Ginza was both DH and my favorite Japanese place around the Greater Seattle Area.
We loved it because they had both great fresh raw fish and delicious cook food.
It made an easy meeting spot with friends as we could easily find a dish for everyone.
DH’s default was sushi deluxe.
Their fish and seafood were fresh and seasonal raw fish were offer nightly.
The portion was generous.
When my father came, he liked the sashimi dinner.
My favorite fish in Ginza was their saba, mackerel.
Saba was not on the top of my all time favorite sushi/sashimi fish, but Ginza’s one was.
I had encountered a lot of saba being overlooked in sushi places, often resulting in dry and mealy texture, or overly sour from vinegar.
Ginza’s saba was oily, moist and delicious.
The sweetness and the unmistakable fishy saba flavor would take over all senses.
It was as plump as fellow hamachi and it was just amazing.
Saba was an acquired taste and I knew people who just thought they were too fishy.
On my raw fish day, I usually ordered their chirashi.
I loved it for the large variety of fish and seafood in it.
Traditionally, inferior cut fish would be served in the chirashi while the top quality portion was reserved for first sashimi, then sushi.
The fish pieces in chirashi was a little smaller than sushi, but still really delicious.
Sat on top of a good size bowl of delicious sushi rice, I could easily find 10 different proteins on it: farmed salmon, wild salmon, abacore tuna, eel, egg, shrimp, octopus, clam, fatty white tuna, hamachi, saba, seared maguro, sometimes with small fish eggs, other times ikura.
I could never finish one chirashi in one go!
On the hot food side, Ginza had the usual hot food menu containing tonkatsu, yakisoba, grilled fish, tempura etc.
The most amazing was they also had another full on menu of small dishes perfect as drinking companion, izakaya style dishes.
These include fried fish cake with cheese, miso eggplant, stewed beef, stoneplate tofu or fried smelt to name a few.
One of my favorite off the izakaya menu was the matsutake dobinmushi.
This brought back nostalgic memory of having Japanese food when I was a kid in Hong Kong.
It was a rich flavored soup made in the little tea-pot, with matsutake mushroom as the primary ingredient, and often times accompanied by small shrimp, small fish piece, chicken piece and ginkgo.
The soup was savory, meaty and earthy; all the flavors blended well together and produced this light, complex yet delicate soup.
As a kid, large part of the fun was pouring soup out of the tiny little teapot and then drinking soup out of the little cup that came with it.
As adult, savoring the small little cups of soup was one of the best thing in life.
Another Ginza favorite was their pumpkin fried rice.
A whole kombucha was used with the pumpkin meat gutted out and fried with rice, shrimps, bacon and aromatics.
It was a sweet fried rice which was delicious and filling.
It was not the Cantonese style drier fried rice but it was still really good!
Last, I loved their chawanmushi.
The smoothest steam egg to have!
The aroma of savory dashi and egg was tempting and the egg was very soft and addictive!
As I dug into the egg, there was a clam, shrimp and fish cake, like little treasures at the bottom of the cup — the seafood brought in unique flavors to the steamed egg.
It was so delicate as if it would break if I shook it too hard.
I made Chinese style steamed egg at home and knew that it was difficult to make ones that was smooth, soft and perfect.
It was a pleasure!
After their expansion about a year ago, they also had an area for yakiniku, grilled meats.
I still had not tried that yet and will one day!