the restaurants you mentioned of late, with the latter churning out lazy meals. My fave these days is Champs (foreshadowing!).

    foodfeud- I knew you'd have great suggestions! More spice; amen.

    Joey- creepy, right? Miso soup always freaks me out; I have to get better at making it so that it doesn't. No General Tso? That's sad! But if I was going to mail you food, I could do better: starting with anything from The Cinnamon Snail.

  7. Abby,

    When you’re ready to get your heavy soy on again, let me know. I’m always game.


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