27-29 Crossley St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
+61 3 9662 4200
Gingerboy has been a beacon for palates afflicted by yellow fever for nearly five years now. Established by Teage Ezard as a sister restaurant to the flagship Ezard at Adelphi, Gingerboy has been dishing out refined but not too over worked South East Asian hawker style food since it opened in late 2006. With an identity created in collaboration with Studio Round and fit out by Elenberg Fraser, the space is one part chic and one part Shanghai opium den. Large red threaded chandeliers dominate dining room flowing languidly to disperse the ambient light, imbuing the space with a sense of the unknown. Juxtaposing Kartell/Starck Louis Ghost chairs with dark black tables and cladding the ceiling with a series of tactile bamboo poles provides it with a sleek but tactile edge.
With a menu broken down into small plates and larger shared dishes, it’s immediately obvious that Gingerboy’s raison d’etre is framed around serving food that is packed full of flavour. The famous son in law eggs – a delectable mélange of textural elements and a dish that ultimately has its roots in Malay and Thai street food – is best eaten whole and in one mouthful. The smashed green papaya salad is a well handled balance of tangyness and heat and the crispy chilli salt cuttlefish is a dish of perfectly cooked morsels of what could best described as grown up snack food. Larger share plates include a vibrant red duck curry flecked with accents of Thai basil, a wonderfully pungent char grilled lemongrass chicken accompanied with a peanut and tamarind caramel and fried whole baby snapper with a fresh mango and lychee salad. These offerings definitely exhibit an approach to food that tends more towards the traditional infused with contemporary touches rather than being overly technical.
For those more inclined towards sweeter things, Gingerboy also serves a delightful dessert share plate which perfectly references the sweet, salty and creamy offerings that could so easily be eaten on a roadside in Thailand.
Copyright Leon Goh & Broadsheet 2011