Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Revisiting Gina's Chinese Kitchen and Sushi Bar.

FRIED JOY:  Agedashi Tofu and more at Ginas
  • FRIED JOY: Agedashi Tofu and more at Gina's
Gina’s Chinese Kitchen and Sushi Bar. Last time they were still relatively new out in the Highway 10 location. I found myself in the area and thought it might be time to check up on the place.
I wasn’t looking for anything heavy… just a light midday meal to share before getting about the work of the evening. I’m quite happy to say, this was a good idea.
My dining companion and I decided to split a Dinner Roll Combo ($15.95), which came with soup and salad. My companion tried the excellent mushroom soup on my advice — a full bodied full mushroom flavor suspended in a chicken broth. I felt the need for the peanut dressing on the house salad something fierce.
We split a couple of appetizers. The quite excellent Crab Rangoon ($5) was a must… and just as good as the first time I’d had it. Unlike the overly sweetened cream cheese filled triangles found at other Asian restaurants, Gina’s takes care to actually pack a decent amount of crabmeat into their wonton wrappers, folding them carefully over and deep frying them, serving them up with an almost preserve-like duck-style sauce. My companion preferred his without; I like a little dip of that sauce with my Rangoon and with the crispy rice noodles that came with the soup.
An even better reception was for the other appetizer, the Agedashi Fried Tofu ($4.95). I’m a fried tofu fan but my dining companion hadn’t had it before. Gina’s cubes its tofu and lightly batters it before deep-frying it ever so lightly, serving it up with a bento-flake flavored hoisin sauce. That sauce is rich and thick, a little sweet but more savory and delightful with the creamy-crispy consistency of the tofu. A winner.
We’d chosen three rolls with our Dinner Roll Combo — a Spicy Salmon Roll, a Crunchy Crab Roll and the Volcano Roll. Most places around these parts put the nori (the seaweed wrapper) on the outside of the Volcano Roll before tempura battering and deep frying it. Gina’s does not, and the roll comes out delicate and tender.
The Spicy Salmon Roll was a lovely surprise — not too hot but with a decent pack of heat to qualify for spicy. The Crunchy Crab roll was sufficiently crunchy
There were ten pieces to the Volcano Roll and eight each for the other two — plenty of pieces to divide amongst the two of us. Between the rolls and the appetizers we could not finish.
I’m quite pleased with how well Gina’s has held up in the new location. The quality has remained consistent and the service is still great. That, and the green tea is so greeeeeeeeeen.
You’ll find Gina’s Chinese Kitchen and Sushi Bar at 14524 Cantrell Road (Highway 10), just before you get out to Taylor Loop. They’re open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (501) 868-7775 or check out the website.

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