Red Ginger

I had what was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had in the Salem/Keizer area this afternoon.

I had heard of Red Ginger before, but this was my first time going there, I expected it to look like most other Thai restaurants in the area tend to look. I was dead wrong. The interior was inviting and tranquil.

The current specials are listed on a board when you first walk in and I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback at first by the prices on the specials board. I understood that it was a nicer Thai restaurant but didn't really want to spend over $13.00 per dish since it was kind of just an early dinner for us and not a date night. After being seated, I was much relieved to find that the menu was very reasonable.

Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuine. He was welcoming and not at all overbearing like a lot of waiters can be.

I ordered the red curry with fried tofu and my friend had the yellow curry with fried tofu and a Thai iced tea. On the more expensive end of their menu they have a really tasty sounding collection of seafood items, but if you are vegetarian or if you don't choose seafood, the prices are about the same as any other Thai place, but the atmosphere and food are much better.

The curries came and were beautifully presented. It has been a while since I've had Thai food on a table with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, and mood lighting.

Our food was delicious. It was super flavorful and not too spicy. They put in lots of fresh ingredients and generous portions of tofu, veggies, and Thai basil. The rice was perfect. I tried to think of a single thing that I didn't like about my experience and couldn't think of a single one. I don't remember the last time that has happened.

Their portions are extremely generous and after my meal, I still had enough for another lunch tomorrow.

This would be a great place go on a date, or even just for lunch. Just don't try to go between lunch and dinner on a weekday, because they are closed, but are open the entire day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Stop in and give it a try, it'll probably end up being your favorite too.


Nate Rafn said...

Nice pictures.

I've eaten at Red Ginger only once, but I really enjoyed it. I hope they succeed there.

Chuck Bradley said...

This is, in my opinion, the best Thai Restaurant in Salem/Keizer with the Thai Lotus (also in Keizer) running a close second.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Red Ginger is wonderful! We don't get out to that end of town (aka Keizer) often enough. The owners are wonderful people, I always feel warmly welcomed here; the portions are insane, prices are right, food is amazing! Fresh, expertly prepared, great presentation. It's definitely cozier and more elegant than other Thai restaurants in the area. If you haven't beenyet, you need to go! Try the pumpkin curry! -guitar4me

Anonymous said...

I'm actually writing a letter to the owner today because we had our worst dining experience to date at Red Ginger. It took about 15 minutes to get our menus but were able to order quickly- we didn't dare lose the waiter's attention. We watched as three other tables that arived after us get their drinks before us. I asked twice for our drinks and then they brought us the wrong wine- they tried arguing with me and I know the difference between red and white, it's pretty obvious. Then an hour later (literally, we timed it on our phones) my husband got his dinner and we waited for mine to arrive so we could eat together. Again, after several minutes we started timing them. At eight minutes I went to the counter and waited another three minutes and showed the owner our stop watch that we were at 11 minutes with my husband's meal at the table and mine no where to be seen and no information from our server where my meal was at. I told her we were leaving and she tried charging us for everything. I paid for the wine and plan on writing a letter to the owner, our local newspaper and a local food critic of our service. Poor service, poor follow through with our complaint and strong lack of management.

DeeDeeDiner said...

Sorry you had such an unfortunate experience---it sounds like an aberration from anything I've ever experienced at Red Ginger.

I guess I'm not sure what you hope to achieve from the owner. She and her sister have usually been the ones in the restaurant cooking & waiting tables. (You probably scared them to death with the stopwatch ---Thais are notoriously adverse to confrontation :-)

These are genuinely nice people who have been trying hard to make a go of it.

Instead of taking your anger out so publicly (writing the newspaper/food critic) for a situation I think we've all probably experienced, I hope maybe you're able to chalk it up to an "off" night---and maybe a new/inexperienced waiter?).

Just my $00.02

Anonymous said...

I encourage you to wait for the owner's reply to your letter before taking this public (at least, more public than it's already become, here). I believe they will do everything they can to make it right. Your experience was unfortunate, and out-of-the-ordinary for this place. Give them a chance to right it before taking action that could harm their business permanently. For you, it was one night that was spoiled. For them it could be the difference in the business that they need to keep their doors open.