Over twenty years ago, Wild Ginger, then located behind Pike Place Market on the downhill side of Western Avenue, opened to rave reviews. It was the owners’ attempt to recreate the tastes they experienced throughout Southeast Asia in the late 1980s. Wild Ginger moved to new, more upscale digs on 4th Avenue 12 years ago, across the street from Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony. The Eastside location in Bellevue opened a few years ago in the Bravern Shopping Center.
We’d been to Wild Ginger on several occasions through the years, original and newer locations. Nothing there has ever wowed me though the quality of the food is generally good. Just not great. I also can find something that’s equally good or better at many of Seattle’s Asian restaurants at more affordable prices.
Still, the foods of all Southeast Asia are on one menu, so you can sample diverse cuisines. There are those who swear by the Singapore-style Dungeness crab with black bean sauce. Ditto on Fragrant Duck, which I gather is similar to Peking duck. We’ve had neither.
Last week, Seattle Restaurant Week kicked off. At many of the area’s top restaurants, you can score a 3-course dinner for $28 or, at some places, a 3-course lunch for $15. Since both Wild Ginger locations were participating in the lunch special, we went there today.