January 22, 2018
Arts & Entertainment
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  • The rocky shrimp were large and succulent, tucked under a crispy breading and doused generously with a sauce that was thick and sweet with a kick of spice.
    Photo by Shelley Allen
    The rocky shrimp were large and succulent, tucked under a crispy breading and doused generously with a sauce that was thick and sweet with a kick of spice.
  • The sweetheart roll was very sweet but also smoky-tasting with a lot of texture. Crunchy mango, creamy avocado, smoked salmon and sticky rice together made this a great combo.
    Photo by Shelley Allen
    The sweetheart roll was very sweet but also smoky-tasting with a lot of texture. Crunchy mango, creamy avocado, smoked salmon and sticky rice together made this a great combo.
  • The crème brulee was ultra-soft and smooth with a crunchy, caramelized top.
    Photo by Shelley Allen
    The crème brulee was ultra-soft and smooth with a crunchy, caramelized top.

Ginza Sushi Offers Outstanding Food In A Chic Setting

Shelley Allen
Shelley Allen's picture
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January 10, 2018

There’s a new restaurant in Severna Park, ladies and gentlemen, and you’re going to want to check it out on your next hot date or ladies night out. Ginza Sushi, located in the new Magothy Gateway Shopping Center, offers a sleek setting, a friendly and capable staff, and out-of-this-world (or at least out-of-this-country) sushi.

I dined at Ginza with my husband and kids on a freezing Sunday afternoon in December. The rainbow of softly glowing colors around the bar and ceiling immediately created an exciting atmosphere. The restaurant had just reopened for the day (the hours are broken up, with the restaurant open for lunch at 11:00am, closing at 2:30pm, and reopening from 4:00pm-11:00pm), and several tables were already filled with patrons, including a large family enthusiastically watching a football game on the screens overtop the bar. The restaurant is split into two parts — a bar on one side with sushi chefs busily prepping at the far end, and a restaurant with one row of tables and a row of booths on the other side. We took our seats at a booth and didn’t have to wait long before our friendly waitress showed up to take our orders.

The waitress was helpful with suggestions about popular appetizers. As true Marylanders, we had to opt for something from the sea, so we went for the rocky shrimp. I normally go for grilled shrimp to avoid the greasiness that usually accompanies deep-fried food, but Ginza managed to create a fried shrimp with a creamy sauce that really doesn’t take away from the shrimp taste or sit in my stomach like a brick. I was wowed by the size of the shrimp right away — large and succulent, tucked under a crispy breading and doused generously with a sauce that was thick and sweet and delivered a kick of spice at the end. Really good stuff — it was rich, but not overwhelming, and I had to make myself stop eating.

There is a wide variety of sushi to choose from at Ginza. My husband likes the spicier stuff and I like the sweet-and-savory options, so we chose a sweetheart roll, a Godzilla roll, a Maryland roll, and, of course, a Ginza roll. We also ordered Philly rolls for the kids and were pleased that the manager came out to reassure us about some food allergy issues (the restaurant is gluten-sensitive).

The presentation of the sushi alone made me want to give them a standing ovation. The sushi was colorful and beautifully arranged with sauces and flowers on a massive plate.

I hesitate to make definitive statements when I write reviews, but I have to give it to Ginza: This was the best sushi I have eaten so far in my life.

The sweetheart roll was very sweet but also smoky-tasting (think Hawaii meets Japan) with a lot of texture. Crunchy mango, creamy avocado, smoked salmon and sticky rice together make this a great combo. I will say that the sweetheart roll might be a touch too sweet if you don’t mix it with some soy sauce and wasabi, but, if you prefer sweeter entrees (which I do), you will love this dish.

The Godzilla roll didn’t make us breathe fire, but we were doing a little deep breathing with this spicy delight. The roll is crunchy tempura on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, and jam-packed with spicy tuna, crunchy scallions and a blend of daring spices. A flavorful sauce is drizzled over the whole roll. It has a strong tuna taste, so be sure that this fish is a favorite of yours before ordering. If you like your food with a little kick, however, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this one.

The Maryland roll really surprised me — it’s totally different from every other Maryland roll I’ve ever had! The roll is wrapped in a soft soybean wrapper instead of seaweed and paired with white rice, deep-fried crab, white tuna, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado and mango. So many flavors and so little time to gobble them all up! The strong fishy undertones of the roll were balanced beautifully by the notes of sweet fruit and creamy avocado. The real show-stealer, however? An apple chili sauce served on the side. I’ve not been to a lot of sushi restaurants with special sauces beyond soy sauce, but it’s one of the signatures of this place. It definitely works for this roll.

Finally, we had the Ginza roll. This roll bears the restaurant’s name for a reason; it’s the most flavorful roll that we had the pleasure of trying. Like its namesake, the Ginza roll is colorful but classy, a blend of delectable cream cheese and avocado, crunchy kani tempura, smoked salmon and a sesame soybean roll wrapper. This roll also featured a special sauce that was hard to identify, but it was both sweet and tangy, and it added an extra layer of flavor to a dish already bursting with flavor. This was my favorite roll of all.

The dessert menu was more extensive than most sushi restaurants I’ve been to, with options such as cheesecake, crème brulee, red velvet cake, and more. We chose the crème brulee to share between us as we were already quite stuffed, and we ordered both of our kids a sundae with chocolate sauce. The crème brulee was soft and smooth with a crunchy, caramelized top.

The only downside to Ginza is the price tag — for eight sushi rolls (five of which were specialty rolls), a small soup, the rocky shrimp, a few soft drinks and dessert, the total was $124 without tip. We got a variety of choices, however, and it would be easy to stay well under $100 on a nice date while splitting a few rolls with your companion. There are also great happy hour deals if you want to stop by for drinks or appetizers.

If you’re a local sushi connoisseur, you owe it to yourself to try Ginza.


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