Report Card: Royal Ginger

sushi-food
Royal Ginger Asian Fusion Bistro on Urbanspoon
http://royalginger.com

Overall Grade C+

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade B-:  So, usually when you go into an Asian themed restaurant, the décor of the place is indicative of the type of food they serve.  Not so with Royal Ginger, which was unremarkable from the outside and looked like an empty sports bar on the inside.  Other than the words on the menu and our English-challenged server, there was no evidence that we were in an establishment that served up Asian cuisine.  However, the restaurant was very clean and pretty much empty, which made the noise level very tolerable.

High marks:  Very clean

Low marks:  Nothing Asian about the place

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Service:  Grade C:  The “C” earned by Royal Ginger might be the lowest service grade we’ve given to a restaurant.  Why, you ask?  A couple of reasons: First, there was a definite language barrier between us and our server.  Second, and this one is a doozie (take note of this if you are reading this and own or operate a restaurant that the Grubgraders may visit),  our server brought me the wrong beer.  I know that’s hard to believe, so I’ll say it again:  she brought me the wrong beer!  That, in a word, is unforgivable.  The rest of the meal went off without a hitch, but it took me 20 minutes to find someone to rectify the beer situation.  Had the rest of the service not been good, this grade would have been lower.  We understand that mistakes can be made, but management needs to correct them in a timely fashion if they are to be forgiven.  In this case, that didn’t happen.

High marks:  Most of meal proceeded without a hitch

Low marks:  Server brought wrong beer, management slow to correct

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B-:  Service aside, the food at Royal Ginger was good.  Royal Ginger is the second Asian themed restaurant that we’ve given a report card to (the first being Hunan Lion).  While we do not believe that Royal Ginger is on par with Hunan Lion, the food was better than many Asian restaurants we’ve visited.   Katina had a Singapore Sling and a Crouching Tiger for her drinks (I know…what a lush) and thought both drinks were good, but she would never go to Royal Ginger just for the drinks.  I had a Magic Hat #9 (admittedly against my will) followed by my original selection of a Blue Moon.  The beers tasted as they should and were served at an appropriate temperature (and thanks for not forgetting my orange slice – hate it when that happens).  For appetizers, we tried both the Calamari Salad and the Crab Rangoon.  We are not sure where the “salad” part of Calamari Salad comes from, since the dish was just calamari, although it was pretty tasty.  The Crab Rangoon was good, but we’ve had better.  When you bite into Crab Rangoon, you don’t want a huge air pocket with a little smeedy lump of filling, which describes the Crab Rangoon at Royal Ginger pretty accurately.  For entrees, Katina had Wok Glazed Ginger Chicken and I had the General Tso’s Chicken.  We both upgraded the rice to fried rice (which cost an extra $2.00 each).  Both entrees were well prepared and delicious, but neither blew us away.  All in all, the food was good but nothing to curl your toes.

High marks:  Good calamari, decent entrees

Low marks:  Lackluster Crab Rangoon, annoying $2.00 upcharge for fried rice.

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Value:  Grade C-:  One you add the completely absurd upcharge for fried rice to the already overpriced dishes, you get a value grade of C-.  Portion size was below what we would expect for the price.  For what we spent, I would expect some of our food to make the trip home with us via the “doggie bag.”  Didn’t quite work out that way, but we think Royal Ginger is worth a visit.  You can definitely do worse.

High marks:  Not a whole lot

Low marks:  Small portion size, slightly overpriced entrees, annoying upcharge for fried rice

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