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Wild Ginger

Ginger? Oh yeah. She’s Wild.

My first experience with Wild Ginger was through the back door, or the Triple Door, to be more precise. As pretty as the interior of Wild Ginger is, I have to say that a Triple Door experience is about as good as it gets in Seattle. Wild Ginger food and Triple Door seating makes any halfway decent performance on stage a hella good evening.

I’ve got to say I don’t really understand the bar area seating. Why would diners want a stage view of the bar? Is Bryan Brown going to show up and teach Tom Cruise how to toss a vodka bottle over his shoulder? The tabletops are cool, though.

If 3rd and Union weren’t right outside those giant windows, you could almost imagine these wicker seats were actually in the eastern Pacific rim they talk about on their website. Almost.

Delicious black tea to start while waiting for good friends to join us. One of whom is the very good friend who introduced me to WG in the first place, so many years ago. Thanks, CUT!

I’ve been to the WG several times, and this was the first time they brought out fried buns coated in cinnamon-sugar. Maybe it’s a Saturday thing? Residual of dim sum? Not sure, but they were puffily delicious and the drizzle of honey? ginger? sauce was nice. I appreciate free bread and this was definitely very awesome. When the server dropped off the treat, we ordered a couple of items from the dim sum menu to get us started.

The kabocha squash dumpling ($4) reminded me of the sweet potato patties my granny used to make. My granny’s were better, but these are pretty good even though they could’ve been sweeter.

Prawn and sesame with mayo dip ($5). The mayo really is a tad green, that’s not just wacky white balance on my part. The first time I had chopped shrimp was at a dim sum at the Purple Dot Cafe. Knowing the thin line between rubbery and mushy that chopped shrimp can swim, I waited nervously. All for naught, as the rectangles arrived perfectly cooked. The sesame added a crunchy texture, but I didn’t even try the green mayo. Some days I don’t have it in me to go all the way, however James gleefully dived in and declared it a winner.

When the Turleys arrived, Speedy, probably the most food-adventurous teen I’ve ever met, ordered the baby bok choy ($4, and I’m glad somebody did just so I could say it aloud a few times) and for the life of me, I cannot remember what kind of buns those were.

As many times as I’ve been to WG, I’ve never made it through a single visit without somebody ordering that duck ($14.5). How many ducks go through that joint in a day, I wonder. If those buns look familiar, they’re the same ones that were deep fried and rolled in cinnamon-sugar. Personally I think they’re more delicious deep fried, and I’m not even going to bother apologizing for that. As for how the duck would taste in the cinnamon bun, hmm….

Speaking of deep fried, why, yes. Yes, that is deep fried mandarin chicken ($16.5). I must have mandarin/orange/general tso chicken if it’s on a menu. And at WG, it is brilliant. Brilliant! The batter on the outside, so light and crispy. The chicken is so juicy, and the sweet orange is balanced so nicely with just the right bit of spice. I always order the large size because it never fails that somebody wants to try it, and if there’s enough to take home for lunch the next day, fine then. It really is the best mandarin chicken in Seattle and I’m sure they’re lacing that tempura with crack because I just can’t say no to it. You can have your duck, I’ll take the deep fried sugar, thanks.

The seven flavor beef ($12.5) seems to be another favorite dish as I see it ordered often. The seven flavors include lemongrass, peanuts, hoisin, chilies, basil, garlic and ginger.

Dessert was the blackberry sorbet with a vanilla ice cream swirl ($4). I loved it. It’s pretty, yes, but deliciously sweet and tart. The ribbon of vanilla didn’t overwhelm the tangy blackberry flavor. But honestly, the real reason I was at Wild Ginger?

To pick up the passle of Curly Wurlys the Turleys brought me back from England. Ohhh, Cadbury, how I love thee. I suggested to the server that WG include this on the menu as a dessert item, so be on the lookout in the future and you know who to thank when you see it.

Much like the seven flavored beef, Ginger offers a blend of flavors—spicy, sweet, casual, chic, basil, cinnamon and sugar. It’s always a good time and I recommend it constantly to friends visiting from out of town. Good times, Ginger. Good times.

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