MFWF Express Lunch – Gingerboy

Hello everyone :) Do you remember a week or so ago I told you about the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival that is on right now? I really wasn’t intending to go to any events but after the World’s Largest Yum Cha event, I had so much fun, I thought it’ll be great to go to a few more ~ Every year during the festival many restaurants will participate by offering customers an “Express Lunch” menu for $40 dollars which includes 2 courses, a glass of wine and tea or coffee. This is a pretty good deal given that most of these restaurants are usually quite expensive with mains that cost $35 or more :) This is a great way to try some of the restaurants signature dishes at a lower price.

Gingerboy

Gingerboy

There were plenty of restaurants to choose from but I found that most restaurants only offered the “Express Lunch” menu Monday to Friday and not many offered the weekend. This made it very difficult those working to try these “Express Lunches” as they often take at least 1.5 hours including travel time. I scanned down the list and given that I could only ‘sneak’ out for one or two lunches we had to make the right choice :P I gave Mr Bao a few options and I expected him to choose a French restaurant like PM24 but he wanted to try Gingerboy an Asian-fusion restaurant quite well-known in Melbourne :)

Gingerboy1

I was rushing from work and I made a booking for 1:30pm but was held up in a meeting and knew I wouldn’t get there till at least 1:45pm, so I called and told them. A girl picked up and said “That’s fine but the kitchen closes are 2pm it’s up to you”. I was devastated I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it there in time to order food and also eat…Mr Bao was very understanding and said he’s happy to do anything but said we should be able to get there before 2pm and asked me to call again. This time a man picked up and was very friendly and said “Oh no…our kitchen closes at 2:30pm that’s last order…so as long as you order before that it’s fine, besides we’re not going to kick you out just because the kitchen is closed” PHEW! Gingerboy was back on! I felt the first person I spoke to wasn’t very helpful >_<

The unnecessary pic of Mr Bao lol he was starving :P

The unnecessary pic of Mr Bao lol he was starving haha

We got to Gingerboy just before 2pm and was very lucky to find parking right in front of the restaurant ~ upon walking in we were greeted by a few waiting staff and then shown to our table in the back of the restaurant right in the corner. I’m not sure if tables were usually this placed this ‘close’ to each other but we felt rather cramped.

White Wine part of Express Lunch

White Wine part of Express Lunch

Starting with a glass of wine white, I’m no expert but we found it to be a little dry and would have liked a lighter tasting wine to pair with the spicy food.

Grilled wagyu beef in la lot leaves with sour chilli vinegar

Grilled wagyu beef in la lot leaves with sour chilli vinegar

Wasting no time, we decided to get 1 entree, 2 mains and 1 dessert to share between us. Starting with the entree Grilled Wagyu beef in la lot leaves with sour chilli vinegar, they were like two little beef dumplings, which reminded up of the steamed beef balls you can get at Yum Cha. But the quality of the beef was definitely better and we liked the flavour of the Wagyu beef and the sour chilli vinegar. Mr Bao’s only compliant was they were quite small and we only had one each :P

Cone bay barramundi, lemongrass and ginger curry, coconut salad

Cone bay barramundi, lemongrass and ginger curry, coconut salad

There were 3 options for the plan a fish, pork and vegetarian :) I chose the barramundi with lemongrass and ginger curry topped with a coconut salad. I was quite impressed with the barramundi as it was very well cooked with a crispy skin very important to me ~ And the lemongrass and ginger curry tasted similar to the one we tried at Ezard, which is another restaurant from their group. I think all elements went very well with this dish but I think it would have been better if it came with some rice for the curry sauce and make it more filling.

Sweet and sour pork belly with peanut, cherry tomato and coriander salad

Sweet and sour pork belly with peanut, cherry tomato and coriander salad

Mr Bao’s sweet and sour pork belly was rather small with only 4 to 5 pieces scattered on top of the cherry tomato and coriander salad. The pork belly had good flavours but we found it to be a little dry and not as moist as we would have liked, but I really liked the salad which was quite spicy and the lovely texture from the crushed peanuts :)

Steamed ginger pudding with palm sugar ice cream

Steamed ginger pudding with palm sugar ice cream

There were two dessert options a ginger pudding and a tapioca fruit salad. We chose the ginger steamed pudding because we didn’t know that we could pay more and get the other dessert and the waitress wasn’t very patient… so we just got the one. I was really impressed with the steamed ginger pudding, it was soft and moist, however, I would have preferred a stronger ginger flavour. The palm sugar ice-cream and syrup was also another win ~ It was super sweet but wasn’t overbearing when paired with the pudding. Now I’m inspired to try and make this at home, I have the Gingerboy cookbook and hope the recipe is in there :)

Our first Express Lunch and Gingerboy experience was nice but neither of us really enjoyed it :( I’m sorry to those who like Gingerboy. For starters, staff at Gingerboy had a ‘lukewarm’ attitude especially the waitress who served our table was very impatient. Tea and coffee comes with our Express Lunch but it never came, even though we asked them about it twice. Eventually we decided to leave because I had to rush back to work. Food wise flavours were good but I’m not sure if it’s because it was an Express Lunch, portions were very small and I’m not saying this on behalf of Mr Bao (he was still staving :P) hahaha I am saying this from a girl’s point of view. I think I could have easily finished an Entree and Main and will still have room for more food. After trying both Ezard and Gingerboy we think Teage Ezard is a very talented man but we have also came to the conclusion that we’re not fans of Asian-fusion and prefer more traditional dishes. Having said that though if you haven’t tried I think Gingerboy is still worth trying at least once :)

