Boy Choy boy is serving up unique Asian fusion dishes at Avondale's Charles Towne Fermentory 7 days a week | Photos provided

Asian fusion pop-up Bok Choy Boy kicked off 2023 with a new residency at Avondale taproom Charles Towne Fermentory.

“I think that having a permanent food option here in this neighborhood just makes a little more sense,” said Adam Goodwin, owner of Charles Towne Fermentory. “Being here, in kind of a more walkable, bikeable neighborhood, it puts us on people’s radar as something that’s maybe more of a frequent stop, because they can come here and get some really great food to go with the beer.” 

Bok Choy Boy brings a combination of Thai, Korean, Filipino and Japanese cuisines to the taproom’s kitchen with items such as Korean fried chicken wings tossed in a gochujang sauce and served with pickles, kimchi and cilantro to cut through the heat. Another star dish, the lechon kawali steamed buns are served with fried pork belly, banana ketchup, daikon and cucumbers. Others, like the Dan Dan noodles, are topped with a spicy and peanut-y finish. 

Sison’s sticky buns are a popular menu item

Consistency was important, owner and chef Setrini Sison said, both for Bok Choy Boy and Charles Towne Fermentory.

“We want to give locals a cool place to hang out, have a beer and some food,” Sison said. “We are excited to be at the Fermentory because the building has everything we need to function fully as a restaurant.”

Bok Choy Boy previously slung noodles at the Port of Call Food + Brew Hall on Market Street. When that residency ended in October, Sison moved his pop-ups to The Garden by Charles Towne Fermentory, a beer garden located at 1343 Ashley River Road.

The idea for a more permanent residency at the flagship location in Avondale grew out of these pop-ups at The Garden outpost.

Sison is no a stranger to Charles Towne Fermentory, either. During the early years of Bok Choy Boy, he said he held pop-ups out of that same kitchen. 

The diverse flavors of Sison’s cooking go perfectly with the Fermentory’s house-made brews like the Polotmavy, a Czech-style amber malt with a smooth finish —  a palette cleanser to prepare for the next bite of Bok Choy Boy’s meals. 

“The beer pairs well with our food,” Sison said. “And using the Fermentory beer on our dishes helps us have a unique and rotating menu.”

More new things to come

Goodwin and Adrian Herrera, the “vibe coordinator” and taproom manager, have other big things in mind for the Avondale establishment with Sison’s residency and The Garden outpost on Ashley River Road. 

“It was an opportunity for us to do something and create a space that was sort of more in line with where we kind of ultimately saw the Fermentory,” Goodwin said of The Garden, which opened in May 2022. Goodwin said he plans to host more events including live music and markets at The Garden this year.

Goodwin plans to use the Fermentory for more “intimate” experiences, such as Analogue Night, held the first Thursday of every month, to celebrate and appreciate the pre-digital age era. A vinyl DJ, VHS tapes, vinyl vendor and, of course, beer and Bok Choy Boy are featured during the event.

Other events are on the horizon for Charles Towne Fermentory, including an industry night. That’s still in the works, according to Herrera and Sison, so keep an eye out for @chsfermentory on Instagram for information. 

“Throughout the years, seasons change and things come up,” Herrera said. “I’m just trying to create fun, interesting little things for people in the area and for locals to meet each other and share local flavors.” 

Sison added, “As a resident, we’re look forward to doing more special dinner events with beer pairings.”

Find Bok Choy Boy at Charles Towne Fermentory Mon.-Thurs. 4-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4-9 p.m. and Sun. 4-7 p.m.

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