• Gingerboy

29 Crossley St
Melbourne 3000
03 9662 4200

Always associating Chinese food with cheap and leftovers, I had been reluctant to try Gingerboy.  Opening my mind, I went there for lunch yesterday.  Bamboo lengths painted black lined the walls and roof with fairly lights glimmering through to give a starry look.  The red tasselled lampshade and colourful modern art gave it an artistic feel.  With a trendy interior and reputation, Gingerboy is the hot spot for the cool on the Melbourne dining scene.  At 2pm, the clientele changed to be older, and more relaxed compared to the younger office workers on their lunch breaks.

There was a grenache and a chardonnay on offer on the wine front.  I ordered the chardonnay, a 2010 The Hut by Dalwhinnie.  I had not heard of the winery before but was impressed, especially given the wine’s youth.  It had attractive layers and a lasting texture.

There were vegetarian options on the menu: chilli salted silken tofu with lemon, and vegetarian green curry.

The tofu arrived steaming hot in plentiful slapdash cubes.  The texture was superb with crispy fried skins holding delicate centres.  The chilli and salt flavours were more subtle than your usual Chinese takeaway and the lemon slice (expertly wrapped in muslin to avoid pips) made it a simple but delicious flavour combination.

The green curry arrived without rice in a large bowl.  It seemed our waiter had been stressed and forgot to ask us if we wanted any side dishes.  The curry was creamy with a strong taste of chilli and lime.  Green beans, broccoli and uncooked cherry tomatoes featured heavily with red onion and coriander garnishing the top.  The sauce was creamy with a grainy texture.

We ordered the two desserts to share too.  The steamed lemongrass pudding had a light but moist texture with the subtle taste of lemongrass.  Velvety coconut ice-cream accompanied.

The raspberry and lime ice-cream with pandan jelly was interesting.  The raspberries were unsweetened and overpowered the jelly which tasted delectable on its own.  Even the lime was drowned out by the intense raspberry flavour.

To finish, the staff were reluctant to offer any tea or coffee that was not caffeinated – the menu only lets you choose from three standard options: long black, latte or English breakfast tea.  Overall the service was a little strange.  The restaurant was busy and there were many staff, but it seemed they were all stressed.  At one point a young waitress fell down the little step into the dining room, at another point I saw several of them stressfully waiting by the kitchen to run the meals to the tables.  It did not seem that any were assigned to specific tables so we found ourselves waiting to get attention at some points, and being rushed along at others.

The dishes on menu were not exciting on paper, but were very well done.  The textures in all that we ate were delightful.  The flavours were subtle (except for the raspberry) but delicious.  The cheap, green, plastic chopsticks matched with the dark hued menus but seemed out of place in this establishment.  Overall, lunch was a lovely experience and I would happily return.

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