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Gao

198/200 Dairy Flat Highway, Albany, Albany
  • Closes 02:00pm
  • Mon
    Closed
  • Tue
    5:30pm - 9pm
  • Wed
    5:30pm - 9pm
  • Thu
    5:30pm - 9pm
  • Fri
    5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Sat
    11am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Sun
    11am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 9pm
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Asian Fusion, executed with flair in Albany

We visited Gao shortly after it opened in 2018, before the pandemic, before the workforce shortages and before the cost of living crisis which have wreaked havoc across this city’s dining scene . On this first visit, what we found at this restaurant was impressive (not to mention delicious). So, after being hosted at Gao for a visit last week (thanks!), it was both unexpected and pleasing to discover that their commitment to quality and warm, insightful service had only deepened. Gao has weathered its fair share of challenges over the years, including workforce shortages and the cost of living crisis. This perseverance and dedication of the owner, Brian, and his passionate team have undoubtedly played a crucial role in maintaining the restaurant's high standards and creating memorable dining experiences for customers. This collective spirit of belief and love among the staff has likely contributed significantly to Gao's enduring success and positive reputation within the community and with the addition of head chef Rupert Palaroan last year, there’s also a welcome addition of Filipino flavours which adds a fresh, new dimension to the already stacked and playful menu.


If you’re going (and you should) it seems judicious to wrangle a few dining companions so you’re able to try as much of the menu as possible – many of the dishes are designed to be shared. And although we tried a lot, somehow we didn’t find anything we wouldn’t order again in a heartbeat.


In an effort to help you navigate things a little though, we particularly recommend the Sichuan Salted Cucumber which is bright, fresh and paired perfectly with the cashew cream it comes sitting in; the Tuna ‘Kinilaw’ (ceviche with spiced coconut and salsa); the Peking Duck which comes pre-assembled with an excellent cherry hoisin sauce and wrapped in a roti rather than the traditional thin pancake; the Cheese Burger Spring Rolls and the Garlic Beef Longganisa Skewers which arrive lying on a flat bread and garlic confit aioli – you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you left without tasting them. 


It’s hard not to be a little jealous of the North Shore locals who have a place like Gao to drop into at a moments notice. But for everyone else, it’s definitely worth the short trip over the bridge – head over, park up, and, we cannot stress this enough, order the skewers. And the cucumber. And the kinilaw. And the spring rolls.

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