Cho Gao

Classy South-East Asian joint at the Crowne Plaza... 13 Reviews

Meal Deal
Friday brunch

Brunch featuring Asian delights and iced tea for Dhs137, or with unlimited house beverages for Dhs240 Timings: Noon-4pm (Friday)

Cho Gao

Express lunch for Dhs50 Timings: Noon-4pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)

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The opening of Cho Gao was quite a momentous occasion for the Crowne Plaza. One of the original expat haunts, the hotel was long known for good times (Level Lounge) and heady nights (Heroes), but offered very little to the city’s burgeoning legion of foodies. All that changed in early February, when this classy South-East Asian joint opened its doors and the good people of Al Markaziyah flocked in. In fact, it’s the good people that catch your attention first. Abu Dhabi has recently become home to a large number of new, quality restaurants, many of them unfortunately so far from the action that they’re lucky to get a handful of customers on a weekday night. On the doorstep of its parent hotel, central to Hamdan Street, Cho Gao is perfectly located to benefit from regulars and passersby alike. And it shows. Time Out visited on an unusually cold midweek night and found the place bubbling with warmth and bonhomie. With prices never higher than reasonable, it felt like a place for everyone, and everyone seemed to be there.

Better still, the food was almost flawless. Taking a seat in the rustic but elegant corner, gongs hanging around our ears and spice bags strewn across the corner, we started with a selection of dim sum and spring rolls. Nothing exceptional here, but nothing to turn your nose up at either. In fact, as the meal rolled out, it became apparent that the chef had a steady foot on the crescendo peddle.

The mains were wonderful – the Peking duck particularly recomm- endable. Served with raw vegetable sticks, a couple of sauces and a steamed pan of flatbreads, we were encouraged to roll the tender meat into a mini creation of our own. The crisp, fatty skin stood out among the myriad flavours, kickstarting an insatiability that only ended once the plate was swabbed dry. Elsewhere lurked a nasi goreng topped with chicken satay, and a wholesome plate of pad Thai, both of which would have made a thoroughly satisfying meal on their own.

Going on a friendly tip from a knowledgeable colleague, we pushed the boat out and ordered two desserts, both of which managed to put the icing on the cake (without involving icing or cake). The caramelised banana and sesame seeds linger still, while the chocolate samosas had our partner silenced and tearful – but it’s easy to get emotional in the presence of unexpected beauty.

The bill (for two)
Dim sum seafood Dhs24
Vietnamese rice rolls Dhs25
Pad Thai Dhs44
Nasi goreng Dhs52
Peking duck Dhs65
Caramelised banana Dhs20
Chocolate samosas Dhs20
Total (excl. service) Dhs250

By Jon Wilks
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 616 6101
  • Travel: Hamdan Street
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Business lunch

User reviews:

Posted by: shomen on 30 Oct ' 12 at 10:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

excellent place to enjoy chilled tiger, great hospitality and nibble on authentic food.

Posted by: Hanim on 10 Sep ' 12 at 09:34
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Okay, I know its a bit too late to give my review. It was when I am looking for another restaurant to visit, and saw reviews, I remember to do my part for the review. I went to Cho Gao on 30 April 2012, as it was my aunty's birthday. Also, I asked Cho Gao to prepare a surprise birthday cake for her. It was pleasant. Food was quite South-East Asian for my taste.. :D Coming from Singapore, a Food Paradise. I enjoyed my experience there, nice ambience, similar to Emirate's Palace Hakkasan (no offence). Haha... But enjoyed the experience overall. :D

Posted by: Melissa on 05 Nov ' 11 at 17:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

As much as I love this restaurant it is in fact one of my favourites, I have to admit the service isn't that attentive, whether its due to the layout of tables or the need for more staff.
I will continue to dine here normally during the lunch/ afternoon periods for either cocktails or the wonderful dumplings and thai fish cakes ( I believe are the best in town).

Posted by: Melissa on 08 Sep ' 11 at 13:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Maha on 28 Sep ' 10 at 06:26
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I can't seem to go to this place often enough!!! Love the food, the ambiance and the value for money feeling you get as you walk out the door. I rated one star less for service because with the nooks and crannies they have (that make for a great intimate setting but) ,they need to have a system in place to get your server's attention without having to call out. Highly recommend Cho Gao to all - especially if you can handle spicy!

Posted by: randy richards on 29 Mar ' 10 at 10:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

What a fantastic place,every one is welcome and Akshay is a most polite gentleman serving the best food in Abu Dhabi

Posted by: Peter on 14 Mar ' 10 at 06:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great to have a top restaurant in the city now!

Posted by: Karim on 14 Mar ' 10 at 05:57
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Kirstie on 11 Mar ' 10 at 03:51
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I ate in Cho Gao the first week it opened, and after 2 years of living here, I finally felt as though a hotel in abu dhabi had got it right. I didn't feel that I was in a 'hotel restaurant' - cho gao has its own personality. the restaurant decor made us feel instantly relaxed with its dark wood south east asian theme, and the staff were very friendly.

As far as the food goes, the dim sum is amazing by anyones standards and the wok fried vegetables actually tasted like fresh, healthy vegetables (a phenomenon here in the emirates!!). I had the thai curry, which was delicious, and the black rice, which was really nutty and tasty. The food came out really quickly on gorgeous plates (if i had a bigger bag they might have left with me!), and there was so much food that I couldn't make it to dessert.

A must go to for any food over, this is definitely my new favourite food haunt in abu dhabi, and i can't wait to go back

Posted by: Anon on 10 Mar ' 10 at 10:39
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The wok fried greens and black rice are really delicious. Highly recommended!

Posted by: Ivanka Zagorska on 10 Mar ' 10 at 06:53
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had a great experience,the food was delicious,great cocktails, definately something to try.Nice decorations and atmosphere,you have to see the bathrooms.It is a top restaurant in the citiy and would visit again.Abu Dhabi needed such a place and i recommend it to everyone,it is not to missed.

Posted by: Lorna Thompson on 10 Mar ' 10 at 06:41
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Fantastic restaurant with good food and friendly efficient service. It is difficult to select what would be the best reason to go to the restaurant as it can be for a business meal - something quick and tasty or a leisurely gab fest with friends and family.

I would definitely recommend the restaurant to all for its good value for money.

Lorna

Posted by: Mel on 07 Mar ' 10 at 10:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My only gripe was that they didnt have a record of our order - a great Abu newbie!

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