Cho Gao, Crowne Plaza, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Cho Gao is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. They specialize in East Asian cuisine, taking inspiration from Thailand, Indonesian, China, and Japan. Those are all of my favorite countries for food! I was ecstatic to be invited to the Taste of Asia Brunch. If you have been to Cho Gao’s brunch before, be sure read on further for my review as they have recently revamped their menu and brunch concept!
Cho Gao’s décor always impresses me every time I visit. You will see dark wooden tables and chairs and a few features taken from the Asian culture like gongs and street carts. Be sure to check out my posts about a la Carte & Sushi Bar at Cho Gao.
This time, as I walked through the restaurant, the wooden street carts were arranged in the middle for the self-serve soup & dessert bar. That sets the mood immediately for the lavishing brunch we were about to begin. I can see this restaurant brunch becoming quite popular as the hot weather sets in.
Taste of Asia Brunch Every Friday and Saturday 12pm – 4pm
AED 200 net including water and iced tea/AED 300 including mixed drinks
Their new Taste of Asia brunch concept features a specifically selected menu served at your table. Each dish is prepared as you order it and you can order as much as you’d like (unlimited brunch style!) Since, each order specifically prepared, you can make a few suggestions if there are any special allergies or preferences. Apart from the order made especially for you, it is made fresh, served right to your table.
First off, we started with (2) types of salads. Som Tam Thai – which is made of green papaya, long beans, tomatos and peanuts with tamarind dressing. Larb Gai – made of minced chicken, onion, sticky rice powder with chili and lime dressing. These two portions were perfect for sharing. I enjoyed the Larb Gai the most as it had a fresh zest to it (must be the lime!)
The starters were the main features for me as I love sushi and dim sum. We started with a dim sum that had a selection of steam chicken ‘siu mai’, vegetable dumplings, prawn ‘har gaw’ with ginger soya sauce and chili vinegar sauce. Just coming back from Hong Kong a month ago, I was definitely due for another fill of dim sum. My favorite is the ‘har gaw’ as not many places serve it in Abu Dhabi or can make a decent dumpling wrapper.
A few minutes later our Maki Roll Platter came on a 3 tier staircase. What lovely presentation! I had to take a few photos first before I allowed my friend to dig in. It was complete with California maki, vegetable maki, cheese and turkey maki and salmon niguri. The portion was just right as it came in 4. However, I did place another order in for more niguris (hey, its unlimited). I would love it if they had more choice of rolls. From their a la carte I really love their Crispy Caramel Roll or even more raw rolls would be amazing.
By the time we finished our starters, my friend and I were actually quite full already. For our mains there was a selection of 7+ options. We opted to select only a few to try. Our choice were the marinated fish in banana leaves, the Chinese style beef stew and the pineapple chicken fried rice.
The marinated fish in banana leaves is a must-try dish. The fish was cooked perfectly and it had a fun presentation to unwrap the leaves ourselves. The Chinese style beef stew was a bit overcooked so it was chewy. Lastly the pineapple fried rice was just okay. Possibly next time they can serve the rice in half of a real pineapple to enhance its presentation.
There were a few other mains that guests can choose from such as marinated whole chicken, curries, rice and noodles.
Lastly, we were able to make it to the buffet table for the wide assortment of fruits and desserts. The highlight was the Agar Jelly Dessert. I was not able to find this anywhere else and used to love to make it at home. It’s a type of jelly – not too sweet and they have made it into a tart form. I loved it 😊
At Taste of Asia brunch ,there was so much selection, I was unable to try absolutely everything on their menu and at their self-serve soup and dessert stations. I will have to be back to try them all! Hope to see you there!