A pan-Asian, fusion-ish restaurant serving sushi and large portions ideal for sharing. ... More »
A waterfall trickling down a sheet of glass whispers of tranquillity. But there's nothing tranquil about the scene at the new Wild Ginger in East Northport, which pulsates and reverberates. Early on a Sunday evening, every table is occupied.
Understandable. The pan-Asian menu - which features sushi and a few fusion-ish touches - aims at a broad spectrum of tastes. Chinese restaurant-style plating fosters the sharing of generous portions. At lunch, prices are a real bargain.
The signature Wild Ginger roll of peppered tuna, avocado and spicy tuna points to a skilled team behind the sushi bar. I'm also pleased with a lush salmon and avocado roll.
The chicken lettuce wrap is a study in contrasts: I fill a cool, crunchy leaf of iceberg with a warm minced chicken stir-fry laced with pine nuts and jicama, then roll it like a taco and eat it out of my hand. A Thai-style crab cake may be spongy, but I like the way it tastes, which is reminiscent of Chinese shrimp toast.
The waiter removes the cover of a bubbling Thai casserole of shrimp and chicken in a basil-infused red curry sauce. It's a zesty combination that works well. Competition comes from chicken with silky-textured Japanese eggplant and a lively garlic sauce.
I'm a fan of the pad thai, which I order with pork. The noodles are unusually light, the crunch of peanuts more pronounced than in most versions.
Dessert, while not house-made, is a showstopper: a chocolate caramel pyramid (a rich, molded mousse) accompanied by a ball of coconut sorbet.
I'm puzzled that my wonton seaweed soup seems like miso soup with wontons (good ones) afloat - but without seaweed. While I like the flavor of vegetable chow fun, the noodles are a trifle overcooked. Too much time on the fire also mars the otherwise fine wok-glazed ginger chicken.
Shortcomings are minor at this crowd-pleaser, part of a growing metro-area chain.
Wild Ginger is located at 3018 Jericho Tpke., East Northport, 631-858-1888