Get into the spirit of Southeast Asian street food at this spicy laneway restaurant and bar
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When someone mentions Gingerboy, we’re more inclined to think ‘poor little ranga’ than ‘Asian fine dining’. Or we were. Now, we will forever think chilli in our cocktails and spicy crisp snapper. Alongside redhead matches and Jessica Rabbit, this Southeast Asian eatery is one hot ginga ninja.
Arrive early for your booking and head to the cocktail bar upstairs for a pre-dinner giddy-up - these cocktails are the liquid equivalent to the slap of life. Case in point: the Thai Moon cocktail. Packing some Ultimate Fighting-style punch with chilli-infused vodka, ginger, and coriander, it’s almost savoury.
The dining room downstairs holds about 60 and has some trashtastic décor - Philippe Starck ghost chairs, bamboo slats and fairy lights.
The menu is designed for grazing with small and large plates created by chef Teage Ezard (of Ezard Restaurant), while the waiters deliver each dish and the accompanying blurb with the intensity of a Shakespeare soliloquy. And it is serious. Dishes come with instructions. Son-in-law whole soft poached eggs with a delicate flash-fried crisp coating and chilli jam must be eaten whole, for example. With egg on our face, we’ll take more heed next time.
Dishes start at $15 for small plates and go up, with a comparably reasonable tasting menu for $70 a head or $75 if you want the signature wagyu fillet with black beans (which you do).
In the game of hit and miss, the dumplings are large and solid with uniformly textured meat or seafood, losing that delicacy you get in the better Chinese restaurants. Mind you, with an entire snapper in a salty-sweet-spicy batter with a banana flower sauce and a massaman-braised lamb shank that makes you wish you had a private room, the place lands some knock-out hits. Just like a ginger ninja should.