Ginya Izakaya: Atlanta, GA, USA
Shoya Izakaya has a new sister and it’s ITP! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I met two friends here for dinner, and they literally told me it was just like Shoya. I had some moderately high expectations which, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have. One of the things that I noticed was the organization of the ramen section. They separated into types of soup which I think is great! It helps the reader distinguish between the different ramen soup bases, and is very helpful for those who aren’t so versed in ramen culture. There were also one or two new ramen dishes on the menu which I decided to try in addition to my friend’s existing orders:
- crispy chicken skin salad
- monkfish liver (ankimo)
- tuna tartare
- Nagahama Ramen
Crispy Chicken Skin Salad: literally, fried chicken skin pieces tossed in a light sesame cream based dressing on what I believe to be jicama and carrots.
- really tasty: chicken skin doesn’t have all that much flavor to it, so the dressing gave most of the taste to the dish. Think of it as chicken flavored chicharrones.
- decent quantity for a small plate
- none really except…eat it fast. The dressing makes the chicken skin soggy. I don’t mind chicken skin however way it’s done, but I want to say that the fact it’s deep fried to a crisp probably means it should be eaten crispy?
Monkfish Liver (Ankimo): traditionally prepared by de-veining, then rinsed in sake after a quick salting and steamed, I normally don’t order this dish. However, this was the second time I tried it given that it was one of my friend’s favorite.
- very smooth, super soft texture. It’s kind of like foie but not as rich.
- super easy on the palate: not overwhelming with sake or salt flavor
- fresh. Very similar to that of Shoya. I think I tend to prefer the salmon tartare over the tuna
- not melt-in-your-mouth. The tuna seemed a bit “tougher” or chewier. I’m not really sure why though, maybe a different cut or grade of tuna was used compared to the one at Shoya? Maybe this was an off night?
Shishamo: smelt fish with roe that are roasted over a hot grill. One of my favorites!
- definitely tasted like grilled smelt
- poorly done: fish skin was half ripped off meaning it stuck to the grill or the metal mesh
- missing char/soft and undercooked for a grilled fish dish: I don’t think it was left on enough or the metal wasn’t hot enough when the fish was placed.
- came out lukewarm. Hmm.
Nagahama Ramen: standard tonkatsu ramen with chasu and egg but topped with nori (seaweed) and spicy fish roe. This is the kicker. Spicy fish roe has a certain flavor to it, somewhat of a fermented taste. You have to kind of like fermented asian tastes, especially if you’re going to mix this all up in the soup. It’s not as strong once it goes into the broth, but it definitely has its own unique kick.
- pretty good ramen consistency: chewy noodles as expected from a Shoya sister branch.
- good quantity: didn’t lessen the quantity of the broth or ingredients too much. I want to say that there was a lot more soup though than Shoya, but I can’t remember if the ramen itself was less or the bowls got bigger.
- not putting in the fish roe. Seriously? I was really disappointed in this. This is the one thing that makes this ramen standout, and it wasn’t even in the ramen. I had to ask for it. Then, to make matters worse, the server/waitress didn’t even know what to do because they said they had to “check with the kitchen to see.” To see what? If the roe is indeed in the bowl or not in the bowl? I guess slapping on a scoop inside a side dish somewhat makes up for it but my foodie soul kind of took a bit of a beating with this one. This is what it’s supposed to look like after I had scooped it out and put it in my broth:
I honestly think that if you asked me, I would wait on Ginya. For one, it’s only been opened for about 2 months, and I’m sure there are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. This place definitely won’t tank, but it wasn’t great to see native Japanese people walk out without ordering anything even after they were seated. It wasn’t a crazy night either where there was a long waitlist of people. In summary it wasn’t too bad though:
- crispy chicken skin salad: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- monkfish liver (ankimo): ***.85 (3.85 stars)
- shishamo: **.85(2.85 stars)
- Nagahama Ramen: *** (3 stars)…you can’t forget the star ingredient!
Perhaps most of the patrons still want to stick with the original. I can’t blame them though given how awesome Shoya is. Still, I think it’s worth going back to if I’m in Midtown especially. Shoya is still closer to me in terms of location, but hopefully Ginya will pick up and be just as good! You can find Ginya here:
1700 Northside Drive, #A5, Atlanta, GA 30318
I’ll probably go back to give them another chance, but most likely I won’t be going anytime soon. There are quite a few kinks that need to be worked out, but it doesn’t mean I’ll write them off just yet though! Thank you so much for staying tuned. We’re trying to finish up the fall series of posts before the Winter Solstice officially begins right before Christmas. This next month or two may have a lot more recipes as I tend to cook a bit more during this time as well. Hope your Advent season started out with a bang, and I look forward to seeing you again!
© 2015 http://www.rammiegirl.com ©2015 rammiegirl.wordpress.com All Rights Reserved.