Continuing in my series of good eats around Raffles City Changning in Shanghai was a visit to the Japanese restaurant Gingko.
Ginkgo is a mid-range Japanese restaurant and bar situted in a dramatic modernist building in the open air plaza of Raffles City Changning.
We ordered a quartet of a la carte starters 前菜 – Wasabi Whelk with Ebiko, Wasabi Octopus, Eggplant in Miso and Grilled Gingko Nuts. Of the four, two repeated in flavours which was kind of disappointing because in the Chinese menu, you cannot really tell.
Among the four, my favourite was the salt grilled gingko. liberally salted and grilled to perfection, the gingko were soft and nutty. The shell came off easily, so did the skin of the nut – all signs of even heating and grilling. Too much heat, you burnt the nut and it stuck to the shell. Too light, the nut remained hard and the skin sticked to the nut.
Piece de resistance of the chef was his braised snapper head. Each one was cleaned meticulously and no scale was left behind. The head was simmered in a sweet soy sauce that was almost like teriyaki but not that sweet. The poached broccoli was a hit and miss.
All set lunches came with three side dishes – a enoki chawanmushi 茶碗蒸, a stewed pork and bacon 豚肉煮物, pickles and seaweed konpu 蘸物昆布. The chawanmushi was really delicious, reminded me of a shark’s fin soup. Ever since I said ‘No’ to shark’s fin, I had not have this tasty soup.
I ordered the Deluxe Unagi Bento – it came in two layers lacquer box. On the top layer was some steamed pumpkin, a sour plum, a piece of Japanese omelette, pickled lotus root and simmered bamboo shoot with a side dashi tofu.
The lower later was a piece of unagi on rice. The nori had already softened on the yaki sauce. It was rather sad, given the price, it tasted and looked like a supermarket unagi bento.
The miso soup was also not traditional. They added mushrooms into the miso.
Rather sad salmon sashimi on a choice of plain or sushi rice. Very small portion. The little duck in the picture was the chopstick stand.
The seafood porridge was more like a seafood soup on rice.
The cooked fish bento used the same simmering sauce that was used for the snapper head. Everything else was the same as well.
To round it up, a macha ice cream with sweet red bean. This came with my unagi bento and not the rest. They should just included this with every set, it was not that luxurious.
It was not an expensive lunch, the environment was beautiful, but I felt that it was underwhelming and did not invoked a real desire to try their dinner service.
Gingko Japanese Restaurant 银杏屋
Address : Outside Plaza, 1/F, Raffles City Changning, 1199 Changning Lu, by Kaixuan Lu
地址 : 长宁路1199号，近凯旋路长宁来福士广场
Phone : +86 21 6299 0213
Date visited : Mar 2018
Update 30 Mar. The restaurant is now closed