27-29 Crossley St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9662 4200
I’m a fan of Teage Ezard’s Gingerboy. And when I heard that he was to open a bar directly above his restaurant, I got excited. Even though it’s been open since last year, I haven’t had much of a chance to suss it out until earlier this week. Adam and I had nothing to do prior to meeting up with Jen and Luke for dinner on Monday so we decided to have drinks at the bar. Aptly called Gingerboy Upstairs (), it’s pretty much similar to the style of the area downstairs but with cushions and ottomans instead of tables and chairs. Still very old school Shanghai-meets-New York.
Upon arrival, we were presented with a complimentary tea which the barmaid told us consisted of “mint, ginger and lemongrass.” What she manage to omit, however, was probably 10 billion spoons of sugar because it was so bloody SWEET. Almost like drinking prediluted cordial… ick… Oh well, at least it was free…
My cocktail: “It takes 2 to julep” ($17) which is really an attempt to “Asianise” the standard mint julep (though I admit, it did taste quite nice). Fresh mint, pink grapefruit, honey water and pisco (South American liquor distilled from grapes). Yum yum.
We shared a serving of grilled wagyu la-lot (3 pieces for $13.50). I had expected the bar to have a different menu to the restaurant but they were identical. Seriously, I would’ve preferred the salt and pepper cuttlefish or the son in law eggs if I had to choose from the restaurant menu but Adam was keen to try something different. The la-lot won over the papaya salad but word of advice: this dish is the biggest waste of money. It wasn’t that it was terrible – it was fine actually – but I just thought this it was a waste of perfectly good wagyu. And I didn’t like how they put so much chilli in one little morsel either. The sour vinegar dipping sauce, flecked with chilli, didn’t make the dish any better either. Meanwhile, Adam loved it so much that he asked me if he could have the remaining piece of la-lot. No need for a fight – I gladly gave it to him. A word of advice: If you’re going to order food at Gingerboy Upstairs, go the bowl of fried corncakes for $8. Or better still, go elsewhere for food or just find a table downstairs and have a proper meal!
Now, is it just me or is the sight of a man and his little boy at a BAR kinda weird?!