27-29 Crossley Street, Melbourne

Asian, Hawker style dining

Hawker-style dining takes on new meaning at Melbourne’s laneway hotspot, Gingerboy. Dynamic and fast paced, Gingerboy brings the flavours, colours and fun found at marketplaces across Asia to Melbourne.

Gingerboy was opened in 2006 by hospitality king, Teage Ezard. Teage is recognised as one of Australia’s best-known chefs, due to his success at his eponymous restaurant, EZARD, on Flinders Lane. Gingerboy is influenced by the flavours of cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong, after Teage spent time travelling through these cities, gaining a passion and appreciation for many Asian cultures and cuisines.

Head Chef, Brendan Katich (EZARD, Wilson & Market), is charged with creating a menu of local produce dictated by the seasons. In the summer months, Brendan and his team use crisp and vibrant flavours, while in winter braising and steaming are on the cards. Each ingredient is used at the peak of its seasonality, ensuring the best flavour and colour shines in every dish.

The delicious menu is divided into five sections – dumplings, snacks and street food, shared dishes, sides and dessert. The winter street food selection may include anything from Braised Duck Leg Spring Rolls, to Mushroom San Choi Bao, Soy Cured Ocean Trout, and Szechuan Spiced Pork Bao Burgers. One of the more popular snacks at Gingerboy is the Son-In-Law Eggs – a crumbed and fried egg with a soft yolk, served with chilli jam and Asian herbs. Gingerboy was one of the first places where Melburnians tasted these delicious morsels, and the city’s diners still want more.

Larger winter dishes come in the form of rich curries, braised meats and grilled fish. Think Red Duck Leg Curry with Thai basil and coconut cream, and Soy Braised Ox Cheek with peanut tamarind caramel and hot-and- sour cabbage.

Dessert options are also Asian inspired. The spicy and delicious spring menu includes a White Chocolate Parfait with salted peanut dulce and Raspberry Bombe Alaska, as well as a dish combining poached pears, orange cremeux, honey ice-cream and gingerbread. Those with food intolerances won’t miss out either – Gingerboy provides across the board for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free alike.

Asian influences trickle all the way into Gingerboy’s drinks list, which offers a good selection of beer, wine and cocktails. Both the beer and wine lists have a strong Australian focus, with a few beers from Japan, Thailand and China scattered throughout.

The cocktails are heavily influenced by Asian flavours and with funky names to boot, there’s no reason not to sample one. Try the Date Night With Bay – a heady mix of Bulleit Bourbon, fig bitters, grenadine, lemon, date and hand-picked bay leaf. Both the kitchen and bar operate with a high regard for locally sourced produce wherever possible. As such, they also use a closed-loop system that ensures all produce is used to its fullest potential, with ingredients like limes being used in a variety of ways to form the basis of a number of different cordials, shrubs and mists.

Follow the neon sign to Gingerboy and you will not be disappointed. A bustling space with all the charm of an Asian market, Gingerboy allows you to experience hawker- style dining without having to leave the city.

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