When owner Samantha Ye defined the new Red Ginger Asian Diner in East Northport as “fast casual,” she wasn’t kidding. As I found out on a recent visit, the food here fairly flies out of the open kitchen. Moments after you’ve ordered at the counter and seated yourself at one of the upholstered booths, a cheerful server is setting down your soup or appetizer. Chances are, you won’t be finished by the time the rest of the meal shows up.
Wonton soup ($2.35 cup; $4.95 bowl) features sheer, light little dumplings in a flavorful broth. Better yet is the almost entrée-sized Westlake wonton soup ($6.95)— an egg-enriched broth with those same wontons plus shrimp and bright vegetables. But deep-fried crab wontons (2 for $1.95) — actually, surimi and cream cheese — are bland and boring.
Entree winners: Thai basil tofu and vegetables ($8.25), light and herbal. And black pepper shrimp ($9.95), which is savory rather than spicy. Pad Thai with chicken ($7.95) works well, too.
A very economical way to dine is to go for the “2 for 20” option wherein two people pick two soups (wonton, miso or hot and sour), two full-sized entrees and two sides (egg roll, spring roll or crab wontons) for $20.
Red Ginger Asian Diner is at 353 Larkfield Rd., East Northport, 631-623-2125.