Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger


I am so sorry for how long it has been since I have updated my blog, but I have yet to even be able to grasp what has happened at the Napa Valley Grille and it has been more than chaotic. But, that information is to come at a later time and for now I would love to tell you about my lovely lunch at Ming Tsai’s restaurant Blue Ginger with my mom!

If you know anything about Ming Tsai, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is his show “East Meets West” or his more recent show “Simply Ming”. In fact, in my Shortribs Blog a couple months ago, I added a short clip of him during his Simply Ming show.

2 MINUTE BACKGROUND (thanks to Ming.com): Ming Tsai grew up in Dayton, Ohio, cooked all the time with his family, but went to Yale to study Mechanical Engineering. During his junior summer of college, he studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, worked in restaurants around the globe, and then earned his Masters Degree in Hospitality at Cornell University. In 1998 he opened up Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he received 3 stars from the Boston Globe in his first year. Since then, Ming has produced 2 cooking shows, as well as wrote 3 cookbooks. Ming Tsai is incredibly smart, incredibly successful, and incredibly gifted in the kitchen.

Wellesley, Massachusetts is about an hour drive from Providence. My mom surprised me with lunch reservations, so as soon as we woke up and showered, we got on the road. Wellesley was an absolutely beautiful town. Heavy snow had fallen the day before and only enhanced the artistry behind the victorian-style mansions that lined the streets. I felt like I had gone back in time, except for a couple of their very bizarre street signs we found:

This was a first for me.

Was this a warning? Or were they just informing us of children existing in their town.

After a great deal of laughs, we finally arrived to Blue Ginger:

The outside was so simple and plain, which I absolutely loved. It was unselfish and didn’t scream “COME EAT HERE!”

I have not gotten very comfortable with taking pictures in a restaurant yet, so I could not get any great pictures of the decor, but it was very “feng-shui”.

Okay, now to the most important part: the food. My mom and I both said this was going to be the main meal of our day, so please do not judge us on the number of dishes that were on our table.

For starters I ordered the Organic Mixed Salad with Crispy Onions and a Shallot-Pomegranate Vinaigrette. My mom got the Shitake-Leek Springrolls.

This salad was delicious. I don’t know what it was about those onions but they were so crispy, so light, and so flavorful. The greens were simply kissed with the dressing, which I loved. I thoroughly enjoy being able to taste the greens in my salads.

Not only was the presentation beautiful, but the flavor in these spring rolls was outstanding. It was as though they took two whole spring rolls and cut them in half which made them much easier to eat.

For my entree I decided to go with the Panko-Crusted Chicken Sandwich with Asian Slaw and Taro Chips.

My mom went with the Housemade Veggie Burger in a Grilled Pita.

The seasoning on the chicken was perfect and the chicken itself was so juicy. It had a chile-aioli sort of sauce on it that was not took spicy for me which was great. I really loved the slaw because, again, it was not overly dressed and I am fairly certain there was not mayonnaise on it whatsoever. You could see the whole mustard grains throughout it and the crunch factor was wonderful.

I could not get over how neat these Taro chips were. Taro is a root vegetable whose leaves may also be eaten. I am not very familiar with the vegetable, but these chips tasted so good as well as made me a feel a little better being that they weren’t white potato.

My mom enjoyed the flavors of her veggie burger, but she thought that they should not have called it a burger, and instead a filling. I tried it an agreed. It was as if the grilled pita was supposed to play the part of the charred outside of a beef patty and the “veggie burger” was the creamy middle.

Finally…dessert. We were both already so full, but since we were celebrating my coming up graduation (that’s what we told ourselves, at least), and they were made in the restaurant, we decided to go for it. Our very nice waiter told us that the desserts were small so we decided to get two and pick at both. We ordered a Chocolate Pot de Creme, which was a bittersweet chocolate pudding, as well as a Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee. The Creme Brulee was so creamy, sweet, and vanilla-y and the lack of sweetness in the chocolate pudding ended up working really well to counteract it. They came with an oatmeal, cranberry, coconut cookie as well as a meringue cookie sandwich with red bean buttercream. The red bean buttercream was INCREDIBLE.

I was very happy.

With a full belly and a big smile, I was overall extremely pleased with Blue Ginger. The next time I go I would love to try out their dinner menu and see what more exciting items they have.

Within the next 24 hours I plan on telling you about everything that has happened with Napa Valley Grille as well as the results from my Lacto-Vegetarian diet. Until then….

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