South Lincoln’s Ginger Grill offers some distinctive cuisine choices, with the restaurant’s use of wood, stone and openness providing an ambiance reflecting both class and casual comfort.
Opening in the spring of 2015, Ginger Grill serves up dining choices that are certainly distinctive and engaging from nearby steak, barbecue and fast food options.
Billing itself as pan-Asian fare, Ginger provides its customers three cuisine options – a Mongolian grill, sushi and Chinese kitchen.
“And we are not a typical Chinese restaurant,” says Assistant General Manager Brooklyn Palmquist.
It is almost like Ginger is three restaurants in one. The Mongolian Grill is on one side of the restaurant, while the sushi bar is on the other, allowing patrons to choose whichever atmosphere they prefer – family and conversation on one side and more intimacy on the other.
Palmquist – who started at Ginger as a host and in a year quickly advanced to assistant general manager – said that customer choices between the dining options are spread pretty evenly, but adds that the Mongolian grill is a crowd pleaser, especially with families.
Keys to the restaurant’s popularity might be its in-house made grill sauces and its traditional and quality sushi.
Weekday lunch customers range from working class to office workers, with dinner transitioning to families and date nights. On the weekend, families and elderly customers comprise the lunch time business, and the evening is usually a big night for those on dates.
Palmquist observes that more younger customers are opening up to the dining options Ginger offers, not just on the grill side, but for sushi also.
Given the variety of dish choices, the Ginger menu is quite extensive. It starts with 15 appetizers, including veggie dumplings ($5), edamame ($5.50), shrimp shumai ($7), crab rangoons ($8), calamari ($9) and avocado egg rolls ($10).
Palmquist said the crab rangoons are a customer favorite, “with almost every table ordering a plate.”
Eight items are listed under the sushi starter heading, including Sierra Madre (jalapeno, cream cheese and crab, tempura battered and fried, topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce and green onion, $7), seafood salad (chef’s choice of assorted fish, cucumber and seaweed salad tossed with spicy mayo and topped with tempura crunch, $7) and fiesta sashimi (six pieces of thinly sliced yellowtail, topped with jalapeno and sriracha, resting in a bed of yuzu sauce, $10).
The Mongolian grill provides a variety of meats, seafood, fresh vegetables and signature sauces from which to choose. Among the choices are beef, pork, chicken, seafood, scallops, crab, shrimp, oysters, noodles, rice noodles, water chestnuts, mushrooms, pineapple and more. Weekday lunch cost for the grill is $10; weekday dinner and all day Saturday and Sunday are $13.
Six dishes are offered from the Chinese kitchen: shrimp and veggie tempura, orange chicken and miso salmon (each $14), plus teriyaki steak salad, Franny’s bulgogi fajitas and teriyaki salmon (each $15).
The separate sushi menu includes the same eight offerings as the sushi starter, as well as 11 raw sushi rolls, from crunchy spicy salmon roll ($6) to yellowtail jalapeno roll ($7); five fried sushi, from peacock (salmon, white fish and crab topped with eel sauce, $7) to amazing tuna (tuna roll fried and topped with cream cheese, crab, eel sauce and yummy sauce, $15); and 18 nigiri or sashimi choices including crab, freshwater eel, octopus, red snapper, squid, surf clam, salmon, tuna and yellowtail, ranging from $4.50 - $8.
Cooked sushi offerings include California roll, eel cucumber roll, eel avocado roll, Philadelphia roll, Boston roll, shrimp tempura roll, chicken tempura roll and salmon tempura roll. Prices range from $6 to $8. Eleven veggie rolls cost between $4 and $5 and include avocado, asparagus, fried sweet potato, kampyo, shiitake, peanut avocado and cucumber.
Ginger has 26 colorfully named signature sushi rolls. A sampling of the offerings include rainbow roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab, cucumber, white fish and avocado, $10), golden monkey (eel, avocado and tempura crunch topped with fried banana, eel sauce and mango sauce, $10), sweetheart roll (spicy crab, avocado and crunch topped with tuna, spicy mayo, honey wasabi and tobiko, $13) and Gramercy Park roll (tempura crunch, spicy mayo, white tuna and jalapeno wrapped with tuna, yellowtail and salmon and topped with lemon, cilantro, tobiko, yuzu sauce and miso sauce, $16).
To tag its Nebraska location, the signature choices also feature a pair of $14 choices – a Lincoln roll (lobster, crab, tempura shrimp topped with strawberry sauce and honey wasabi sauce) and a Nebraska roll (salmon tempura, cream cheese, crab and avocado, topped with eel sauce, spicy mayo and green onion).
Ginger offers a lunch special sushi menu with abbreviated roll choices from the cooked, veggie, raw and nigiri/sashimi options, plus a choice of sides that include miso soup, ginger vegetable soup, escabeche salad, side salad or edamame. Cost is $8 for one roll and side, $11 for two rolls and side and $13 for three rolls and side.
In addition to wine and beer, Ginger’s bar features eight sake choices ($5-$8) and 14 handcrafted appropriately themed cocktails ($7-$9).
Palmquist remarks that patrons will find something to please anyone at Ginger. Between the different seating areas and the variety of dining options, she said that people can choose what suits their mood, appetite and comfort level.