CHO GAO MARINA WALK
A second branch of the pan-Asian opens
avalid question was asked when it was announced that a second Cho Gao was going to open in Abu Dhabi this summer – does the capital really need two branches of the pan-Asian outlet? This new one, after all, has a lot to live up to. Cho Gao is one of the city’s older restaurants, and is popular with a loyal clientele.
The Marina Walk branch proves there is enough room for two. While you’ll recognise the Asian décor and lanterns if you’ve been to the downtown outlet already, this second eatery is considerably bigger, and has an alfresco area overlooking the marina (hence the name). Cho Gao sits where The Yacht Club used to. Most importantly, the menu is different at the second branch, although it sells sushi, curries, stir fries and noodle dishes from China, Thailand, Malaysia and beyond, just like it does up the road.
A starter of fried salt and pepper squid in batter was satisfyingly salty, with a helping of chilli on the side, although the portion was ever so slightly soggy in parts. Make them a little more crisp and they’d be perfect. A bao taco, a taco-shaped bread filled with a giant prawn and spicy mayo, was sweet and spicy, and with a little less mayonnaise would again be spot on. The best appetiser was the pomelo salad, a Thai dish with chicken, prawns, chilli jam, lime, peanuts and coriander. It was a light, fresh, zesty little number and a welcome relief from the heavier fried dishes.
For the mains, the black pepper beef with onions is a classic Asian dish and was well executed – this time, the sauce ratio was spot on. A vegetable green Thai curry, full of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, was also scoffed quickly. Both were accompanied by a portion of Char Kway Teow noodles. These big fat, flat noodles were fried with eggs and prawns, mussels and squid, and it’s a Malaysian dish similar to pad Thai. While heavy, it was another hit.
Cho Gao Marina Walk has a huge bar, and unlike the original outlet, allows smoking, meaning it will attract another audience. The food was generally good on our visit and the staff friendly and efficient. Overall, we left feeling you can have too much of a good thing.
InterCon Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 6pm to 1am, Thur and Fri 6pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 6666888. Taxi: InterCon.dining -intercontinental -ad.ae