Ginger&Co. Japanese restaurant is located in Mar-Takla square, Hazmieh. This sushi express concept, established in 2010, is known for its lavish portions and quality presentations. Although it has not been around for long, Ginger&Co has managed to create a solid identity in the market for itself as well as built a reputable name among business professionals; due to its quality oriented approach and carefully studied prices. An express restaurant in Hazmieh, Baabda with a capacity to seat 50 persons.
I have been meaning to try Ginger&Co for a while now, but never had the chance before, until yesterday. Hearing rumors about a place is something but actually trying it for yourself is something else. Yesterday, I was simply amazed! You have to mean to go to go to Ginger&Co as its not an easy spot to find. Set in an old building, the one door restaurant is small. I's not the first impression I expected to tell you the truth. A small terrace, couple of tables, pink plastic chairs and inside, a small shop that is beautifully decorated.
A simple yet trendy architecture:
- A long shop with a rolling bar at the end
- White and grey tables
- Pink chairs
- Wooden walls
- Logos here and there add a special touch to the mix
The menu sections:
Starters, Soup, Salads, Sashimi, Sushi, Hosomaki, Gunkan, Temaki, Sesame, Foie Gras, Light Maki, Red Slim, Cucumber Maki, Tamago, Rocca Slim, Ebiko Maki, Crispy Maki, Special Maki, Rice, Teriyaki, Set Menu, Sweet Sin
Maki Gourmet Achrafieh offered this year what Ginger&Co introduced to Lebanon three years ago. The menu at Maki Gourmet is a simple copy-paste of the menu at Ginger&Co: the colors used, the Pantone feel, the light selection and the vegetable wraps... It's all here. We ordered:
- Crunchy Salmon Salad (Salmon, crispy & light mayo)
- Salmon Skin Remaking (Salmon skin, cucumber & teriyaki sauce)
- Spicy Salmon Remaking (Salmon, togarashi & light mayo)
- Fig Foie Gras (Foie Gras, dried fig & honey)
- Mango Foie Gras (Foie Gras & mango)
- Salmon Cucumber Maki (Salmon, mixed vegetables)
- Tuna Cheese Rocco (Tuna, Philip, Rocco & avocado)
- Crispy Duo (Crazy, salmon tuna topping, special sauce)
- Crispy Spicy Scallops (Scallops, togarashi, lemon zest)
- Crispy Octopus (Octopus, special sauce, spicy shrimp)
- Pizza (Crab, shrimp, mozzarella, green & red pepper)
- Smoked Duck (Smoked duck, avocado, cucumber, Philip & sundries tomato)
- Special Tuna (Tuna, avocado, special sauce, Rocco avocado, cucumber)
- Pink Roll (Salmon shrimp, crab inside, salmon mango teriyaki topping)
- The crispy salmon salad is very annoying to eat. The salmon pieces are small and the mayonnaise used is heavy. I would make the salmon colder, maybe serve it in a ice bowl and surely use bigger salmon pieces. You literally don't feel like eating from this dish. The most important thing is that the salad doesn't look like what is in the pictures. I was expecting something and received something else.
- Pizza is exactly like the name suggests adding to it some rice. I love the cheese covering. A very creative roll.
- The Maki Salmon Skin is too chewy. It's not crunchy like the ones at Sushi Bar and not sweet and tender like the one at Sai. I didn't like the feeling of sticks sticking on my teeth. This is the least enjoyable roll.
- The Spicy Salmon Temaki is very tasty. I liked it as is.
- The special tuna is funky. I liked the crunch of the rocca inside and finally the feel of spiciness at the end
- Scallops are superb. Yummy! The lemon zest on top add a lot to the mix, giving a hint of flavor that makes every bite special.
- Crispy duo with its sweet spell is nice
- Yummy. The crispy octopus is fantastic. Bravo
- A fresh salad in a wrap. The cucumber makis are awesome
- The pink roll with its shrimp, salmon, crab and mango mix is very nice
- The Foie Gras pieces make of this preparation, a creation suitable for fine dining restaurants. The mango in one and honey on the other, each give the roll the needed sweetness that come with the generous piece of Foie Gras. One of the sexiest pieces Ginger&Co. has to offer
- Do not forget to order the Smoked Duck. Avocado, sun dried tomatoes, cucumber and cheese: what less than amazing can you expect from such a heavenly piece of magic. I loved it.
Desserts are premium:
- Crepe Maki (A thin crepe wrapping couple of fruits cut in cubes, all covered with corn flakes and served with their thick chocolate dip). The crepe is not too sweet and not too thick. The wraps come up to your mouth in one piece and the fruits are fresh)
- Chocolate Pancakes (A dessert you might not consider ordering as it doesn't fit a Japanese Restaurant: You will be missing a lot. Their Pancakes are finger licking good. Medium sized and crunchy on the side, Ginger&Co pancakes are a sin)
- No plastic grass separate the Japanese pieces. Bravo for amending this disgusting tradition
- Wasabi is not hiding inside a carrot like others do but served on the plates with an engraved Ginger&Co logo
- Very generous pieces and attitude
- Little rice used compared to the main fish ingredients
- I like the growing napkin and its ritual. Some hot water on a medicine shaped capsule and you have a refreshing towel
- Johnny, the over qualified waiter deserves an applause
- This is not the salad I saw on the menu. I would surely have preferred the one displayed and not the one received. Please make the salmon blocks bigger to be easily grabbed by the chopsticks
- My suggestion is to change the plastic plates. They have a dirty feel and are not too appetizing. Wood, stone, black rock are materials others have experienced and do work very well
- Salmon skin is not the strongest point at Ginger&Co. I don't recommend it and won't order it again
Today I discovered one of my newest recommended places which serve delicious creations, rolled with love and passion. Every piece is prepared by Ginger&Co's chefs flown in from Thailand and supervised by the owner who literally knows what he's doing. The owner created a trendy Japanese restaurant, made it simple and welcoming, revisited silly old traditions, imagined new tastes, rolled them in a generous way, using adequate quantities of fish offered for the pleasure of your eyes and taste buds.What more can you ask for...
I would head down to Mar Takla soon, if I were you.
Gari is a type of tsukemono (pickled vegetables). It is sweet, thinly sliced young ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar. Young ginger is generally preferred for gari because of its tender flesh and natural sweetness. Gari is often served and eaten after sushi, and is sometimes called sushi ginger. When traditionally prepared, gari typically has a pale yellow to slightly pink hue from the pickling process. Only very young ginger will develop the slight pink tint. Many brands of commercially produced gari are artificially colored pink with beet juice, either to intensify the colour or because the ginger used is too mature to turn pink upon pickling. Gari is usually eaten between dishes of sushi, as it is said to help cleanse the palate. Ginger has antiseptic properties, and was originally eaten with sushi to counter the ill effects of bad fish. Gari is not meant to be consumed in any type of sushi or hand roll. Gari can help ease stomach nausea.