There’s something great about tapas-styled dinners and the concept of sharing food. Food really brings people together, and more and more Melbourian restaurants are embracing this. Gingerboy focuses on South East Asian “hawker” foods, meaning the foods may not look spectacularly stunning but are jam packed with spices and flavours. Greeted by a neon pink sign in the alleyway, we hide away in the corners of their upstairs bar filled with cushions, tapas and cocktails.
We indulge in their signature cocktails, a Pear to Remember, a nice refreshing cocktail with some fizz, but its polar opposite is the Thai Moon – a serious kick, tingle down your throat with explosions of chili and ginger. Not for the faint hearted.
So the chitter chatter begin and before we knew it, we were transported back downstairs to the restaurant. Walk into cosy room of bamboo lined walls, Asian influenced wallpaper, bright perspex chairs, oversized red hanging lanterns and gorgeous pops of lights resembling as glowing stars in the sky.
Salt & pepper oysters with shredded iceberg, prik nam pla
Son in law eggs, chili jam and asian herbs
Bangalow pork belly, salted prawn and fennel salad, spicy oyster sauce
Within minutes of holding the menu, we throw our suggestions into the table and order! For starters, we dive into salt & pepper oysters, lightly battered and fried doused with a thai fish sauce, and an array of dumplings, with wagyu beef and scallop and smoked trout dumplings. Delicious, but unfortunately very small portions. By the time our shared main rolls out, we’re actually bursting at the seams, but there is always room for pork belly! Tender and juicy with a great crunchy salad of fennel on top.
The highlight dishes of the night are the son in law eggs, which are definitely a must have with any virgin visit to Gingerboy. I love eggs and when the waitress told us the method of eating these, I admit I was a little anxious. But I’ll leave this egg methodology as a surprise… My other hot favourite which we devoured without taking a photo is the coconut chicken salad with bursts of chili, mango, peanuts and beans. Great bursts of flavours and great companion to the dumplings. If you love Asian styled salads, this is a salad you should be friends with.
Pandanus poached pear with coconut tapioca, peanut praline
Gingerboy shared dessert platter
I don’t know where to begin with the dessert platter but think; sticky red date pudding severed with rhubarb, banana & palm sugar ice cream, a pandanus poached pear, orange & tonka bean splice, dark chocolate tofu cheesecake with chili cherry jelly and finishing off a steamed apple & vanilla buns with coconut custard.
Being greedy we had ordered the larger version of the pandanus poached pear, which turned out to be my favourite dessert – a light simple Asian influenced dessert with lots of tapioca and poached fruit. Another favourite that deserves an honorable mention is the dark chocolate tofu cheesecake with chili cherry jelly, an absolutely unusual description but there is something that kept me going back for seconds. It’s so textually intriguing and the flavours just somehow work…
Great atmosphere, informative staff but it is a bit on the pricer end, but if you’re after gourmet dumplings and Asian food with a twist, this is the place to go.
27-29 Crossley St