Friday, June 1, 2012

Sushi With A Smile

There are a handful of places that offer sushi here in Windsor Ontario, but it seems now the trend is going to the all-you-can-eat buffets that combine an assortment of Asian food, along with a small area to enjoy a variety of sushi options. I must admit that I’ve been weary about eating sushi because if it’s not prepared right, you can get very ill. Of course, people who hear “let’s go out for sushi!” usually think that it automatically means “raw fish.” On the contrary, the word sushi translates to food that is served with vinegared rice. You can have a plethora of choices, not only seafood but meats too. When I’ve been out with friends, they’ve convinced me to have a nibble here and a nibble there, but I had never had a full meal until this year.

I’ve been intrigued at the restaurant called Ginza Sushi & Asian Cuisine, for a while now, that’s located in East Windsor on Lauzon Road. I put some of my worries aside and gave it a shot.

The way Ginza works is that you can order off the menu, or you can take advantage of the all-you-can-eat, 146 item menu!! I should note that some choices are only available for dinner, but you still have a huge amount of options left.

Indulge in California rolls, Spider rolls, Salmon handrolls, Sashimi, miso soup, beef and chicken teriyaki and tons more.

The staff are quite hospitable and extremely polite.

If you do decide to try the buffet, you get 2 different menus. The first has a numbered list with the name of each item and then a description underneath. The other piece of paper is used to check off what you’d like to order. Once you’ve decided, one of the wait staff will come by and collect the sheets.

Yep, it’s not the usual buffet-style where all the food is out. Everything at Ginza is freshly made-to-order. You can even glance over at the bar and see the sushi chefs making the Maki rolls.

Before you know it, plate after plate is arriving at your table. The portions are perfectly sized because you get to sample a little taste, even if you’ve never had it before. All dishes are nicely presented too. My only complaint is that since the atmosphere has a beautifully Asian feel to it, the sports playing on the big-screen TV’s take away a little bit of the ambience.

A couple of suggestions when you do go:

Don’t check off tons of items right off the bat, unless you know that you’re going to eat them all. Pace yourself. You can order as much as you like, so there is no rush.

The first time, I ordered way too many sushi rolls (some come in the traditional 6 pieces). This time around, I was careful choosing what I knew I could finish. Since your table will be filled with dishes before you know it, try and order the hot food first so it doesn’t get cold. Also, if you’re not keen on the seafood aspect or the smell of seaweed, don’t fret because there’s really something for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s Thai, Japanese, or Chinese.

If you’re used to the “North American” style, go for some delicious chicken balls, spring rolls or chicken fried rice. To end the meal, desserts are included, so you can feel refreshed with some tasty ice cream choices. My personal favourite is the red bean ice cream.

Since my brother lived in Japan for a year, he was well versed with most of the items. When I asked him his thoughts, he was very impressed with the quality that Ginza offered and how authentic everything tasted.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering how much a meal will set you back. The prices at Ginza for the all-you-can-eat may seem a little steep (around $13-14 for lunch/$20-22 for dinner) but well worth it.
Don’t be afraid to “roll” on over to Ginza for lunch or dinner and enjoy a wonderful meal! (Yep, a little sushi humour!)

Updated: As of 2013, I am sad to say that Ginza has closed its doors.We'll miss you Ginza!