Situated on everyone's favorite marina, encapsulated by the Intercontinental Hotel, is the newly opened, second branch of Cho Gao, referred to as Cho Gao Marina Walk. The original branch is tucked inside the cozy Crown Plaza Hotel in the city center. Having been to both, the food is almost identical, but Cho Gao Marina Walk offers the lofty atmosphere and open bar scene that the first lacks.
Cho Gao has always been known to serve some very good pan-Asian cuisine. The noodles are chewy and the curries are rich. In the past they have always been able to differentiate themselves with a pub-like bar scene and upbeat friendly service. At Cho Gao Marina Walk, they take it up a notch. The bar manager is a verified Mixologist, and was responsible for the opening of one of the few other purely cocktail bars in the city... Bar Fly. He has created some very high end cocktails, like those with Japanese whisky and house-aged spirits, which really help to set Cho Gao Marina Walk apart as a prime spot for great night life and reliably delicious drinks.
During the day the restaurant is open and airy with a large patio for relaxing or dining in the cooler months. As the sun sets the DJ comes on and the place really comes alive. The dim sum is served up in steaming hot bamboo boxes along side elaborate cocktails. More than a handful of the special drinks are constructed at the table right in front of you. Smoke, fire, ice and much more. Not only are you fed and watered, but entertained as well.
Cho Gao is a great addition to the already booming marina, and perfect for a night out. As I was chatting with a few remarkably younger (ahem) friends last week, they mentioned they were headed out "bar hopping" (admittedly an activity that I also may have enjoyed in my youth). In "Abu Dhabi?? ", I thought. You may find a bar or two in a hotel, but then you will need a taxi to get to the next hotel....and technically bar hopping means walking from bar to bar, the "hopping" means they are all close by. BUT, at Cho Gao Marina Walk, with Belgian Bar, Circo and Chamas as neighbors, you could certainly spend a night truly "bar hopping", with each place only a few steps away. And of course there is some great food to keep you sustained for your journey.
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi
Opens at noon every day
For Reservations: 02 666 6888