Ginger by the Park is one of the longest standing ‘foreign restaurant’ in Shanghai.
I believe I first passed by it some, 11 years ago when I first landed in Shanghai. I noticed that they served modern Singaporean cuisine, but didn’t make much of it since I was still ‘fresh off the boat’ in Shanghai from Singapore.
Fastforward 11 years later, I had finally visited and tried the food at Ginger by the Park.
Ginger is owned by Betty, a Singaporean whom had spent most of her life abroad, before finally settling in Shanghai. Her restaurant, Ginger by the Park is a collection of her favourite food from all over the world, I suppose so she could eat them anytime she want — always a good reason for opening a restaurant.
This is not a formal review since Rachel Gouk and I went for an impromptu lunch to complete a Shanghai laksa crawl, hence it will simply be an Eating Now article.
Bun cha (RMB 108)
Caramelised Iberico Pork Collar, Rice Vermicelli, Lettuce, Herbs, Chilli & Lime.
The pork collar had the perfect balance of fat and muscle, marinated well and was grilled to a nice smokey char.
The pork was so delicious I resisted wrapping it in the lettuce in fears of diluting its flavours.
Singapore Laksa (RMB 108)
King prawns, fish cakes, tofu puffs, egg, coconut milk.
The laksa was actually quite decent. Slightly spicy, very lemak (Malay for rich/savoury) and had 2 really good quality prawns. They even had a good sprinkle of fresh laksa leaves.
Down sides? I really don’t get where the cucumber in laksa came from. Toastbox has it too. However, no laksa in Singapore is served with cucumber in it. In my experience, only Malaysian assam laksa has cucumber in it.
Secondly, 108rmb is quite a lot for a bowl of laksa, albeit a decent bowl with decent ingredients. Still.. 108 rmb.
It’s a decent bowl of laksa when you are seriously craving for it. Perhaps ask to omit cucumber in yours. Sadly due to its price, it’s not a bowl one would succumb to every week.
Steamed Black Cod (RMB 268)
Lemon grass, ginger, calamansi, chilli, yak basil garlic onigiri.
A very peculiar presentation. Black cod steamed in a jar, served with a side of glutinous rice. The cod was actually very good, with a strong thai kick from lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and chilli.
It was just slightly over seasoned though, and at times, a little tricky to extract pieces of the fish from the jar. The soup, while slightly salty, would have been wonderful on some white rice.
The accompanying ‘nigiri’ was actually a glutinous rice that more resembled a cantonese style lor mai fun. It had very strong flavours of garlic and a certain smoked meat.
I felt that the flavours of the glutinous rice together with the lovely Cod were fighting against each other for the top place on the tongue instead of complementing each other.
Everything Ginger (RMB 65)
Flourless ginger cake, candied ginger, ginger ice cream and ginger jam.
I was urged by my dining companion to order this dessert, especially since I had not tried it before. I was glad I did. If you love the taste of ginger, this would rock your world. If you don’t, kindly step around and move on.
This dessert is like the diva of all ginger desserts. It had all the lovely ginger notes from the ice cream to the cake, but none of the strong spicy kick — a good thing. Every component shone on its own, while also complementing one another on the plate. Definitely worth a trip to try.
So that sums up this little lunch at Ginger by the Park.
It’s a neat cozy spot in the Former French Concession in Shanghai, with a lovely roof top terrace. Jenny, the restaurant manager has a big bubbly personality.
Give Ginger a try, and let me know what you think!