Serving up Southeast Asian hawker-style street food in a restaurant reminiscent of Urban Outfitters, the Ginger Street experience is anything but understated (in the best way possible).
The eclectic eatery opened this June thanks to a partnership between Michael McHenry, the restaurateur behind OAK Wood Fire Kitchen in Draper (and former Even Stevens president) and Tyler Stokes with Provisions in SLC.
“We wanted to bring the intentionality and integrity of fine dining to a fast-casual setting,” says McHenry. “We’ve brought a flavorful, inventive menu to Salt Lake City as well as an aesthetic and energy that is as spicy and vibrant as the food that we serve at the table.”
And vibrant it is—the restaurant’s logo is hot pink, a disco ball hangs from the ceiling, the servers rock multi-colored fanny packs, and at night, a DJ cranks tunes from a booth. String lights drape across the ceiling amid hanging plants and woven pendant lamps. The seating ranges from large round tables to accommodate big groups to bleacher-style seating accented with kilim pillows for those who want a quick bite.
The Pan Asian restaurant incorporates cuisine from Thailand, China, Vietnam and Singapore, while focusing on sourcing quality ingredients.
“We’re utilizing no-hormone chicken, all-natural meats, wild-caught shrimp, as much local and regional produce as we can, and organic almost all the time,” explains Stokes.
The crispy duck fresh rolls are a standout menu item, featuring duck confit rolled up in an egg roll wrapper with a mixture of cabbage, shiitake mushroom, onion, scallion, soy sauce and white pepper. After a trip to the fryer, the roll is wrapped in rice paper with shiso basil, mint and cilantro and dipped in a sesame hoisin sauce for a delightful mixture of textures and flavors.
From dandan noodles and orange chicken to pad Thai and tofu red curry, the menu at Ginger Street is inclusive for all diets, including many dishes that are naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
The eggplant chop suey is a surprisingly rich vegan option. “We take long skinny Chinese eggplants, do a quick flash fry on those and then sauté them in the wok with chilies, garlic, a little bit of oil and red bell peppers,” Stokes says. “We hit it with a prik tum (Thai chili paste) and miso paste and finish it with Thai basil over rice. It’s got great heat, and the eggplant has this fleshy butteriness that’s amazing.”
For the meat eaters, the fried chicken sandwich is a must-try. Crispy fried chicken is sandwiched in a squishy bun with a green papaya slaw, tomato, kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayo), sliced jalapeno and a heap of fresh cilantro.
Complemented by a selection of natural wines, imported and local beer, Thai teas and other Asian-inspired cocktails, Ginger Street has clearly created its own niche—and they’re sticking to it.
Round out the meal with a playful soft serve cone of vanilla bean, curry, strawberry or coconut-lime coated in Fruity Pebbles.
Ginger Street also offers a streetside “wok up” window open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“So, when you’re hopping between bars or leaving a music venue late at night, you can come up to our window and grab a spicy chicken sandwich,” says McHenry. “We don’t believe you can get the experience of Ginger Street anywhere else in Salt Lake City. It was time to bring this type of atmosphere and this culture and this dining experience to the heart of the city.”
324 S. State, SLC