Restaurant review

Golden Boy and Jade Girl restaurant review: The city’s spice temple offers spicier flavors than Jackie Chan

I half expected Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee to slide down the bar before kicking the head of an iron ore samurai from St Georges Terrace.

“It’s for Juukan Gorge, you idiot!”

While no one was fighting kung fu in Golden Boy and Jade Girl, there was plenty of kicking and punching an inch of flavor from the modern, spicy pan-Asian tucker at this restaurant and bar in the multilevel city.

Downstairs in the dark dining room, where a long table of businessmen were enjoying an after-work meal washed down with a few beers, there were serious opium-smoking vibes.

Camera iconInside the city restaurant and bar, Golden Boy and Jade Girl. Credit: instagram

Neon signs and red lanterns provided most of the light, while movie posters and photographs from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Hollywood adorned the walls.

Located on an oddly shaped island perched outside Allendale Square Arcade, near the Lalla Rookh basement restaurant, Golden Boy (the restaurant) and Jade Girl (the upstairs bar) manage to tear you away from the CBD hustle and bustle of Perth.

Alright Alright. . . perhaps there wasn’t so much commotion on the windswept terrace of St Georges on Tuesday evening.

This curious addition to the city’s food and drink options opened in November last year and is a partnership between honcho Andy Ngo of Panda & Co. and Michael Cheang of Frisk Small Bar, Alfred’s Pizzeria and The Seasonal Brewing Co.

City restaurant and bar Golden Boy and Jade Girl.
Camera iconCity restaurant and bar Golden Boy and Jade Girl. Credit: instagram

In fact, a bank of taps pouring mostly beers from Seasonal – a terrific microbrew in Maylands – sits in front of the very well-stocked bar. Like Northbridge gin joint Frisk, Golden Boy has an intimidating list of distilled spirits infused with juniper berries.

There are also four whites and four reds by the glass. Bottles range in price from a skin-to-skin chenin blanc for $59 to a $155 bottle of Leeuwin Estate Art Series 2018 cab sav for those still able to punish the company credit card.

However, I was here for the spice, spice, baby, and ordered a Szechuan Old Fashioned ($20) from the house cocktail list featuring classics with a Chinatown twist. Former Rockpool slinger Benny Chou designed drinks here, but my cocktail lacked heat.

There was no chance of dwelling on this disappointing start, as the food courtesy of Chef Danny Matthews (Seasonal, Vans and Don Tapa) arrived quickly.

Myra and I opted for all three dishes (including rice) to share for $29 per person, plus a serving of deliciously spicy, sweet and sour eggplant sambal ($16).

You can also get five dishes to share for $49 per person. Our helpful waitress explained that the dishes were slightly smaller than if you ordered them separately, but we found four dishes to be more than enough for the two of us.

Moo shu pancakes at Golden Boy.
Camera iconMoo shu pancakes at Golden Boy. Credit: simon collins

However you slice it, dice it, or karate it, the $29/$49 per person deal is a bargain, and great for quick and affordable work lunches or a few bites to make up for drinks. .

The excellent dish of eggplant sambal takes center stage on the very decent vegan menu, alongside fermented chili-marinated corn ribs, yellow pepper tofu curry and pineapple fried rice.

Yes, you read that right, grasshopper, fried rice served in a pineapple.

We didn’t go for the fruity rice, but were wowed by our meal selections: shrimp dumplings, moo shu pancakes, and sticky pork ribs. All three delivered the huge spice flavors we were craving.

The ravioli consisted of two pillows stuffed with prawns and drowned in an amazing tom yum kah broth, topped with coconut, chili oil and green onions. (This dish normally comes with three ravioli for $28.)

Next time, I’ll order a ladle full of this creamy, spicy and slightly astringent sauce seasoned with rum for an aperitif.

While a northern Chinese recipe is more often made with pork, the moo shu pancakes ($27) come with chicken and woodear mushrooms, spring onions and sliced ​​cucumbers, as well as a sticky sweet and salty hoisin sauce.

Golden Boy Shrimp Ravioli.
Camera iconGolden Boy Shrimp Ravioli. Credit: simon collins

The pancakes were super thin, allowing the earthiness of the chicken and pasta to really pop.

Finally, the sticky pork ribs ($28) were slow cooked and served with red chili paste or gochujang, pickles, sesame seeds, kimchi and mashed potatoes. The Korean style ribs had the slightly funky, salty and very savory flavor of gochujang throughout the meat. Another direct hit!

Golden Boy offers huge flavors at its bar and restaurant in town.
Camera iconGolden Boy offers huge flavors at its bar and restaurant in town. Credit: simon collins

At this point, I was upping the ante with a strong, crisp, hoppy Cold IPA middy from Seasonal. Like Lee in Enter the Dragon, I could take the pain.

Golden Boy offers a super charged, fresh and zesty Chinatown-style tucker – this dark haunt reminded me of Melbourne’s spice temples Seamstress, Chin Chin and Gingerboy.

Service wasn’t as fast as Jackie Chan and Jet Li in The Forbidden Kingdom, but was still very efficient.

And the price means you don’t have to be a resource manager armed with an expense account to walk away with a Buddha’s smile.

Gold Boy and Jade Girl

77 St Georges Terrace, Perth (Allendale Square Arcade).

OPEN

Monday to Thursday, noon to 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Friday, noon-midnight. Saturday, 4:30 p.m.-midnight. Close on Sunday.

CONTACT

gbjg.com.au

RESERVATIONS

Yes

THE VERDICT

The spice temple right in the middle of the CBD. Danny Matthews’ dishes inspired by Chinese and Korean specialties are bursting with punchy flavor without overdoing it. Dark, laid back bar full of spirits and local craft beers. The meal-to-share deals are great value.

13.5/20