With so many options for Friday Brunch, in Abu Dhabi, you can eat your way around the city trying something new almost every weekend in the year. This past Friday I tried one that is a little different than most. It is an intimate Asian brunch at the very popular
Cho Gao at the Crown Plaza, in downtown Abu Dhabi. The nice thing about this one is that it is cozy and the atmosphere almost feels like a friendly British pub. Natural wood decor, loads of local residents, and lots of comforting food.
The brunch is separated into different areas, each presented in traditional Asian taste. Soups, Salads, Dim sum and Sushi to start, then Hot Dishes, Desserts, Freshly Squeezed Juices and Fresh Fruit. If you are looking for endless extravagance, this is actually not the place, but that is also reflected in the more affordable price tag. Instead, Cho Gao has variety that you may actually be able to experience entirely. You will be able to at least taste all of the dishes on offer...a feat that I usually can not even attempt at most places.
The restaurant starts buzzing and the seats are almost all filled at 1pm, just a little over an hour after the doors open. I start with a tall glass of bubbly, and a plate of pillowy steamed dim sum (and a few perfectly crispy fried ones). Hint: All are good, but be sure to taste the prawn. Next, I move on to the bright fresh salads...teriyaki chicken, vegetable, beef, seafood...something for everyone. The hot plates are very flavorful and satisfying. I attempt to be healthy by loading my plate with the the tender mixed Asian vegetables (they don't skimp on the baby corn either!). The creamy Thai Chicken Curry on a fluffy bed of Jasmine Rice will leave you dreaming of lemongrass and coconut.
The desserts feature some specialties that those well-versed in Asian cuisine will recognize, with ingredients like the famous red beans or lychees. There are a few creative western fusions mixed in as well, like the light and fluffy Green Tea Cheesecake. Don't tell anyone, but I may have had two pieces After all, I had to balance out all of the vegetables that I ate.