Charlotte Food Blogger Tasting at Red Ginger

You know those restaurants where they create giant fireballs on the flattop grills right in front of you? Where they make onion volcanos and throw shrimp into the mouths of the strangers dining with you? I love those places. Hibachi restaurants were a treat for us when I was growing up, and they’ll always have a special place in my heart. So, I was very excited to hear that a new sushi and hibachi restaurant opened up in town.

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I was even more happy when Red Ginger offered to do a blogger tasting event for some of us local food bloggers.

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Red Ginger is located uptown (aka downtown) in Charlotte, NC next to The Green. Since the weather was so pretty, I decided to snap a few shots in The Green before heading over. It’s so nice to have this colorful, little spot in the middle of the gray and silver of the corporate buildings towering above.

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Red Ginger offered up a variety of their best dishes for us to sample.

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I loved their calamari – firm bites with a crispy-crunchy outside. It’s silly, I guess, but I liked how the calamari were shaped in rings. I don’t normally order calamari at restaurants, but I’d be willing to share a plate of these with hubby, who really enjoys them.

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The Crispy Duck Roll was probably my least favorite of the night, mostly because I’m just not a duck fan. There were slivers of duck on the inside, a soft wrapper on the outside, and a dollop of a sweet brown sauce on top. I thought the outside would be a little more crisp because of the name, but the dish was still a winner with the other food bloggers in attendance.

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In contrast, I love shrimp. Besides chicken and steak, it’s one of my favorite non-veg proteins, and it’s definitely my favorite seafood. These Rock Shrimp were crunchy on the outside and tossed in some sort of sweet, almost creamy sauce. I must admit, I’m not sure I would have ever ordered this before since I usually stick to my favorites, but now that I’ve sampled it, I absolutely would. This was actually probably my favorite appetizer of the night.

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Food blogger in action!

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Here’s the tempura appetizer – a mix of shrimp and vegetables. I sampled the onion, which was great – nice and classic tempura.

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Pictured above is the coconut shrimp. These guys looked delicious, but I didn’t sample this one this time around. Coconut shrimp is something I’d normally order off of almost any menu, so I’ll just have to get one next time.

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With that, we moved on to the sushi! This is the sashimi bowl. Isn’t it beautiful? The presentation at Red Ginger is gorgeous on all plates, but this one stole the show. I’ve never seen sashimi presented like this before.

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Next, the sushi rolls showed up. Here’s the Leap Roll: Spicy salmon, white tuna, yellow tail, crunchy masago (salmon egg), special sauce. Yum!

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This is why a food blogger should always take multiple photos of a plate. I goofed and took only one, and of course, it was blurry. Oops! I wanted to share the photo anyways because this was my favorite of the sushi rolls – Cherry blossom: Soy paper (pink), Spicy tuna, Avocado, Shrimp tempura. I look forward to ordering this one again in the future! This roll tasted as good as it looked, and I liked the playful presentation.

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The last roll was closest to the type of sushi roll I’d normally order, so I definitely enjoyed this one – Pink Floyd: Spicy crab, Shrimp tempura, Soy paper, Avocado on top, Crunchy masago, Tobiko (fish egg).

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And we got to enjoy one last appetizer sample – a classic for me – potstickers! Always a favorite in my family.

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I was impressed to learn they make their ginger dressing in house. I love this stuff!

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And another favorite of mine was offered for dessert – mochi! Love love love this stuff, and we got to sample three flavors. I went for the red bean (bottom right of the above photo).

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{Fabulous food bloggers and our new friend, Don}

Overall, I had a great experience at the tasting event and had a blast meeting some new, local food bloggers. I was impressed by the quality of Red Ginger’s food and attention to detail. They do have hibachi options that you can order from regular tables or the classic flat top, family-style tables at both lunch and dinner. If you want to go on a romantic date or girls’ night out, you could have a great night uptown, starting with dinner at Red Ginger. They even do free valet after 6pm (according to their web site). And here’s some more info…

Weekly specials:

M – $3 DRAFTS

T – 1/2 PRICE BOTTLES OF WINE

W – 1/2 OFF REGULAR SUSHI ROLLS

R – $5 FRUIT MARTINI

F – $5 SAKE BOMB / SAKE MARTINIS

S – $3 DRAFTS, $5 COSMOS, MAITAIS, AND LONG ISLANDS

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Thank you Mary for coordinating this fun and tasty event, and thank you Red Ginger for having us!

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Disclaimer: Yes, the food and drinks were provided for the sampling event free of charge, but they also told us bloggers to be honest in our post, which I was going to be already. ;) The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Comments

  1. says

    How fun! Hibachi holds a special place in my family’s hearts since both of my brothers have worked for Benihana’s. All the food from Red Ginger looks delicious! AND OMGOSH mochi?!?! I’m currently obsessed with mochi ice cream, specifically the green tea kind. Have you tasted? They’re divine!

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