Tag Archives: sushi

Eating Nice at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas

Ginger and Spice in Marble Falls, TexasGinger and Spice on Foodio54

Ginger & Spice on Urbanspoon

It’s a goofy headline, but it’s true. You will eat nice at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas. If you dig Thai and sushi, Ginger & Spice fits the bill. As you know, Thai and sushi are two of my favorite cuisines.

The first time we scouted Ginger & Spice for a potential foodie review, we did take out. The food was fantastic. I told Afriel that we had to go back when we could eat in. (Of course, my motivation was to try the sushi.) Afriel agreed, and recently we were able to eat lunch at Ginger & Spice.

Gotta say, like many places in Marble Falls, the parking sucks. It’s a shame, because the little dining establishments are trying to make a living and yet customers face terrible parking situations. We asked what people do during busy times. We were told that folks can park across the street. There is a small lot situated across the street from Ginger & Spice, but it fills quickly. We had to park down the street in front of an insurance office. I must say that Ginger & Spice’s staff were extremely apologetic about the parking situation. I only asked because it’s of interest to me. I like seeing how businesses overcome weaknesses, and how businesses respond to situations that are challenges. Ginger & Spice gets a gold star for rising to the occasion and acknowledging the problem and apologizing. Doesn’t make the problem go away, and who knows how parking will be handled as Marble Falls grows, but at least the folks running the business are aware that parking is an issue.

Once we were seated, we told our waitress that we were bloggers who would write about our experiences. She was extremely gracious, and remained that way throughout our meal. We don’t always mention that we’re writers when we eat out, and in most cases, when we do, it’s as we are paying the bill. In this case, I have to say Ginger & Spice was phenomenal. All the staff were as courteous and congenial as when we ordered take out during our prior visit. I am a big appreciator of consistency in customer service.

The salad bar was open, and that intrigued me. For an additional but nominal cost, I could frequent the salad bar for salad, sushi rolls, soup, fruit, and various appetizers. It was amusing to see that the menu specified “In order to keep our costs down, we ask that customers do not eat only the appetizer bar with the intention of taking you [sic] entree home!!! (only small box can be given)”. Course, I was raised in a very strict world of manners and culture: You don’t take more than you can eat, you don’t feed others your food, etc. I have to wonder what happens, in Marble Falls, when people have access to the salad bar at Ginger & Spice. Do people not mind their manners? It’s pretty darn sad when Ginger & Spice has to spell out how the salad bar works.

I asked Afriel to come to the salad bar so she could snap a few photos and check out what was offered. The salad bar was less than I expected, but probably more than some people would care for. It was nothing fancy, but the salad bar contained the staples you would expect. More so, there were a few items I definitely want to check out during our next visit to Ginger & Spice.

Salad bar sampling at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas.
Salad bar sampling. From left to right: spring roll, vegetable tempura, and sushi rolls. At the top, rice pudding with fruit.

The tom jerd with tofu soup was ah-mazing! It’s an Asian version of chicken soup, and one of those ultimate comfort foods the hedonist within me loves to indulge in. I told Afriel that I definitely would want tom jerd with tofu if I were sick with a chest cold. The broth was simple yet savory with a deep, nourishing touch. There’s nothing that stood out about the soup yet it was so damn comforting! Total yummy goodness.

Tom Jerd with Tofu soup at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas
Tom Jerd with Tofu soup

Big kudos to Ginger and Spice’s chef for the soup. It was excellent!

Afriel ordered from the lunch menu. She had the Saigon noodles, which she jealousy guarded from my wandering chopsticks. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a bite of this luscious bowl of noodles, but judging from Afriel’s expressions while she ate, the meal was absolutely delicious. In case you’ve never had an Asian dish like this, you pour the little bowl of sauce over the noodles. Utterly good, ya’ll.

Saigon noodles at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas
Saigon noodles

I read a review that the sushi at Ginger & Spice wasn’t as fresh as it could be. Well, coming from the experience of eating sushi fresh off the boat, why in the hell would you expect a Marble Falls eatery to have sushi as fresh as what you’d get in Seattle? Comparing the sushi I’ve eaten when I’ve traveled to Seattle to what I can eat in Marble Falls isn’t fair. Comparing the sushi I ate at Ginger & Spice to what I pick up at HEB is a fair comparison. It may even be fair to compare Ginger & Spice to my fav Austin sushi bar, Uchi.

I ordered the spicy tuna roll and the chef’s choice 7-piece sushi platter. My sushi platter actually came with an additional nigiri, which I was delighted to find. A girl can never have too much sushi! If you aren’t sure which sushi is what, this site has a great guide. And no, I didn’t eat the nigiri with my fingers (this visit), although sometimes I do!

Spicy tuna roll at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas
Spicy tuna roll

I can honestly say, the spicy tuna roll and chef’s choice sushi was wonderful. The roll was freshly made, everything smelled delish, and the texture and cut of the nigiri was spot on. I could see the food was prepared with care and love. Would I get it again? Heck yeah, and I plan on it for the Big Grey Horse Media Christmas Party. It’s an annual tradition, ya’ll!

Chef's choice sushi at Ginger & Spice in Marble Falls, Texas
Chef’s choice sushi with salad

I admit that I’m tough to please. Thai and sushi are my two favorite cuisines, and I am fortunate to have eaten both cuisines at some of the best eateries in America. I’m picky as hell and at this point, I inwardly cringe, just a little, when it’s time to try a new restaurant. I gotta relay the note I wrote in my iPhone after I’d finished my lunch at Ginger & Spice.

The note simply said, “This was one of the best lunches I’ve had in a long, long time.”

Kudos, Ginger & Spice. You hit the nail on the head with this one!

