Red Ginger | Belmont Cragin | Asian, Japanese, Thai | Restaurant
Pan-Asian BYO with global twists.

Our Review

This pan-Asian spot packs a lot of bang for the buck -- almost everything on the 84-item menu costs ten dollars or less, and even the higher-priced things are worth it. Like the roasted duck with blackberry sauce on the “Chef Special” menu: for $10.95 you get half a roasted duck, crispy on the outside and ultratender inside, covered with a fruit sauce more savory than sweet and accompanied by a heap of gently steamed broccoli, red and green peppers, green beans, and onions. The chive dumplings (a $4.25 starter) are steamed then fried to a crispy brown and come with a sweet, dark soy sauce. The som tum (green papaya salad) gets the usual crushed peanuts and vinegar-based dressing, but Red Ginger’s version sets off the tangy papaya with sweet, ripe diced mango and juicy green apple slices. Served with a steaming bowl of jasmine rice, the tom kha ta-lay (hot and sour soup) makes a light but satisfying meal -- the broth is spiked with coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger and full of shrimp, crab, scallops, and squid. Pad kee mao, or stir-fried chewy noodles tossed with Thai basil, bean sprouts, and onion, comes with your choice of chicken, beef, tofu, vegetables, or, for an extra $2, half a dozen big, fresh shrimp. Red Ginger is BYO; any sparkling wine would work well with most of the menu, as would a light red such as a Cru Beaujolais or an Oregon pinot noir. One Rater begs to differ, suggesting instead Alsace whites with many of the seafood and chicken dishes, and reds from the northern Rhone or an Australian shiraz with some of the chicken and most of the beef dishes.

Laura Levy Shatkin

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Price: $$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa


3.9 out of 5

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