Dinner at Gingeri Chinese Cuisine

by Ed Lau on November 20, 2007

Gingeri Chinese Cuisine, Lansdowne

Sunday night my family and I went to Gingeri Chinese Cuisine located in Richmond’s Lansdowne Mall to celebrate my new baby cousin’s first month (I think). It’s tradition for parents to gather their family and friends for a banquet to celebrate their child’s one month mark.

Gingeri has only been open for a short time so the decor is still very new and everything is still rather crisp and clean. It remains to be see which way this will go in the future as some Chinese fine dining establishments remain impeccably clean while others degrade into a squalor. There is a small TV in the main dining hall which happened to be tuned to the Canucks game on Sunday (which we won over 4-1 over Calgary). I’m not sure what to think of this really. The sports fan in me loves to have a TV around at all times tuned to any sports channel but to be honest, I thought it was rather out of place and didn’t fit the setting. Gingeri is definitely not somewhere I’d want to watch the game.

I forgot to bring my camera so I only got a few shots on my iPhone. Also, I was starving so I forgot to take pictures of half of the dishes…

Gingeri Chinese Cuisine, Lansdowne

The meal began with a appetizer platter featuring jellyfish, marinated pork hock, bean curd rolls and barbeque duck. Jellyfish is one of my favorites with the crunchy, springy texture. When I was a kid, my parents would always tell me they were cooked rubber bands. Everything else was rather standard and the bean curd rolls were a bit too salty. Also, I couldn’t find any red vinegar that usually accompanies the marinated pork.

Next was a deep fried crab claw wrapped with minced shrimp. It’s hard to screw these up and they were a favorite of some of my younger cousins…and me. Following that was broccoli with geoduck and shrimp. If you’re not sure what geoduck is, imagine a clam about the size of your forearm. It’s a Chinese delicacy although here, it wasn’t as crunchy as it should be, meaning it probably wasn’t as fresh as possible.

Shark fin soup, Gingeri Chinese Cuisine, Lansdowne

Shark fin soup is another dish rather unique to Asian cuisine. I don’t know of too many Western cultures that regard shark fin as such a delicacy but shark fin and crab meat soup is delicious. The thick broth was flavorful and the amount of shark fin was what you’d usually expect.

Gingeri Chinese Cuisine, Lansdowne, crab

Next was the crab dish. I love crab but the two here seemed a bit smaller than usual, meaning it took more work to get at less meat. Also, the crab’s tough exoskeleton wasn’t cracked for you, which is what most seafood restaurants do so it was quite a bit messier than I prefer.

The next two dishes were Chinese mushrooms with sea cucumber and a steamed live rock cod. Sea cucumber is tastier than you’d think, really but I’m a more adventurous diner than most. However, don’t think about what they look like live because it will probably ruin it for you. However, tonight, neither one of these dishes was made especially well. The fish was the least impressive dish all night as it was overcooked and basically a big plate of mush. It was impossible to pick up with chopsticks once you spoon it onto your plate.

crispy skin chicken, Gingeri Chinese Cuisine, Lansdowne

The crispy skin chicken is usually the last dish of a banquet like this and the one at Gingeri was rather good. The chicken was juicy and the shrimp crackers were crispy. These are another kid favorite. Nothing causes all those under 10 to riot like shrimp crackers that aren’t fresh and crispy.

A fried rice and stewed e-fu noodles course came last and both were rather standard. Usually restaurants serve these to make sure you’re full at the end of the meal but most diners are at this point and usually pack both dishes to go. I think Kirin does these particularly well as they seem like they put some effort into them rather than having them as an afterthought.

The service all night was superb as waiters changed plates after nearly every course and were extremely attentive. One forgot to bring my aunt a teapot of boiling water but that was pretty much the only miscue all night. Great service is a big deal because some Chinese seafood restaurants have extremely poor service despite charging anywhere up to $600 for a 10-course meal for 12. Our party was in a separate room from the main dining area since we had three tables of 12 but at any given time we had at least three waiters attending to us.

Overall, Gingeri wasn’t bad but with so many fantastic seafood restaurants in Richmond such as Kirin Seafood Restaurant and Sea Harbor, Gingeri doesn’t do enough to stand out. I would probably not be my first choice but I wouldn’t mind trying again to see if the food improves sometime later.

in Food and Fine Dining

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carl November 21, 2007 at 6:07 am

Sweet, I know the owners of this place. Her son works at Lumiere…

Gingeri has been open for quite a while! I’m surprized it took you that long to get there.

The food is pretty good, but the menu needs to have a bit more variety to stand out. I agree with you that Sea Harbor is better, but I don’t understand why you guys rave about Kirin so much.. It’s not bad.. but I wouldn’t consider it a top 3 seafood restaurant in Richmond.

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Rosie November 21, 2007 at 8:25 am

I don’t think much of Gingeri for dinner, but they do great dim sum!

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Music Software November 21, 2007 at 8:47 am

Just seeing the photographs and reading the write ups has given me a great big appetite. I agree that dining gets to be a somewhat difficult experience in a restaurant if the TV is on showing an important game. It is different in a bar though!

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Stephen November 21, 2007 at 11:10 am

I judge the cleanliness of a Chinese restaurant by the condition of their bathroom. If they let that slide, then you know that other stuff has slid.

I haven’t had an Epic Imperial Chinese meal in a while. The plates seem a bit small though. Most places I end up at, the plates are like twice the size.

If it was your cousins 1 month thing, there should be red eggs on the table ;)

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John Chow November 21, 2007 at 11:37 am

Gingeri has good dim sum. Never been there for dinner.

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Don November 23, 2007 at 12:59 am

Once I was there for a wedding, AND they had separate sports games on all the TVs, AND nobody cared. THAT was so Chinese, the uncaringness of all involved, I mean. It was an amusing thought for the 5 seconds after my friend brought it up to me.

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