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“Worth the drive.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sweet Ginger

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Sweet Ginger
120 B Branch Rd. SE, Vienna, VA 22180
703 319 3922
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Ranked #14 of 124 Restaurants in Vienna
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance
Dining options: Reservations
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worth the drive.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I live at least an hour away from this restaurant and was taking my daughter Dulles Airport. On the way we met her friends, one of whom recommended this place. It is amazing! I ordered two appetizers and one would have been enough. The portions are huge and the prices are reasonable. It was so good I took a friend of mine at the next opportunity. The only thing not amazing was the mixed drink - weak - even after adding a shot. However, anytime I want sushi - this is where I will go - hour drive and all.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    25
    11
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Best sushi in Vienna”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

This is my favorite place in Vienna, Va to have sushi. The fish is fresh, the rolls are unique and the classic rolls are really good. The drinks are super fun too! I can't say enough about this place. You should just go and see for yourself. Check out the menu online before you go. You'll be intrigued and want to go check it out yourself anyway. They are always crowded, so get there at a decent time. The staff is OK, not super overly friendly, but as long as the job gets done and the food is good I never care.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not recommended if you eat nigiri/sashimi. People who rate on rolls do not "eat sushi".”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

Decided to try this sushi place after the 4-star reviews... man have Yelpers never been more wrong. For those of you that actually know how to "eat sushi," don't come here. I eat plenty of sushi and know a bad restaurant when I eat at one. And I'm not talking about just ordering rolls, I eat real, fresh, nigiri, sashimi, SUSHI (along with a few rolls).

First of all we came here, waited a few minutes for a table to open, then they wiped down the tables with their dirty table cloths which reeked of some rotten food smell. It stunk the whole table until our food came out. This isn't to mention that our waiter's breath needed some serious fresh-control. The green tea smelled like the waiter's breath as well, which was just horrible. Still being optimistic, I kept my head up to look forward to the 4 rolls of sushi we had along with the sushi and sashimi we ordered.

Appetizers came... we had a seafood and vegetable tempura. The soft shell crab was so small that all I could taste was the fried batter and dipping sauce, which was a huge disappointment. Their shrimp tempura was also much smaller than the usual...

We ordered everything from white tuna, to uni, to saba, salmon, and much more... nothing was fresh. The uni (sea urchin) they used was very dark orange and came from Maine, which is horrible quality as opposed to the good quality uni that gets imported from Cali (bright orange color). The saba (mackerel) was just not fresh at all, along with the other a la carte sashimi and sushi we ordered. None of the tuna, salmon, white tuna, or the sweet shrimp from the nigiri were fresh as well. This isn't even to mention that the amount of rice they put on the nigiri sushi is just absurd. Then I look at the sushi chef and he even looks inexperienced. Such a huge disappointment.

On to the rolls... Rolls were somewhat interesting... the Mexican was probably the best of the four we ordered, 2 were subpar, and 1 was average. The spicy tuna sauce isn't even spicy and is very bland. The rolls were nothing out of the ordinary in terms of creativity.

Of course I can't leave without my scoop of green tea ice cream. Don't know what I was thinking since even the green tea ice cream was old... how do I know? When you start eating ice from the ice cream, which states that the ice cream has been not scooped for quite some time... aka not fresh.

Never coming here again. Don't know how people rate this 4-stars. The general population obviously does not know how to "eat sushi".

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Craveable!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

Sweet Ginger is a fantastic neighborhood restaurant, with great food! My husband and I tend to go early (like at 5:30pm when it opens!), otherwise there tends to be a wait...probably a good sign of how tasty this place is! They do take reservations, so if you don't want to wait or go early, plan ahead!
The staff is very friendly and attentive, which in my mind makes the dining experience so much more enjoyable.
I usually get the Bento Box 3...shrimp and veggie tempura, 6 nigri sushi, 3 california rolls, three dumplings, and rice. It's SO tasty, which is why I can't seem to try anything else now that I've found it! My husband gets the Sweet Ginger Pasta, which I've gotten in the past as well, and it's quite a treat! The sushi is fresh, the fish is so tender, the tempura is crispy not soggy!
Sweet Giner is a great dining choice and a favorite of ours from now on!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Vienna, Virginia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

My first trip to Sweet Ginger in 2008.As soon as I walked in, I knew this was going to be a place we would come back to again and again. The delicious smell of tempura, sushi, and dumplings made me even more hungry. Even better, though, was the atmosphere- a small, intimate venue with Japan-inspired decorations like gold tables with Japanese characters and red and orange walls. The soft lighting added effect to the dramatic space. We had a fantastic time that night! But even more amazing, I never could have imagined that we would still be regular customers (almost weekly) five years later.
Sweet Ginger, a Japanese- Asian fusion restaurant, is located in the heart of Vienna, VA. It has a upscale but relaxed atmosphere with Asian/ samari- inspired decor and a small bar area. The service is friendly and fast. The menu offers enticing meals for a good value. The restaurant is family-owned.
What makes a restaurant experience even better is the venue. Sweet Ginger’s very clean, intimate, relatively quiet, and well decorated atmosphere provides a relaxed but sophisticated place . The Japanese theme is showed with wood block printings of samaris and oriental black-and-white scenes embellishing the walls along with bamboo and, of course, the bar. The bar is my favorite part of the restaurant because it allows customers to see the sushi chefs make the fresh sushi,
My family visits Sweet Ginger very often. My favorite dish is one of the restaurant’s most popular menu items, the Box 1, which offers more than enough delicious food for me and my sister to share, and has a great value. It comes with appetizers of salad with peanut dressing and miso soup and, included in the box, is rice, your choice of steak or chicken, fresh California rolls, chicken dumplings, and shrimp and vegetable tempura. The entire box is only $14 and each morsel is cooked perfectly- my favorite being the flavorful, tender, and savory shrimp tempura.
My father’s favorite dish is the sashimi. To taste decent raw, the fish must be very fresh, and he agrees that it definitely is.
Other things I have ordered during various visits are the chicken satay appetizer and the edamame appetizer. The chicken satay is chicken on kabob sticks with a heavenly and addicting peanut sauce for dipping. The edamame, or soy beans, is surprisingly good for vegetables. They are even fun to eat, too, because you can pop them out of the pods.
Another component that can truly make a restaurant visit either awful or amazing is the service. At Sweet Ginger, this is definitely not a problem. The owner seems very passionate about his business and always makes sure we don’t have to wait if we have made a reservation (and he keeps candy at the host stand!).
A partial- downside of the restaurant is the fact that the food comes so quickly. For our family who is always hungry, this is great because our appetizers come within three minutes of our arrival and our meal within nine. But, if a party dines there who is more partial to leisurely meals, the food might come too fast. Also, the restaurant is a bit small and therefore somewhat noisy.After a scrumptious meal, the only thing that can make it better is a tempting dessert. Sweet Ginger’s sweet choices include Asian- inspired ice cream flavors like red bean, green tea, mango, and ginger, triple chocolate mousse cake, fruit sorbets, and, my favorite, the banana tempura sundae. It comes with your choice of two ice cream scoops, whipped cream, and a banana fried in sweet, flaky tempura batter. The warm tempura and cold, creamy and unique ice cream come together amazingly- like eating pie with ice cream, except better. The fruit sorbet comes in the choice fruit’ shell, in flavors of orange, pineapple, and lemon, and tastes great.
Sweet Ginger meets all my restaurant criteria- friendly service, local ownership, food that comes quickly, great decor, and delectable eats. I’ve gone there again and again.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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