In 1998 Ming opened Blue Ginger in Wellesley. I’ve been curious since I moved to Boston and started watching Simply Ming.
Ming Tsai is a great inspiration to me (as you might know). Ming is intelligent (he has degrees from Yale and Cornell), supports Boston-area and national non-profits, and seamlessly combines Eastern and Western flavors. Oh, AND I just discovered (while I was at the gym, the only place I watch the Food Network) that he was on season 3 of The Next Iron Chef until week seven! You can look through his and other contestants’ journals here.
Fast forward to last weekend after 15 inches of snow. My boyfriend won’t tell me where we’re going for my birthday dinner, but once I manage to get the name of the town, I know I’m in for a treat…BLUE GINGER!
I started with a chocolate-ginger martini ($13). The crystallized ginger rim was delicious and would have been a great contrast to the alcohol if the chocolate liqueur wasn’t so heavily sweet and chocolate syrup-tasting. If I’m having a martini, I like it to give at least a small punch.
Thai mussels ($13) with lime leaf, green papaya (my first time, tasted a little bit like cooked jicama), and cherry tomatoes. Called ‘Fragrant Thai Mussels’ on the menu, this is definitely an accurate description! Every bite carries a new flavor. The app made me excited for the rest of the meal.
My boyfriend had the fried calamari with Thai dipping sauce ($11). I tried two pieces and thought it was good, but slightly tough and too salty. He was happy with the plate (maybe other pieces were better?). For his meal, the honey-chili glazed rack of lamb ($36) with Korean demi-glace and kimchee. The lamb was cooked to perfection (crispy outside, tender everywhere else). I’m glad I was in generous company because this was delicious.
For my meal I had the sake-miso marinated Alaskan butterfish ($36) with wasabi oil, soy-lime syrup, and soba noodle sushi on seaweed salad with pickled ginger. Our waitress explained that this was a signature dish, so I thought I would go for it. The contrast of roe and essence of wasabi with the creamy and flaky fish was a memorable combination and the sushi was a nice way to break up the homogeneity of the fish. The soba noodle sushi reminded me of our fantastic meal at Oishii.
We shared a basic vanilla creme brulee for dessert with yuzu (lemon) cookies and a surprise birthday candle.
In summary, the mussels, lamb, and butterfish were the stars of this meal, service was consistently helpful and casual, and the atmosphere was perfect for a special meal without being stuffy. I left a happy girl!
Blue Ginger, 583 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA