For starters, grab a bowl and choose from our selection of soups and light and fresh bread rolls.
Then for mains, take a bowl, choose your meats, vegetables and seafood from our 30 different selections, add some oils, sauces and spices to create your own taste, then bring it to our chef who will cook it to your specifications, right in front of you.
For dessert, why not try a sweet pancake, scoops of ice-cream and lollies, drizzle over your choice from our 5 delightful sauces, fresh cream, or fresh lemon juice and sugar.
All the food is prepared right there in front of you, so you know exactly what is happening at all stages. The ultimate guarantee of clean, fresh cooking.
Choose from our 4 set options, ranging from a basic Lunch Special through to an all-you-can-eat Dinner and Dessert.
Phone for bookings: (06) 354-2824
I had walked past Ginji's several times, and had been rather curious about this rather plain looking place, especially since I'd never tried Mongolian food before. So going in for a meal was an experience I was quite looking forward to.
My partner, son, and I were the first customers for the evening, so walking into an empty restaurant made me a little uncomfortable, but the staff quickly set me at ease as they welcomed us with warm smiles, and showed us to our table. Once we had made ourselves comfortable, and had given our orders for drinks, one of the staff then briefly talked us through the process of going up to the large variety of meats, vegetables, sauces, etc, choosing what we wanted, and then taking it over to the chefs waiting at the large hotplate, where you get to actually watch them cook it right there in front of you.
By now, more customers had started filing in, and the restaurant was starting to take on a very relaxed, warm, comfortable atmostphere. So hesitantly, we headed up to where the small portions of meat and veges were kept, and I was pleased to see during the meal that fresh food regularly replaced what had been sitting there... unlike some places that leave the SAME food sitting there for absolutely ages, unless it's eaten of course! YUCK!! Now I'm not really a soup person... generally try to avoid it whenever I can if possible, in fact... but I decided this time round to try something new, and went ahead and grabbed a bowlful of the Thai Pumpkin Soup, along with a couple of beautifully soft, extremely fresh breadrolls, which I promptly smothered with the butter that was provided in little packets. I was greatly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this starter, and was severely tempted to head back for another helping... but managed to hold off, in the attempt to save room for the mains. One requirement with the whole select-your-own-mains part of the meal was, unfortunately, left out when the process had been explained... make sure you grab a BOWL not a PLATE to dish your meat and vegetables up onto!!! Yes, there was a sign over by the food stating this, but when you're too busy eyeing up the delicious looking array of food waiting for you to take your pick, you don't necessarily see the sign. So being told this first off would save customers from the slight embarrassment of being told to "please use a bowl next time" by the quick-handed, smiling chefs! I tell you though, getting to watch them moving in an almost dance-like form around that large sizzling hotplate as they scooped and scraped each pile of food about, sloshing combinations of water and oil over it to help it cook properly, was most definitely a thoroughly enjoyable experience! There could be anywhere from 1 to 3 chefs around the hotplate at any one time, and they never got in each other's way, always seeming to know where their fellow chefs were going to be before they even got there. I could have watched them doing this for ages... but there was food to be eaten!
I had heaped my plate up rather full (maybe THAT's why they recommend using a bowl, not a plate!!), so sat down and stared at this wonderful smelling, rather overwhelming sized plate of food in front of me... then set about tucking into it. By the time I got half way through, I was seriously struggling, and had my partner chuckling at me because the food was SOOOOO yummy, that I simply could NOT stop picking at it. Finally it was taken away from me, much to the relief of my stomach, which was threatening to explode everywhere if I had continued with another single morsel!!
Overall, I found Ginji's to be a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, and having worked in the hospitality industry for several years, I definitely enjoyed being able to watch the food being cooked, as I know just what kind of things go on behind the scenes in many restaurant kitchens... and there was no way any of that could happen here without anyone seeing!! This is a place I would happily pay to go back to again... I just think next time I'll be making sure there is a LOT more room in my stomach when I head in! LOL! I think I've found my new favourite restaurant!!!
I wasn't too sure what to expect when I walked in. All the food looked raw, and I didn't know the concept of the place yet. We were immediately approached by a very helpful and friendly young man who seated us and explained the whole idea. You start off, if you want, with soup and bread rolls as entrees, then grab a bowl and build your kitset meal from the huge selection of meats and vegetables. Then you take them to the common hotplate, where it is all stir-fried right there in front of you.
Now this bit REALLY impressed me. I have been to restaurants and eateries where I have positioned myself so that I can catch glances into the kitchens, and some of the sights I have seen have put me off ever wanting to go back, no matter how good their reputations. This place was the same really, except that the kitchen is right out in the main dining area, so I can see what happens to my meal. No fear that my food is getting dropped and slapped back on the grill to char the evidence. Yay!
So... I started out by trying their Thai Pumpkin soup and a couple of delightfully fresh, fluffy bread rolls. The soup was, honestly, heavenly! Spicy, but not overly so, it left my mouth tingling without burning, was creamy and rich... a great start, I thought. Then it was time to go for the mains. NOT reading the sign, I stupidly grabbed a plate, and promptly loaded it up to the gunnels with a delicious mixture of satay chicken, some ham and fresh parboiled vegetables. Moving over to the sauce bar, I added a dash of Butter Chicken sauce, some crushed garlic and a dash of grated horseradish.
Taking this to the chefs, I was politely informed "Please use a bowl next time." I blushingly apologised for my faux pas and proceeded to watch a veritable ballet ensue... there were three meals on the hotplate at the time, and 2 chefs who moved around the plate shuffling the food as it cooked to ensure even heat, squirting it with water and oil to keep it moist and tender while cooking, and then grabbing plates to serve it all up on. It was a beautiful thing to watch really. They even made sure to check with the diners how they wanted their beef cooked, all without breaking their smooth stride.
After slowly but surely packing away this portion of food, I simply had to go back and try another flavour combination that looked tempting, and I was right, their 'suggested combinations' are really very tasty! For those who don't enjoy eating out because they don't really know what's in their food will totally flip for this place! As one of the staff said, when I commented on how delightful it was, "Hey, it's all you. YOU make the meal... we just cook it for you." The ultimate in buffet dining, there is nothing in the meal that you don't put there yourself, and you decide on the proportions. Want more meat? So pick up more meat. More veges? More flavour? Less? It's all under your total control.
After putting those away, and washing them down with a supremely delicious banana and passionfruit milkshake, I headed over to explore this pancake dessert concept. While I watched, the pancake was poured, cooked and presented to me in a matter of minutes, while I had a very informative conversation with one of the staff. Then, hot pancake in hand I added a scoop of chocolate ice cream, another of hokey-pokey, drizzled it with some tropical passionfruit sauce, and a handful of winegums, and proceeded to carefully try and squeeze it into what little room was left in my tummy. -burp-
Overall, this was, by far, the most impressive dining experience I have had so far this year... and probably in the previous year as well! An all-you-can-eat dinner costs $23 per person, and there were 2 adults and one child in our party. I think that the price is a bit steep for kids, who will eat, as a general rule, about half, or less, of what an adult can pack away, so you may want to find a babysitter and make it an adults night out. If you want a smapler before you go hard-out here, you might think to pop in for one of their "Premium Lunch" meals, at $12 each. The milkshakes were indeed worth every cent of the $4 each they cost. But hey, I'm going to be going back for certain! Oh BOY, am I going to be going back!
Note: All prices quoted are rounded to the nearest dollar.
Random listing from 'Food'...
Premium hot chicken breast fillet on a bed of selected salad greens. Toss with your favourite dressing before eating.
Choice of four dressings:
- Avacado and Garlic
- Lite & Free French
Subject to availability
All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the ePLURIBUS.nz Network. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of KIWIreviews.co.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, under the assumption that they are the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.
"Who was the first person to say, 'See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's bum.'"