Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Cho Gao a Goer?

What I really like about Cho Gao at The Pier is the layout and variety of seating format, which they describe as "one harmonious entity, a single space with different zones". This is something lacking along most of the Esplanade and Pier establishments with their monotonous phalanxes of regular table seating.

Cho Gao is on the northern side of The Pier just along from the Pier Bar, with outdoor seating along the boardwalk. The view from here has certainly changed since the lagoon development. I recall being able to watch the sun set over the range and the lights come on along the Esplanade. The outlook now is dominated mostly by trees and carparking. The latter courtesy of the planning masterminds down at the Port Authority who apparently see prime waterfront land as an opportunity to whack down some bitumen and park cars on it.

Back to Cho Gao's, and beyond the format, where this week I made my third lunch stop since opening. Dining solo it's easy to just park yourself on a stool on the boardwalk, take in the view over the carpark and trees, relax with a good book and enjoy some Singapore noodles with an Asian beer.

The Singapore noodles, fried with BBQ pork, prawns, red capsicum and bean sprouts were fresh, tasty and well presented. On a previous visit I shared a noodle lunch with a friend in the low casual seating on the boardwalk and we were both impressed with the food and the ambience. Although at $17 for the Singapore noodles this is not the cheapest Asian eatery in town so it will be interesting to watch how it goes.

The menu is not the all encompassing matrix of options found at many Asian restaurants, and doesn't need to be if a menu is well constructed and refreshed from time to time. There are four sections on the menu with dishes 'to share', noodles, mains and desserts. There are ten dishes 'to share' mostly priced in the $13 to $15 range. Noodles range from $14.50 to $17, with mains around $25 to $28.

There are also banquet menu selections for groups, and with the diverse table formatting and emphasis on share dishes my thinking is that this may be worth a go sometime not too far away .......


Realistic Restauranteur said...

$17 for a bowl of noodles? Sounds like a business using a three-year-old marketing plan. With a food cost of $2/bowl, this kind of gratuitous gouging by Cairns restaurants is OVER.

If they don't get wise real soon, we'll be looking at another empty spot. Which doesn't do any of the merchants any good.

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

Not a bad place to spend a lazy hour or two. Yes, KitchenSlut, the menu is sensible, comprehensible and well balanced, the food is well cooked and well presented and I have no compliants about the service. But I must say that I agree that it is a bit pricey: although not to the extent that it is gouging given the quality and quantity. Times have changed, and Cho Gao will have to rethink its prices.

KitchenSlut said...

Noted that Cho Gao has been offering a locals special on the noodles menu of $10 for lunch, and also for dinner Monday to Thursday.

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