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Lotsa buzz about this new restie in Cleveland called Ginko at 2247 Professor Ave in Cleveland (Tremont neighborhood).
So we decided to drop on by for a muncha.
Upon entering the resite, their website’s claim is a load cause I NEVER heard anyone shout out “Irasshaimase!”
Not even a peep of Japanese from the hostess or the two white dudes standing at the front of the house.
But I guess without the “welcoming”, we got seated quicker. Oddly, it’s a bit tiny – the interior is small and not many seats for people.
There were about eight 2 high tops, 2 larger tables for 6 and bar seating. We trotted in for a RSVP for three. And yes, we got stuck in the corner.
And FYI-this high top was NOT conducive for three.
The menu was rather cut and dry. All fancy and all expensive. Growing up in Hawaii. We had access to fresh fish all the time. These prices teeter on NY $$$ for sushi.
When you have to pay excess of $24-$25 for an appetizer, you should already know you’re going to be broke or get some serious anal action later in the night.
There was a smattering of various dishes on our table. Must have come during a fresh turn as my shoyu dish was still wet from previous washing.
We had a ton to contemplate while we waited 32 minutes between our drinks arriving and the waiter allowing us to order.
Spicy Scallop Chips: Tobiko, scallions, Pringles – $12
This is a great dish w/o the Pringles chip. I feel that you should taste the spicy scallop, and taste the pops of the salty tobiko. Instead I was overwhelmed by the collegiate Pringles sour cream and onion chip which was further smushed by the additional green onions.
Great avocado…put it on the chip too. Don’t make people contemplate it.
Please understand, your first two words were “spicy scallop” – I should taste spicy scallop.
Edamame – $5
Pretty standard these days at any Japanese resties.
Most places just put kosher salt in the water while boiling. Ginko takes it one step further and follows up with a healthy coverage for presentation.
Also kudos on use of Fleur de sel - nice fancy touch. Peasants that eat edamame would have never done this.
Unagi / Foie Gras / Oshi Sushi – Shiso tempura, Ume Boshi – $15
Very enjoyable taste! We’ve never seen this pairing before so we were really intrigued. Delicious.
The wisps of hair looking things garnished is the foie.
Sushi rice was packed well and presentation was great.
Definitely need to order this again x5.
But here’s where the meal went south.
Maguro (tuna) Nigiri sushi – $5 per and Hamachi (yellowtale) Nigiri sushi – $5
These came out and I was a bit perplexed cause a few reliable food lovers ranted and raved about this place ie best sushi in Cleveland. I disagree.
Look, I can see if you only had a plastic spork for your knife work but one piece is $5?!?!??!?? And then you present it cut like this? Hack!
C’mon-this doesn’t even look appetizing! Also-the taste of maguro and hamachi are very different – so why does every little piece have to touch each other? You have this gigantic plate…use it!
Granted in a gangbang you want everything close, but related to sushi? Each individual piece is a little island to its own.
Chef Toshi-If you’re going to continue to serve chunks of maguro/hamachi AND have to have everything touch each other, consider serving chirachi.
As some of you know, one of our litmus tests for a new sushi joint is unagi (eel). Back 20 years ago, it used to be Ikura (salmon roe)…but we found that the complexities of just unagi (eel) make this the perfect test for quality and presentation.
Unagi nigiri (eel) – $5 per
Lightly sauced this was a gigantic piece of unagi.
Texturally, the unagi did not seem like it was torched lightly. It was rather soft, mushy and had no real firmness to it. Unagi should have some textural differences.
So I am not happy as the $5 eel tasted like prefrozen stuff.
Additionally, I also did not like the unagi riding side-saddle on the rice. I am a firm believer that you should prob adhere to the nigiri mantra of stuff on the rice.
Oh I see…the waiter skips to the table causing the unagi to fall off the rice.
Nope. Look closely at the macro.
Sauce was brushed or squirted on the rice. My opinion, rice should be pure and unadulterated. The piece of unagi should have a thin sheen of glaze on it.
Also if the unagi was on the rice before being expidited, the rogue sesame seeds would have never touched the rice.
That’s just sloppy.
California “Sunshine” – hand roll-$9 or cut roll $10
These price are redic. The waiter claimed that they use real crab in there…thus the expensive price. When presenting your dish, don’t have your wait staff justify the costs of the dishes-it’s tacky. Besides, I ASSUMED real crab since a normal California hand-roll is about $1.50. FYI-prices for an english cucumber, Hass avocado, and tobiko have not gone up recently.
Unless your California hand-roll does hand-jobs, I will assume your exorbited costs are in direct relations to you king crab.
Spicy tuna – hand roll-$6 or cut roll $7
Pretty standard, nothing to write home about.
Soft shell crab – avocado, tobiko, cucumber – hand roll-$7 or cut roll $8
Again, pretty standard, nothing to write home about.
Here’s where we go careening off the side of the mountain…cause ceiling leaked…no joke….it leaked alot.
I got wet (not in the good way). When it started leaking, I had to call the staff over and point it out. Breaking his stunned and perplexed look, I kindly suggested he get a bucket.
I informed him that the now flowing water seems to have come from an old sprinkler port which was recently covered up and painted over. Since the water coming out was rather brown and full of particulates, it leads me to believe that it could be a bigger leak. Staff informed me that it was the kitchen above us in Dante. Whew-glad it wasn’t the bathroom. DOH!
I would have walked out of there if it was from Dante’s bathroom.
Or maybe I was wrong. It might be part of their claim of “River Flowing Water Sushi Bar” – Either way, I confirm that a river of water flowed.
Best part of this meal? Wasabi. I think they have a guy in the back (let’s call him Wes), that his only job is to make wasabi. I’d go back for Wes’ wasabi fo sure.
it pretty much sucked we hope Ginko just had some first week jitters.
So all you food types just calm down now. We’ll go back once they make some changes.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…