January 27th, 2010

Ginger Exchange, Cambridge

Ginger Exchange is the new occupant of the space that can’t seem to sustain a restaurant in Inman Square. It is best described as “trendy pan-Asian”, and the most generous thing I can say is that some of it was okay.

We went with R’s parents on Friday night. The restaurant was packed but we managed to snag two high top tables in the bar area. We started with the XXX platter, their rendition  of a pupu platter with Thai spring rolls, potstickers, chicken wings, shrimp tempura, and edamame. Everything but the edamame was heavy and greasy, and the wings were sticky sweet, and not in a good way.

Lenore got the beef teriyaki platter; the meat was overcooked and the sauce was too sweet. My udon noodle soup was fine, as was R’s coconut curry pho, but cheaper and better versions can be found at the Porter exchange or the 88 food court. I liked Skip’s entrée the best; his Drunkard noodles were reminiscent of a spicy chow fun.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Asian desserts suck. R, who lives for dessert, did not even want any. If it was up to me, I would have cut my losses at that dismal meal and gone next door for some ice cream at Christina’s, but no, R’s parents wanted dessert. As bad as Asian desserts are, fusion Asian desserts are even worse. Note to restaurants; putting green tea ice cream on a dry chocolate cake does not count as “Asian”, nor does filling spring roll wrappers with sweet cream cheese and frying them. The cheesecake roll was greasy and flaccid.

Service was slow and inattentive; we had to flag down a server for everything; menus, water, food. Hopefully the next restaurant in that space will be better.