Click here for our pictorial review of Ginger & Spice.

 

Takeaway

Ginger & Spice is located at 909 Second Street in Marble Falls, Texas, 78645. The phone number is 830/693-7171. The hours of operation for lunch are Monday thru Friday, 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The hours of operation for dinner are Monday thru Thursday, 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.; Friday thru Saturday, 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Takeout Sushi at Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas

Koy Restaurant on Foodio54

Koy on Urbanspoon
I gambled the the other day. I decided to get takeout sushi from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls. Normally I revel in the sushi bar experience: Eat at the restaurant, fill myself with sushi goodness, and drown in overall luxury with the people I love the most. This time I decided to see how Koy’s sushi would stand up as a takeaway.

Takeaway Sushi Dinner from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas
My sushi dinner from Koy Restaurant. Yum!

I ordered maki sushi rolls and nigiri sushi. Putting Koy to the test, I wanted to see if the flavor combination was as fresh and good as if I were sitting in front of the Itamae.

If you’ve read Big Grey Horse Media, you know I’m a stickler for customer service. Gotta say I was disappointed by Rhiannon’s tone when I called to place my order. Granted, I had no idea what was going on at the restaurant (Were they busy? Was she distracted?) but she didn’t seem happy that I was calling. That didn’t leave a good first impression but I gave her the benefit of the doubt.

When we arrived to collect the food, I wasn’t surprised to see the parking lot empty save two vehicles. Highway 281 by the Lake Marble Falls bridge is under construction and access to Koy’s parking lot is tricky.

I ordered the sushi appetizer (tuna, salmon, sea bass, and shrimp for $8.50), two regular sushi rolls (yellowtail and tuna rolls each $6.50), the New York roll (tuna, salmon, hamachi, and masago topped with spicy mayonnaise sauce for $9.50), an egg roll ($1.25), and crab rangoons ($4.95 for six).

Egg Roll from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas
Egg roll.

Somehow I ended up with two egg rolls instead of one, but that would explain why my tab was a bit higher than I expected. I ate half of one egg roll and left the rest for later. The wrapper was crispy and flavorful, but the filling was pretty bland. (Although it’s fair to say that when I nibbled on the leftovers the following day, the egg roll tasted better. There was a distinct, pepper-type spice that I liked. I think you have to eat more than one bite to appreciate Koy’s egg rolls!)

I ordered the crab rangoons for my daughter.

Crab Rangoon from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas
Crab rangoon dipped in duck sauce.

I wasn’t impressed by the way-too-crispy rangoon tops. It seems that few Chinese restaurants get crab rangoons right. Typically the tops are so crusty they are inedible but the crab filling makes up for it. In this case that wasn’t true. These rangoons need more filling and less frying. I think you can easily see there’s no oomph to this sorry little rangoon. Unfortunately, after one bite, the crab rangoons went in the trash. Thumbs down, Koy!

The main ambition for this meal was to experiment with takeout sushi, and I wasn’t let down. I tried the New York roll first. This roll looked appetizing and it was love at first bite. The fish blend (tuna, salmon, and hamachi) was excellent. The spicy mayo topping was perfect and the masago added that special bit only fish roe can. (I really dig masago – it’s got that salty, ocean taste with a crunchy pop of texture.) The New York roll was perfect.

Salmon nigiri and two pieces of the New York roll - Koy Restaurant, Marble Falls, Texas
Salmon nigiri and the New York roll.

The four-piece sushi appetizer was also delicious. Each piece of fish (tuna, salmon, sea bass) was delicate, fresh, and buttery in taste. Exactly what you’d expect from a great sushi bar. The shrimp nigiri was cooked, of course, but also sweet in taste. The rice was excellent in size and proportion to its accompanying sushi.

Sushi Appetizer Dish from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas
Top to bottom: Sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and salmon nigiri.

The yellowtail and tuna rolls had a funny smell that I couldn’t identify.  Upon opening the packet, I detected an off-putting, smokey smell. I can’t say what the smell was or what caused it, but after taking the rolls apart to smell the fish, it wasn’t old fish. It was either the rice or the seaweed. However, I wasn’t able to eat the rolls due to the smell.

Yellowtail and Tuna Rolls from Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls, Texas
Yellowtail and tuna rolls.

Despite crappy appetizers and two rolls that smelled weird, I will go back to Koy Restaurant in Marble Falls. I know better than to order Chinese appetizers at a sushi bar (although the restaurant touts its Chinese menu, typically sushi bars are known for what they do best: raw fish). I also know working in the restaurant industry is a thankless, unforgiving job. In Rhiannon’s defense, she was pleasant once I spoke to her face-to-face and squared up my bill.

I should note that when I arrived to a mostly empty restaurant, no one was at the front desk and it took several minutes for Rhiannon to appear and wave me back to the bar to pick up my food.

All in all, my prior experiences at Koy have been positive, and I’m intrigued to see what happens during my next visit.

Chow, ya’ll! (That’s how we say “ciao” in the Lone Star State.)

Takeaway

Update February 2013: Koy is permanently closed at the Marble Falls, Texas, location.

Koy Restaurant is located at 101 North Hwy 281, Suite 102, in Marble Falls, Texas 78654. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

The original Koy Restaurant location is in Kyle, Texas.

Koy’s mission is to provide affordable Chinese and sushi dishes to the casual dining patron. Both restaurants purposely do business outside Austin, Texas, with the ambition to introduce more people to authentic Asian food.

Happy hour happens Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. Ladies Drink Special hours are Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Koy Restaurant is family-friendly, offers takeout, and holds banquets by reservation. Delivery is available in the Marble Falls area.

Email info.MarbleFalls@koyrestaurant.com or call (830)798-8389 for additional information.