A FAMILY FAVOURITE
EARVILLE’S MR SOYBOY IS A NO FRILLS CAFE-STYLE EATERY SERVING EXCITING ASIAN DISHES WITH ALL THE FLAIR OF AN UPSCALE RESTAURANT
Word has spread about the wondrous creations emanating from the Mr Soyboy kitchen. Foodies regularly post pictures of chef Ferdi’s delectable dishes on social media, bragging about their indulgences.
Meanwhile, faithful followers have edged this modest Earlville eatery to the number one spot (ahead of much fancier restaurants) on an internet site allowing visitors to have their voice (good and bad) about their dining experience.
It’s fair to say with Ferdi in the kitchen, which he always is, and wife Lanya ready to lend a hand, this family-owned restaurant does not put a foot wrong.
Starting out just more than a year ago in a most unpretentious manner with a few plastic tables and chairs in a resilient spot along busy Mulgrave Rd, Ferdi and Lanya set up shop with one intention: To serve fabulous food at the most affordable prices possible.
Along the way they’ve spruced up appearances, acquired a liquor license and a few more staff, but never let go of the carefully managed reins, or the focus on the big picture.
A classically trained French chef of Philippine birth and Australian upbringing, Ferdi’s view on food is panoramic.
While Mr Soyboy is dubbed modern Asian, Ferdi brings classy touches to everyday dishes and never, ever shortcuts.
Everything – from pickles and sausages to sorbet – is made by hand on the premises.
Tonight we’re determined to stay the distance, as we’ve been thwarted in previous attempts at the grand finale – dessert.
It’s just too easy, you see, to want everything – soups, curries, marinated roasted meats, stirfries – it’s all enticing and you get swept up in a torrent of greedy desire.
Before you know it, you are forced to surrender before the final whistle. But not tonight. Tonight, with kids in tow, we’ve played clever and ordered the family platter and just a couple of extra dishes for oomph.
In procession, the dipping sauces and pickled pawpaw are brought forth.
Next, bowls of steamed rice and plates of seasonal vegetables.
It is worth noting Mr Soyboy wok-tossed vegetables – beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and zucchini – are simple and sensational.
Always perfectly al dente, they are served in a light garlic sauce.
Last, a tray bearing succulent roasts of honey soy chicken, duck, crispy pork and barbecued pork arrives.
We can’t choose a favourite. No sooner do you think the delicately marinated chicken meat is best, then you tuck into the crisp salty perfection of pork crackling, or take a bite of lush roasted duck flesh. It is all supreme.
In the name of diversity we have added a couple of prawn dishes – garlic prawns and spicy prawns, both outstanding. A generous serve of large juicy prawns on each plate, with assorted vegetables and seasoning.
If you like heat, the spicy prawns are a must.
The menu here is extensive and, to be honest, choices can be difficult because everything is excellent. There are, however, plans afoot to make things simpler (while retaining a la carte) to introduce a weekly table d’hote of entree, main and dessert.
Speaking of dessert, we’ve opted for share plates of the trio of sorbet – mango, coconut and lychee with lime, served with a crisp homebaked buttery biscotti.
Not excessively sweet, you can distinctively taste the fruit in each flavour, so much so, you can almost kid yourself it’s health food. A perfect finish to a perfect family feast. Verdict: Informal setting with five-star food.