Top Chef Travels: Ming Tsai's Boston
Ming Tsai has made a name for himself as the premier chef of East-West cuisine. As owner and chef of Wellesley-based Blue Ginger restaurant and Fort Point Channel–based Blue Dragon restaurant, author of five cookbooks, and host of cooking show Simply Ming, Ming Tsai artfully showcases the fusion of Eastern and Western culinary techniques.
Q: Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Boston?
A: Uni and Clio. When Clio opened, it took Boston by storm. Clio is fine dining—white tablecloths and the whole nine yards. If my parents were in town and it was a holiday, I'd go to Clio. But Uni is very unconventional. There's no sushi rice, so it's a sashimi bar and 90% of the menu is raw. Ken Oringer gets pristine fish from Japan, and uni (or sea urchin) is one of his signature products.
Q: What other restaurants in Boston do you like?
A: I love Toro, another one of Ken's restaurants. It features some of the best tapas around. The corn on the cob is to die for. For the best sushi, there's Oishii. Chef Ting Yen's dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious. A tried-and-true favorite in Chinatown is Gourmet Dumpling House. I can't go too long without having their Sliced Fish Szechwan style. It's for those not afraid of heat! And Blue Ribbon is an all-time favorite with their authentic Southern BBQ recipes. Also, there's my pal Tiffany Faison's Sweet Cheeks in Fenway—her approach is Texas-style and it's delicious.
Q: Tell us about Blue Ginger. What can people expect when dining there?
A: It's very casual. I mean we have people who come in tuxes and people who come in shorts. It's an open kitchen—the entertainment, action, the feel, the smells are all in the restaurant.
Q: And what about Blue Dragon, your newest venture?
A: The tapas-style menu features an East-West twist on classic pub favorites, like panko-crusted fish-and-chips with black vinegar aioli. There's just one dessert—a spoonable, warm deep-dish chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and soy caramel drizzle. People seem to talk about that—a lot.
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