Ginkgo Bar & Dining, a new late night dumpling and cocktail bar has quietly opened in Darlinghurst last month with a focus on Harbin style cuisine.
Ginkgo Bar & Dining Darlinghurst
Occupying the space that was formerly Bar Brosé, Ginkgo Bar & Dining brings late night dining, dumplings and cocktails to Sydney’s Darlinghurst. The pop up eatery by Carly Jin and her husband Tim offers the opportunity to experience the true taste of Harbin, China through an exciting food menu that includes handmade dumplings and delicious cocktails.
Head Chef Zhai is at the helm in the kitchen. He brings over 25 years of professional experience from across China. Dumpling Chef Marble Ng hails from Lotus and Chefs Gallery and Bar Manager Carlos Hurworth brings his experience from Saxon and Parole, Soho House London, The LAB Group and Savile Row.
Ex Fred’s alumni and bar consultant Quynh Van Nguyen (Matteo, Monkey’s Corner, China Diner and Luis Tans) has designed and set up the drinks menu to compliment the bold flavours of the food. Chinese elements are incorporated in the cocktails and you’ll find a tempting selection of drinks to take you through from spritzers to dessert.
Start with the Bamboo Spritz ($16) a light and refreshing aperitif that brings together the flavours of Mancino Bianco, Fino Sherry, Cranberry Bitters, Chrysanthemum topped with sparkling wine. It’s elegant and makes for easy sipping with the fino sherry lingering on the finish – an ideal drink to sip on while perusing the food menu.
If you prefer something a little more complex, Tang Mi ($18) hits the right spot. Tequila Ocho Blanco, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Apricot and Beer Agave with Black Pepper and Chilli equate to perfection in a glass. The agave flavours are balanced with the fruity notes, a hint of smoke and kiss of spice on the finish. We could well be tempted to ask for an encore but the dumplings beckon.
The food menu at Ginkgo Bar & Dining is extensive and full of temptations so it pays to bring a healthy appetite and a few friends to share as many of the dishes as you can. The Yum Cha (dumplings) list features 16 varieties of dumplings. You’ll be tempted to order a lot but we suggest you leave room for the main dishes.
Ginkgo Sausage Puff
The Ginkgo Sausage Puff ($9 for 2 pcs) is a house specialty with a crispy, light and crumbling pastry filled with Chinese wine sausage with mushroom and shallots served with a creamy dipping sauce.
Sea Urchin & Baby Spinach Dim Sum
The Sea Urchin & Baby Spinach Dim Sum ($9 for 2 pcs) is not to be missed. The squid ink dim sum is adorned with generous pieces of sea urchin and is filled with garlicky baby spinach and prawns for a salty, umami flavour bomb.
Cordyceps & Nokin Dim Sum
You may be intrigued by the Cordyceps & Nokin Dim Sum ($9 for 2 pcs), cordyceps being a type of parasitic fungus but it is well worth having. These translucent triangular parcels of wild mushroom are delicious and have bold earthy flavours.
The team at Ginkgo take pride in delivering Harbin style dishes, with all sauces made in house. The combination of spices used is such a delight and unlike anything you may know when it comes to Chinese cuisine.
Harbin-styled Chinese Wine Sausage
The spicy aromas of the Harbin-styled Chinese Wine Sausage ($24) greet you at the table. The sausage is hand-made air-dried lap cheong in Chinese white wine recipe. It’s big on flavour with a medley of spices, and not a fatty sausage by any means. A perfect dish to pick on while enjoying a cold beer.
Harbin-styled Smoked Pork Knuckle
From the mains, the Harbin-styled Smoked Pork Knuckle ($28) is smoked with tea leaves, herbs and spices and a hint of applewood so don’t go expecting a BBQ flavour. The meat simply melts in the mouth.
Eggplant in soy sauce
If you’re questining whether to order the Eggplant in Soy Sauce ($20), don’t hesitate. It may read like a dish you find everywhere but this is another standout. In low lighting, it may look like potatoes, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Forget what you know about eggplant dishes, the flavours are sweet, salty, garlicky and savoury – a flavour sensation not to be missed. The sauce is made of soy, black vinegar, sugar and garlic. We are also informed that the temperature of the wok is key to the dish.
Soft-shell Crab Fried Rice in Spicy XO Sauce 30
From the rice dishes, the Soft-shell Crab Fried Rice in Spicy XO Sauce ($30) is a meal of its own. The XO sauce is house made every two week late at night as its aroma is too pungent to make before service. Beneath the mountain of generous soft shell crab is fluffy rice that is fragrant and lingers with heat and spice.
There’s plenty to please a sweet tooth so it pays to make room for dessert. Dishes include the Matcha Choco Puff Dumplings ($9 for 2 pieces), matcha puff with melting milk chocolate inside and other desserts such as Tippity’s Tea Cream Brulee, Golden Donuts dipped in Milk & Sweet Osmanthus, and Ginkgo Biloba Tofu Pudding.
Ginkgo Bar & Dining will reside as a pop-up for one year but we hope it will become a permanent addition to the Sydney dining scene.
Ginkgo Bar & Dining
231A Victoria St, Darlinghurst 2010 NSW
Hours – Monday to Thursday: 5pm – 12am; Friday: 5pm – 3am; Saturday: 5pm – 3am; Sunday: 5pm – 1am
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