Ginkgo Bar and Dining
Ginkgo Bar and Dining serves the food of Harbin, a capital city in China’s north-east with strong cultural influences from Russia and Japan. It’s common there to eat sourdough bread, butter, cheese and sausage.
The yum cha menu showcases this diversity. There’s a flaky, buttery Ginkgo sausage puff filled with house-made air-dried wine sausage and shallots. And a teriyaki grilled unagi (eel) thread-roll sandwich with subtle layers of pickled ginger, all wrapped in shredded pastry that resembles fine, crunchy noodles. The vegetable dumplings’ wrapper is steamed to perfect springiness, and the vegetables have a flavourful snap.
Harbin dishes can be spicy, so the eatery has created a drinks list to counter that. The Tiki Tiki Weiwei is a stand out. Named after artist Ai Weiwei, and made with bourbon infused with banana skins, the drink is balanced and a good foil to dishes such as the hot and spicy chicken popcorn. Several of the cocktails incorporate ingredients considered essential for good health in China – such as chrysanthemum and osmanthus flowers – and the latter here lingers on the palate and neutralises the heat.
The venue has a late liquor licence, so on Friday and Saturday you can eat dumplings and drink cocktails until 3am.