What to order at Wild Ginger in Seattle?



I was in Seattle for the weekend and checked out Wild Ginger.  It had good reviews and is supposedly the most (or one of the most) popular restaurants in Seattle.  They offer a mix of Asian food that "spans the eastern Pacific Rim" so my fit girl friend and I were pretty sure we could find something healthy to eat.  

The place is very sleek and is the type of restaurant that would be perfect for corporate events but also a good place for a date or evening out with friends.  In fact, it almost seems too perfect to have good food.  

But the food turned out to be really excellent.  Plus, the menu is fun.  There are a ton of options and some dishes are really cheap (around $3) so you can order a ton of variety.  

We ordered a few satays (Indonesian skewered and grilled meats and vegetables) which were delightful.  The singing fish satay (fresh mahi mahi marinated and grilled and served with an "aromatic dipping sauce") was probably my favorite.  The fish was perfectly grilled and flavorful but not too oily and I got to control my sauce consumption.  The Saigon scallop was also tasty (who doesn't like a nicely grilled scallop?) though the soy and vinegar dipping sauce was just ok.  We also ordered a portobello mushroom satay (since I cannot resist mushrooms) and an onion satay (one of the specials).  These were good though nothing special.  I was glad that they did not douse the vegetables in oil (some restaurants use grilled vegetables as an opportunity to serve you a load of oil) but some seasoning would have livened these up.  Our final skewered item was fresh grilled corn on the cob off of the specials menu.  The corn was delicious.  Very fresh and with a touch of oil and seasoning.  

All of the satays came with a rice cake (basically a cube of sticky rice) and pickled cucumbers.  I overcame my carb-phobia to at least try the rice cake which was not worth the struggle.  The pickled cucumbers, on the other hand, served as an excellent palette cleanser.    

To add to our feast, we ordered the ahi appetizer off of the specials menu.  This was a huge portion of nicely spiced ahi served with small pieces of perfectly toasted bread rubbed with oil.  The ahi with the toasts was a winning combination of smooth spicy fish and salty oily crunch.  I limited myself to one piece of the toast and ate some additional ahi straight up.  The ahi was served with a lot of pickled ginger to add to our palette cleansing options.

Lastly, we ordered the Phoenix salad--sliced cabbage, shredded chicken breast, ground peanuts, herbs and a spicy Thai-style dressing.  We, of course, ordered the dressing on the side.  The quality of the chicken was excellent with no skin or fat to be seen.  The herbs in the salad were excellent and made me wonder why I don't add fresh herbs to my own salads more often (the likely culprits being my cheapness and laziness).

We steered clear of the main dishes since nothing really struck our fancy and they tend to be of the wok-fried variety (meaning lots of oil, fat and calories).  We also skipped dessert since we were full after all of that.  

Even though it was a pretty large and varied meal, I felt that I had eaten quite healthily for restaurant food and enjoyed it immensely.  Well done, Wild Ginger.  

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