Andrea’s View: So I’m not really sure why Dave and I have never written about Wild Ginger on 116th Street, we’ve eaten here many times and it fits the parameters of our blog. Local, family-owned, and ethnic. Because I work in Fishers I am always asked if Wild Ginger is any good. I always reply, “Yes, it’s really good, my husband and I have eaten there often, and I get carry-out from them for lunch quite a bit.” So why have we never written about this place? I really don’t know.
Of course on this visit, I ordered sushi. But this time I ordered two sushi rolls that I normally would not ever order. I ordered the spider roll, a soft-shell crab roll with tempura batter and cucumber, and a firecracker roll, a roll with spicy tuna stuffed inside a jalapeno with spicy mayo on top. I also went back and forth on whether I should order a couple of pieces of nigiri, and I finally settled on the super white tuna. I am glad I did, it was really the only thing on my platter that I really enjoyed. And this is not Wild Ginger’s fault. The rolls I ordered were rolls that I would not normally order for a reason. They just don’t suit my taste. The crab was good, but I don’t care for the difference in temperature of the fried crab with the cold rice and cucumber. The spicy mayo on the firecracker roll was a definite turn off, and I really could have done without so much jalapeno. Next time, if I want spicy tuna, I’ll just order a spicy tuna roll, one of my favorites.
Another thing I love about Wild Ginger is their dedication to wine. They have a lovely wine list, and they serve their wines in specific, over-sized Riedel glasses. These particular (and expensive) glasses do add to the nose, bouquet, and taste of the wine that you order. It makes for a very pleasant wine drinking experience. It’s a nice touch in a restaurant of nice touches that I always forget about until someone asks me about it.
Dave’s View: Okay, so I ordered soup for the second time consecutively on a food adventure and I usually hate soup. Chicken Soba Soup at Wild Ginger on 116th Street in Fishers, Indiana is the bowl of liquid that stood there on the table waiting for me to delve into its flavor. When you look at the description of the soup on the menu, it states that the noodle soups are prepared in traditional Japanese style and may take an acquired taste. So I stare at my traditional Japanese soup on the table and I ask it, “Are you going to taste like ass?” Because if there is a disclaimer on the menu, it makes me not want to order it. But on the other hand, I might have that magical “acquired taste” that everybody is waning for. That taste that propels you into another soup dimension. The Chicken Soba Soup waited silently not asking any questions, not answering any questions. “I’m waiting”, said the soup. I take my chop sticks and grab some chicken and some noodles. Plop, right back in the soup. “Damn it”, I say, I’m an American with chop sticks. I calm myself down and try again. This time I have success and all I can say is:
Holy Crap, I just ate the head of a fish! The broth of this soup is heavy on fish sauce. When they made the disclaimer on the menu about the soup, it should have stated an acquired taste for fish in liquid form. You will be put off by the taste on the first try, but on the second time, you’ll be fine. It’s an excellent soup with tender pieces of chicken with broccoli and what Andrea called, “radishes”. The item floating in my soup looked like a radish, but when eaten had a rubbery texture. Unusual, but pleasant. A fine soup that everyone should try when they don’t want the usual Sushi.
The inside of the place has a very modern American Japanese appeal to it. From the outside you wouldn’t think that, but once inside, it’s a simple architectural design that is pleasing to the eyes. One side of the restaurant has a room divided with French doors to give you an intimate feel to it. Attached to it somewhat, is a see-thru glass room with a large quantity of wines. If you’re a wine lover, they have an attractive selection of wines served in Riedels.
The service here is slow and condescending. I mispronounced my beer, Asahi. It was a long day and I was tired. The server didn’t understand, she was an American, and I had to point to the menu. It was my fault, I mispronounced it. I take full responsiblity, but what I don’t take credit for is the second time I ordered my beer. “Would you like an Asahi beer?” Not would you like another beer, like most servers would ask. I know it’s petty, but you had to be there. It was like my second grade teacher teaching me how to say the word “truck”, but that’s not what came out. You know what came out of my mouth?
Food: 9 Ambiance: 9 Service: 5 Total: 23 out of 30
$50-$60 with adult beverages.
Note: As of July 8th, 2014, the tree outside was cut down. Why? We do not know. Quite sad.