Gingerboy on Urbanspoon

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32 thoughts on “MFWF Express Lunch – Gingerboy

  1. Em March 19, 2013 at 10:54 am Reply

    I had a bad experience here years ago with friends. The staff were appalling and the food was very average. I know everyone has off nights but I would never recommend Gingerboy to anyone based on my experience. But most people do rave about it.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm Reply

      Hi Em :) Thanks for dropping by my blog ~ I know what you mean I felt quite perplexed too because I don’t want to judge and recommend or not recommend just because of one dining experience but I really wasn’t that impressed unfortunately :) Hopefully next time I go it will wow me hehe ~

  2. Bam's Kitchen March 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm Reply

    It is so funny you called it a large yum cha event so waiting to see lots of cha and dumplings. This is the updated yum cha with wine and designer appetizers.. How fun.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm Reply

      Hahhaa sorry I was referring to the other event I went to the other day :)

  3. kellysiew March 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm Reply

    The only thing I remembered was that the son in law eggs were heavenly. Sad to hear that the service standard has dropped. It was quite good when we went few years ago.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 23, 2013 at 10:31 am Reply

      I really wanted to try the son in law eggs but they weren’t serving it that day and the bad service really put me off :(

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm Reply

    Oh what a shame! And the person that was so unhelpful and the waitress really should work on their customer service it seems :(

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 23, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply

      I couldn’t agree more Lorraine! I think bad service really ruins the whole dining experience especially since this was a well respected restaurant :(

  5. Viveka March 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm Reply

    You manage to get a great post out of something that you didn’t really feel good about – that’s art. *smile

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 23, 2013 at 10:34 am Reply

      Thank you :) Even though service is really important, I think its only fair for me to write a review on how I felt about their food :)

  6. jac March 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm Reply

    I only had time to go to one restaurant express lunch this year and I nearly chose Gingerboy however changed my mind at the last minute. Reading this makes me very glad I did! I must say though I have heard great things about their son in law eggs and I’m still keen to try those!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 1:46 am Reply

      I’m glad you didn’t try the Express Lunch either :) Because I think Gingerboy would be a much better restaurant to visit when they’re not so busy trying to pump out so many ‘Express Lunches’ and I’d definitely like the chance to try their son in law eggs hehe

  7. Hannah March 20, 2013 at 9:34 am Reply

    What, Mr Bao didn’t get the vegetarian meal?? ;)

  8. Norma Chang March 20, 2013 at 10:13 am Reply

    Too bad you left the restauant still feeling hungry. Unpleasant wait staff can surely ruin a dining experience.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 1:49 am Reply

      Definitely and couldn’t agree more :( Oh wells doesn’t matter lots of other restaurants to visit ~

  9. GourmetGetaways (@GourmetGetaway) March 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Oh this is a shame… the dishes looked nice but a meal is about the whole experience. Nevermind, there are many more restaurant to be tried ;)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 1:50 am Reply

      I was thinking of the same thing Julie :) Even though the service and experience wasn’t fantastic here but at least i tried hehe ~

  10. Candice March 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm Reply

    Sorry to hear you didn’t have the best experience there. I went to Gingerboy in November last year and I loved it and couldn’t fault the service. Maybe, a bad day?

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 1:56 am Reply

      No doubt it could have just been a bad day :) Because I know they were packed and the kitchen must have been swamped but I still think they could have improved service, doesn’t matter will eventually go back for dinner hehe ~

  11. milkteaxx March 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm Reply

    i love food festivals! get to try all these nice restaurants for cheaper!

  12. Amy Tong March 21, 2013 at 8:43 am Reply

    I love the decor of this place and the dishes look great. Really sad that the server was impatient! That can ruin the whole dining experience.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 2:00 am Reply

      The dishes were fine and quite delicious but service really wasn’t up to scratch what a shame :(

  13. Sarah March 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm Reply

    Sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience there – especially since you made the effort to come from work and everything! I’ve always liked Ezard, but dunno if I’ll bother with Gingerboy… impatient service really upsets me!

    (PS can’t wait to see when you make that dessert for yourself!!)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 2:03 am Reply

      I’ll try and remake the ginger pudding and when I succeed, I’ll definitely share on the blog ;) we tried Ezard a while ago and some dishes were fantastic while we didn’t like some of the other ones ~ Oh wells it may have just been a bad day hehe still want to try their son in law eggs ;)

  14. liannelow March 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm Reply

    awww thats sad that the experience wasn’t good, cause it was when we had the banquet menu! and a pity you couldn’t have the son-in-law eggs! But yes, it’s kinda fusion and lukewarm service is not nice! =( Doesn’t make the experience any better with service like that!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 2:06 am Reply

      Service is definitely just as important as the food! I would have been fine if the waitress was nicer…she just wasn’t very friendly or helpful :( And I still don’t understand why they wouldn’t serve anything else from their normal menu…oh wells hopefully it’s just my bad luck and their kitchen simply couldn’t do it >_<

  15. Ali March 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm Reply

    Shame about the bad service…the food does look really good, but that’s only half of a dining experience I believe.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 24, 2013 at 2:04 am Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more :) I honestly think service is just as important as good food…because with bad service it just ruins the whole experience >_< Hopefully it's just my bad luck hehe ~

  16. msihua (@msihua) March 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm Reply

    Not too keen with the bad service! We got there once before and they were lovely in helping us get out for our theatre show.. but it really depends on the wait staff you get chucked with!

  17. Ashley March 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Oh no about the service! :( I had a great time at Gingerboy when I did the express lunch about 2 years ago, shame the consistency isn’t there! The dessert you got looks a lot better than the dessert I had last time though!

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