When I confessed that I had never been to Cho Gao, there was a lot of jaw dropping, eye popping, and gasping involved. Apparently, I've been living under a rock to never have been there, so this Thursday I finally paid an overdue visit to the famed bar/restaurant.
Asian themed as its name suggests, Cho Gao is located right in the heart of the city. The dark and mysterious place is home to paper lanterns, Buddha statues, candles, wooden furniture, and my personal favourite, dozens of silk cushions. You can sit at a table, you can lie on a sofa, get buried by cushions, or even go out to the balcony and breathe in some fresh air (or depending on the weather god on duty, be tousled by some signature Melbourne winds) while you dine and drink.
I went at 9.00pm on a Thursday (because I am cheap and they have four dollar pizzas between 11.00am-3.00pm and 7.00pm-10.00pm daily) and walked into find the place brimming to the rim with people. Somehow, the stars were on my side and we miraculously managed to find a comfy sofa and claim some cushions too. Another special on Thursday nights was the $1 champagne for the ladies.
As I found from the notice board above the bar, they offer several specials throughout the week. Sunday to Wednesday, jugs are $10 from 5.00pm to 10.00pm. Also on Wednesdays, for the meat lovers, there is all you can eat ribs for $19 per person. The specials keep rolling as we reach the end of the week with $8 jugs and '2 for 1' cocktails on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Fridays from 9.00pm to 11.00pm they offer $10 cocktails.
The champagne may not have been the best I've had, but it certainly was worth it for one dollar. The pizzas had exotic names like 'Road to El Dorado' and were equally satisfying in terms of taste. The crusts were soft and the pizza was light and easy to eat.
So if you are heading out for drinks or wanted to grab some grub in the dark of the night when other food places are closing, this is a recommended central hub (doesn't get more central than Melbourne Central).
And I think I have graduated from living under a rock and become a bit more educated on the watering holes of the city.