Pictured above: Garden Salad, Philadelphia Roll, and Orange Peel Beef from Red Ginger Asian Bistro in Coral Springs
By: Stevette Ballog
Red Ginger Asian Bistro, in Coral Springs, offers a no frills Asian dining experience that delivers the warmth and comfort of a family-owned and operated establishment. Each experience is intricately crafted and every dish is delivered with the utmost care. The contemporary design, big booths, sushi bar, laid back lounge and extensive menu could easily satiate a number of different palates. Looking through the menu, you’ll notice that all dishes are created with various influences throughout Asia. For Red Ginger, Asian cuisine is an umbrella term that encompasses Chinese, Chinese-American, Japanese and some Thai creations.
I’ve been a long time customer of Red Ginger’s. I have tried a number of different items from each section of the menu and can honestly say, I eat here often not just for the good tasting, fresh, non-greasy food but also for the friendly staff, cleanliness and great specials. You really can’t go wrong here. During tonight’s visit, my guest and I opted to try a couple new things.
Our first course was the Garden Salad ($8). The large salad has plenty to share, and consists of spring mix, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, dried cranberries, and their homemade ginger dressing. I am certain that the peppery arugula would’ve been a perfect match for the salad’s sweetness but we substituted those greens with iceberg lettuce due to an allergy. Next, we sampled the Vegetable Spring Rolls ($3.95) which were served with hot mustard and duck sauce. Loaded with several veggies and wood ear mushrooms, these are a great vegetarian substitute for the pork egg rolls. Moving over to the sushi side of the menu, I ordered the Hamachi Appetizer ($8) and Philadelphia Roll. Four raw and silky slices of hamachi (yellowtail) came out topped with jalapeño, masago, scallions, alfalfa sprouts, honey wasabi mayo and a ladle of flavorful yuzu sauce. The Philadelphia Roll yielded eight fat pieces filled with cooked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese and my addition of avocado. Each bite left me looking like a hamster preparing to hoard its food. Both appetizers were very good. If you’re a sushi fan, I highly recommend perusing RG’s creative and classic offerings.
Next, we ordered Wonton Soup and my favorite, the Hot & Sour Soup. If you’re used to wonton soup from the typical takeout place, brace yourself. Red Ginger’s variation is not salty and not oily. Gotta love that! The homemade pork wontons are filled with high quality pork, not that gristle filled mystery meat you find elsewhere. The hot and sour soup is something I order every time I visit Red Ginger. If, like me, you love all things hot, this just may be the soup for you. It should be a bit thick, packed with flavor of white pepper and pungent vinegar and loaded with tofu, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, sometimes daylily stems and more. Red Ginger delivers the perfect blend of everything a hot and sour soup should be.
For our entrees, we decided on the Orange Peel Beef ($14) and classic Shrimp with Broccoli ($13.50). Both entrees came with a choice of white, brown or egg fried rice. It’s nice to have an option for brown rice without and up charge. The Orange Peel Beef hit the table and looked nothing like anything you’d find from the usual takeout dives. The julienned wok fried beef is served super crispy lathered in a sultry molasses colored sauce studded with orange zest and red chilies. This sweet, tangy and spicy dish is accompanied by a side of pickled vegetables and ginger. I’ll be honest; I don’t think I will ever eat orange beef without those vegetables again. This sauce packs a punch and the heat kind of creeps up on your palate more and more with every bite. Those pickled veggies extinguish the fire and leave you hungry for your next forkful. Yum!
The other dish came out laden with broccoli, sliced carrots and large shrimp that were tossed in a ginger, soy and garlic sauce. The sauce was flavorful but not overpowering which allowed the delicate flavor of the sweet shrimp shine through. Take a look at the picture and you’ll see that Red Ginger does not skimp on the size or portion of shrimp you get. I don’t usually order the simple dishes here, but after tasting this I may have to rethink that.
By this time, I could hardly lift my chopsticks let alone eat any more, so dessert – even though it sounded great, was a no go. Pineapple Turn Over Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake and Tempura Cheesecake? Once the thrill of my New Year’s resolution to diet dissipates, I may have to come in for cocktails and dessert only. No surprise to me, everything we tried was great, moderately priced, nicely portioned, and fresh.
Red Ginger has happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. where you can get 2 for 1 draft beers and selected wines, discounted cocktails and food specials, $5 martinis and more. If you’re interested in Ladies Night, head over on Wednesday where ladies drink free from 8-9 p.m. and get $5 martinis all night in the bar area. If Wednesday sounds like fun to you, take my advice and head over a bit early. The bar isn’t huge and seats fill up pretty quickly!
No matter which night you visit, tell them Stevette from Fork Notes and Coral Springs Talk sent you! Be sure to let us know what you had and what you think! Happy New Year!
Red Ginger Asian Bistro
9710 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, FL 33065
Mon 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tue 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Wed 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thu 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sat 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sun 3:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Stevette Balllog, formally from Chicago has been living in Broward County for 15 years. She has a B.S. in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and is owner of the Fork Notes Blog. She loves to travel all over the US in search of the best food, wine and craft beer, and she loves to cook. If you have an idea for a restaurant for her to review, please contact her at email@example.com follow her on Twitter at @Forknotes