Japan Ginger delivers a quick, appetizing bite

December 27, 2011

By Tom Corrigan

Upon walking into Japan Ginger Teriyaki and Sushi Bar, one can get confused. Do you sit at a table and wait for a server or do you go up to the counter and order off the large menu board?

We ended up ordering at the counter and then helping ourselves to a seat — not a great beginning to a lunch, but it was all uphill from there.

As the restaurant is named for its teriyaki, I felt obliged to try some. My friend the vegetarian opted for yakisoba noodles with tofu.

The meals arrived in a very reasonable amount of time, our plates carried by a friendly waiter/host. The first thing we both noticed was how good the food looked, that the presentation was done very nicely.

The chicken teriyaki is probably not the best you’re ever going to have. It’s also very far from being the worst. The chicken was nicely done, tender and warm. The sauce was sweet and flavorful. There also was plenty of sauce on the plate. There are teriyaki restaurants that seem to think a tablespoon or two of sauce will do the trick. This isn’t one of them.

If you go

Japan Ginger Teriyaki and Sushi Bar

  • 220 Front St. N.
  • 427-6080
  • Dine in or take out
  • 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; closed Sundays
  • Teriyaki specials are $6.75 to $9.50 for lunch; $7.75 to $10.95 for dinner.
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

Two scoops of rice and a small salad accompanied the teriyaki.

Regarding the yakisoba, my friend described it as tasty. His only complaint was the tofu was a little mushy, not crisp. Still, he cleared his plate.

I should note that both lunches were generously proportioned. The chicken was a large, sliced breast, big enough for a healthy appetite, or in my case, enough to take some with me for lunch the next day.

Besides the expected variations on teriyaki — chicken, beef and so on — Japan Ginger’s menu includes Asian staples, such as kung pao chicken, General Tao’s chicken, and sweet and sour chicken. Besides yakisoba, available noodle dishes include pad thai and udon noodle soup. There are tempura and bowl specials, along with fried rice that comes with your choice of veggies or meat or fish.

Japan Ginger has a few seats in front of a small sushi bar in the front of the restaurant and the sushi choices are plentiful. Again, the presentation is great as the food arrives at your table on a small, elevated wooden cutting board. The California rolls and the cucumber rolls were both very good.

In terms of décor, Japan Ginger is about what you’d probably expect: nothing fancy, but there’s nothing that detracts from the restaurant either. It’s well lit and clean, with some modest Asian decorations. The small tables could easily be moved around to accommodate a larger group.

All in all, with generous helpings and perhaps better than average sushi, Japan Ginger is a good choice for lunch or a quick dinner. Downtown Issaquah has plenty of decent places for a not-too-fancy, not-too-pricey meal. This is decidedly one of them.

Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or tcorrigan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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