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Review: Ginza Japanese Restaurant, Greenwich

Published 14 April 2010

I went into Ginza a little sceptical but came out feeling deliciously revitalised. Those in the know, know about this fabulous Japanese restaurant called Ginza. The décor was tantalising, intricate and gorgeous, and it’s so easy to forget that you are in South-East London. One could almost be in Japan.

We started of with hot and cold sake and an unexpected but welcomed small complimentary cucumber, seaweed and crabstick salad. After having hot sake for the first time, I have come to the conclusion that you haven’t really lived until you have had a taste of one of Japan’s finest exports. The appetizer salad came with pickled ginger and fresh Wasabi, and although it was very simple it was also very tasty. Next up was the Prawn and Vegetable Tempura. The batter was tantalisingly light, the prawns were juicy and generous whilst the sweet potato and aubergine added to the flavour.

The relaxing and calm ambiance of the restaurant made the whole dining experience that little more special and therapeutic. We decided upon the house wine, which we were stunned by, as it is not often that you get French Cabernet Sauvignon as a house wine. At £13 a bottle it was simply scrumptious. As a pescetarian myself, this restaurant was heaven and I felt spoilt for choice. The sushi menu was truly inclusive and seeing the fresh fish on display in the open kitchen was reassuring of the quality. In the end I had the grilled cuttlefish and boiled rice for the main course. Simultaneously chargrilled in flavour and crispy, the cuttlefish was fresh, beautiful and bursting with flavour, which complimented well with the plain rice. My only complaint would be, is that plain noodles were not on the menu as a side order.

My boyfriend went for the Chicken Teriyaki Rice Box and was pleasantly impressed with the tenderness and crispiness of the chicken. For dessert, we had the Green Tea Ice Cream, which was distinctive but delicious. It tasted exactly of green tea, with a nice chalky chocolate after taste.

Everything about Ginza is right. Thinking that it was the end of the meal, we were pleasantly surprised to be given free wasabi peas right at the end. By the end of the meal, I was left with the impression that someone had given careful deliberation into every aspect of Ginza, from the portion sizes to the elaborate execution of the dishes- which makes all the difference. The overall bill was £61, which was more than worth it. Upon leaving Ginza, my boyfriend made a pledge that he would be going back in a week’s time.

Friendly and polite, the service was fantastic. The owners mingled with the customers as old friends do and the waitresses were admirably attentive. Admittedly I was initially cynical about this restaurant but by the end of my meal I was a Ginza convert. This Japanese restaurant is going places. Not the easiest to get to but if you give it a chance, you will get a rich and unique taste of Japan without having to get on a plane.

Cuisine: Japanese, with hot courses as well as cold dishes like sushi and sashimi
Address: Ginza Japanese Restaurant, 139 Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 0RJ
Booking/Reservation Tel: 020 8269 2833
Website: www.ginzajapaneserestaurant.co.uk

Editor’s Tip: Ginza do a dinner Japanese buffet from 6:30pm till 10pm on Sundays, costing only £17.99 per person. While we haven’t tried it yet, if it includes a wide range of dishes such as sushi, sashimi, and main courses, it would be very good value and one of the rare few authentic Japanese buffets in London.

Article written by Paula Pennant.