Food adventure @ Gypsy & Pig
With a menu that’s full of pork dishes, it’s all about the pig (and not so much the gypsies) at CBD Japanese restaurant Gypsy & Pig. If you’re a fan of pork and crumbly batter, then this is definitely the restaurant for you! The only thing that may possibly stand in your way is the minimal seating available.
The restaurant space was the very epitome of the word ‘cosy’. We counted 20 seats in total - half of which were located around the central bar/kitchen area, and the other half split between three tables. There were also a few seats outside, but this didn’t seem to be a popular option in winter for obvious reasons. Be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
The Specials menu. Very cutesy.
Deep fried oysters, with Panko (Special).
With our main dishes bound to be pork, we decided to kick start our meal with a non-pork starter: the battered oysters. The oysters were large, and without a ‘fishy’ taste, also appeared to be quite fresh. The batter was crunchy and dry, and contrasted with the slimier, tender texture of the oyster. There was a faint trace of wasabi, but it was mostly the tartare sauce that flavoured the oyster.
Crispy Kurobuta belly & veggies, with spicy soy vinegar.
As if pork belly on its own wasn’t already sinfully delicious, throw on top some deep fried crumbed batter and you have on your hands something that trumps amazing. Both the flesh and fat on the pork pieces were tender and melted in the mouth. The stir fried veggies possessed a sweet soy and sesame flavour with a subtle spicy kick, which worked well with the pork without overshadowing it.
Deep-fried, crumbed Kurobuta Hamburg steak.
Dr. V didn’t mind her dish, but I thought it paled significantly compared to K’s dish. The hamburger patties tasted quite dry, so the equally dry batter didn’t help. The meat seemed to lack flavour, relying on the tonkatsu sauce provided as a standard condiment to boost its overall flavour profile.
Spicy crispy & tender Kurobuta spear ribs, with Dijon aioli & french fries (Special).
With K’s dish sitting at the top and Dr. V’s sliding down a few spots, my order seemed to fit in right between the two. The pork ribs were dry, but the flavour saved the dish. The spice-laden flavour was aromatic and slightly salted, but not at all spicy hot. As I continued to eat, thoughts of Colonel Sander’s secret herbs and spices actually came to mind. Finger licking good indeed.
Traditional winter miso soup.
The inclusion of the tender and soft veggies and sliced pork added a sweeter flavour to the miso soup, and I preferred this version over the standard one.
As you could see with some of the above photos, we ordered our main items as part of a set meal. For an extra $7, you can turn any main dish into a set with miso soup, steamed rice, a small dish and pickled veggies.
Pork. Pork belly. Batter. Crumbly. Deep-fried. Need I say more?
Gypsy and Pig
391 Little Lonsdale St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9640 0731