Drawing on a combined background in hospitality, good friends Jin Ha and Brian Kim have joined forces to create their very first establishment. Located where GPK Bar & Grill once stood in Albany, Gao aims to brings a new lease of life to the area with its world-inspired dishes, awe-inspiring graffiti-style artworks and neon-lit interior.
Gao meaning 'high' in Mandarin, is exactly the standard they intend to deliver on all fronts. Looking to bring street food indoors, Gao intends to place itself at the forefront of contemporary Asian fusion. To achieve just that, Gao has set itself the challenge to heighten Albany's street food scene with dishes waiting to be shared.
Behind the grill, you'll find head chef Sun and sous chef Ben. Both have previously been involved in the likes of The Blue Breeze Inn and Dear Jervois, so we can rest assured that the menu of Gao is in experienced hands.
Here, throughout a mainly Thai-inspired menu, flavour is placed at the epicentre of their focus. Attentions should be turned to dishes like the market fish. Accompanied with sweet chill sauce, mango, lemongrass, and topped with Thai basil, it's a noteworthy dish you'll be coming back for. Proving quite the crowd-pleaser is the smoked duck adorned in a sweet tamarind sauce, crispy broccolini and thinly sliced almonds. Pair this dish with a side of coconut jasmine rice and you've got a match made in culinary heaven.
The dedicated dumpling menu boasts Shanghai-style xiao long bao soup dumplings, pan-fried beef potstickers, spring onion pancakes and Peking duck pancakes with cucumber and hoisin sauce. Elsewhere on the menu, you'll be treated to the choice of beef cheek massaman curry, hapuka yellow curry, scallop salad and crispy eggplant.
Matching the standard set in the kitchen is a fully licensed bar that has turned its hand to craft-only beers and an exclusive hand-picked wine list which even has an 'Interesting Wines' section. Now your drop can truly match your dish, in every sense.
It would seem Gao has left no leaf unturned when it has come to setting up a truely succinct dining experience. We recommend booking before you visit because it would appear most nights, suburban dwellers and the likes are already flooding through the door for a taste of Gao.