Dining out: Ginza

Ginza Japanese restaurant in Northampton

Ginza Japanese restaurant in Northampton

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First impressions are important, and the entrance to Ginza brings some glitz and glamour to the Wellingborough Road.

An impressive chandelier adorns the staircase leading to the restaurant, lighting the way for diners to step inside and sample the wares of this relatively new Japanese eaterie.

We had booked for two on a Friday night, although several customers appeared to walk in and be seated without booking so it may not always be necessary.

The waiter found us a table and proceeded to take our drinks order.

Not being a connoisseur of Japanese food, we asked the waiter for some guidance on what they would recommend from the menu.

Unfortunately we had to wait for some assistance as they were called to another table, but the waiter duly returned and suggested some options for both the starter and main courses.

But before these arrived, we were presented with a bowl of soup each.

While we weren’t quite sure what it was, some research afterwards would suggest it was miso soup, a traditional Japanese soup made with stock into which softened miso paste is added.

A subtle fish flavour came through and even though we weren’t quite sure what it was, it was a good start to the evening’s proceedings.

This was soon followed by a dragon roll with eight pieces of king prawn tempura with avocado and cucumber for £10.99.

The dragon roll sees the prawn encased in a light tempura batter on a skewer surrounded by refreshing cucumber, avocado and rice.

It looked too good to eat, and also proved quite difficult to consume without the various elements falling away - but this certainly didn’t detract from how tasty it was.

Our main course was another sharing platter in the form of option C entitled Osaka from the Sushi platter section on the menu, accompanied by a side garnish and soy sauce which could be added at your discretion.

Other platters are available, including the eight-piece Sashimi or the Sakura or Yoshi platters.

These are a mixture of tuna, salmon, sweet prawn, sea bass, cuttlefish and hokkigai, a type of surf clam.

Ours was made up of eight pieces of sushi for £12.80.

The fish was beautifully presented and again, it was a bit of a guessing game but neither of us had one we didn’t like, with each morsel being fresh and delicately flavoured.

For two people who like fish, this was the perfect way to sample different seafood in its rare form.

The menu looked quite extensive, although much of it appeared to be variations on a theme.

And given the lighter nature of sushi, we still had room for dessert so asked to see the menu again but were told they only had ice cream on offer so we politely declined.

Sadly this was one of just two small things that we felt let the restaurant down.

One of the waiters came over to ask how our bottle of sauvignon blanc was, to which we said it was very nice but could have been a bit cooler.

His response surprised us a little when he said there was nothing he could do about that.

I beg to differ on this, but it didn’t really matter as it was one of just two minor points in what was a very enjoyable evening.

And we weren’t the only ones who seemed to be having a good night as the sound of laughter and chatter from what we presume to be quite a large group filtered down the stairs to where we were.

Ginza made a refreshing change from the chains, burger bars and tapas restaurants which are frequently popping up across the county.

And given our successful foray into Japanese cuisine, I quite fancy returning to try something a little more adventurous next time.

Ginza

156, Wellingborough Road

Northampton

NN1 4DU

Phone: 01604 628431

Value: Fair

Food: Very good

Service: Slightly casual, but efficient

Disabled access: May be difficult

Parking: On-street parking nearby

Total cost: £42.30

Star rating: 6/10