Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wild Ginger Thai

2201 Savoy Dr. Atlanta, GA www.wildginger-restaurant.com

A week or so ago my grandmother and I had dinner at Wild Ginger, which is located on the access road beside I-285 near the Chamblee-Dunwoody exit.

The menu is pretty extensive and contains lots of great options - soups, salads, tempura, fried rice, noodles, curries, chicken, shrimp, desserts, etc. There's an interesting section called "Thai with a Twist" which features entrees like ginger flounder and sweet herb talay. There is also a separate sushi menu.

Although I had a difficult time choosing between the many offerings, I finally went with the jungle curry, simply because I'd never heard of it. Jungle curry ($10.95) has chicken with bamboo shoots, basil leaves, carrots, green peas, green bell pepper and eggplant in a spicy herb "soup." I put soup in quotes because your rice will basically absorb the broth, but don't worry, this won't detract from the flavor one bit. This is a delicious, spicy (but not mouth-numbingly spicy) curry. You'll get lots of fresh basil, and the eggplant is a great inclusion. It's an interesting alternative to the usual green, red, yellow or masaman curries.

My grandmother ordered the pineapple fried rice ($9.95, contains chicken). This is exactly what you'd expect, with a little unexpected, tart fruit. The pineapple is cut into small chunks, so it's not overwhelming. You'll also taste yellow curry powder and enjoy some crunchy cashews. It's a tropical delight.

We ended with some green tea ice cream. If you're unfamiliar with this popular Thai flavor, green tea is a subtle, divine ice cream. It's not too sweet, not too anything but good. Our ice cream was served in a tall glass parfait dish with 2 spoons. Who doesn't like that?

The decor is actually kind of cool. There are random blue panels in the ceiling, bright red tableware and a small sushi bar. Tables aren't too close together for comfort, and plenty of room to put them together if you have a large group. And there were a couple of large groups, both Asian (always a great sign in an Asian restaurant), on the night when we dined at Wild Ginger.

Finally, the service is dynamite. Smiling and attentive waitstaff and a friendly manager who can and will fully answer any questions you have about the menu. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this place, especially the food.

Verdict: A nice surprise off of Chamblee-Dunwoody. I'll definitely return.

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