2007-01-10 / Restaurant of the Week

Ginza Offers Japanese Fusion

31-31 Steinway St. Astoria 718-278-6656
by Teresa Barile

I n the heart of the

S t e i n w a y

Street shopping

district lies Ginza Japanese Fusion Restaurant. This sleek, modern restaurant boasts a sparkling sushi bar near the entrance, aquamarine walls, soft lighting and pretty tables. The cool, aqua interior evokes a feeling of being under the ocean, and what better place to find the absolutely freshest, sushi-quality fish and seafood for a healthy and beautifully prepared meal.

The two expert sushi chefs are surgically precise as they cut, roll and present edible art in the form of sushi, sashimi and an array of tantalizing rolls for you to enjoy. In addition, the chefs behind the kitchen doors prepare steak, chicken and shrimp dishes cooked in minutes on the sizzling hibachi grill. Already, an enthusiastic clientele is becoming hooked on the fresh, delicious fish, seafood and steak served here. Ginza is a great place for groups of friends or family members to dine together and share all the wonderful dishes offered.

Start with individual appetizers such as seared tuna sliced paper thin and served with a zesty pepper sauce ($8). Balsamic hamachi is made from the freshest yellowtail tuna and served with mixed greens and balsamic dressing, served in a beautiful bowl. Haru maki are delicate Japanese spring rolls that melt in your mouth in seconds. Two can easily share skewers of satay, served with Indonesian fried rice and peanut sauce. Gyozas are delicate dumplings stuffed with pork or vegetables and served with a tangy dipping sauce ($4). Adults and children alike will enjoy crisp tempura shrimp or vegetables. A variety of Asian soups and salads is served with entrées.

I highly recommend the sushi and sashimi combo to share. This gleaming white platter holds several sashimi, five pieces of the chef's sushi creations and a tuna roll, all of which are so fresh they taste as if they jumped out of the ocean moments before. The shaved ginger and sinus-clearing wasabi bring out all the wonderful flavors of the fish. The presentation is picture-perfect as well. Special rolls with novelty names such as the Astoria roll, Queens roll and Rainbow roll are all made with special ingredients and sold individually for dinner or lunch. Lunch specials are available for $8 and up. Ginza will also deliver to your home or office.

Ginza's skilled hibachi chefs perform magic in the kitchen with fresh ingredients including shrimp, prime steak and filet mignon, chicken, vegetables and noodles. Hibachi entrées run from $17 to $26 and include soup, hibachi fried rice and salad with a fragrant ginger dressing. Tender scallops are seared to golden sweetness and shrimp burst with flavor, right off the grill. The filet mignon and lobster combo can't be beat. You'll also find on the menu classic teriyaki beef, chicken, salmon or shrimp. Grilled sea bass topped with an aromatic garlic sauce is a treat ($15). Udon and whole-wheat soba noodles are sautéed with your choice of meat or vegetables and are great for slurping. There's even a children's meal at a reasonable price. Hibachi tables will soon be installed on the second floor of the restaurant so that guests can see the spectacle of hibachi cooking as it happens. For now, all the preparation is done in the

kitchen.

Though we were stuffed already, our kind waitress insisted we choose a trio of ice cream flavors from selections that included strawberry, chocolate, green tea or red bean. A variety of teas and soft drinks are currently offered while Ginza's management waits for the restaurant's liquor license to be approved. You shouldn't wait to visit Ginza, where you can find the freshest sushi and sashimi and hibachi dishes. The service is fast and courteous and the food is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

Ginza is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with daily lunch specials from $8 and free delivery. Ginza's hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends. Ginza is a great place for couples, families and friends to find a great meal at a reasonable price. Credit cards are accepted.

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