Discotheques, around the world, have often been given trendy and unusual names. Coco Banana, Purple Onion, Blue Cow, even Disco Disco! But I had always thought Gado Gado, a plate of steamed vegetables, was a most unusual disco title even for Bali!
Now it is no longer a disco, but a restaurant. Not a little warung as the name may suggest, but a real fine dining experience on the beach at Seminyak. Big brother ?66?, almost directly behind, carries on the discotheque tradition.
One restaurant almost becomes two, well three if you also count the small air-conditioned private dining area up in the ceiling loft. Inside the main building is a large space containing lounges, well-spaced tables and an extra long bar. The décor is very simple, but creates a sense of quiet elegance.
The outside area is quiet magic! The large patio has been constructed around the trees that already existed, thus creating a most natural setting adjacent to the white-sanded beach and rolling surf.
It seems to be the place to enjoy a refreshing summer lunch. Fortunately the menu at Gado Gado, and the resultant offerings are almost perfect to do just that!
The iced Gazpacho Soup is unusual in that it has had a dollop of guacamole and some plump prawns added to it. The Prawn Salad has asparagus and macadamia nuts added, topped with the essence of lime and shallot. A Duck Salad is tender slivers of duck meat on assorted leaves. A papaya and balsamico dressing gives this dish the freshness of summer.
A Crisp Skinned Wasabi Chicken Breast on a bed of spiced Thai noodles is a taste explosion for all who love the extravagant flavours of Asian food at its best! A tangy Lemon Risotto, with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan is also a pleasant lunch time snack.
Rigatoni with asparagus and baby beetroot in lemon cream sauce, or Tortellini stuffed with ricotta and smoked tomato in a sage butter sauce, are both pasta dishes suited to the fresh outdoor location. As is the Seafood Linguini: a collection of prawns, scallops, mussels and red snapper with just a touch of chilli.
Many of the lunch time dishes remain on the menu for dinner, perfect for an early evening meal on the terrace under the trees and the stars. But at night time the heavy guns come out as well!
Those unique Rock Oysters from Sydney head the list, served with a mirin soy dipping sauce. The Bisque is made from blue swimmer crab and lobster, a dollop of cognac infused cream floating on top! The Saffron Seared Scallops are served with strips of mahi mahi, wrapped in nori seaweed, with a wakame salad and a cucumber wasabi dressing.
Those Japanese dumplings, Gyoza, I like very much. At Gado-Gado they are different from any other I have ever tasted, being stuffed with quail meat and shitake mushrooms. A soy sesame vinaigrette is on the side. Quite fantastic! Almost as good is the Ravioli. Stuffed with scallop and salmon meat, it is served with a yabbie in a broth of tomato thyme water.
The well-balanced list of mains do favour seafood as befits the location. River Prawns are char-grilled and served with truffled mash, herb and garlic butter. The Fillet of Atlantic Salmon has a sauce of yellow curry and lemongrass. A Fillet of Blue Marlin is served on a bed of squid ink risotto, with a beetroot essence. The Swordfish is served with clams in a saffron sauce with semolina gnocchi.
The Chicken Breast is served with that delight of Northern Africa, cous cous. A perfect [pink] Rack of Lamb comes on a minted risotto. The Eye Fillet of Beef is cooked exactly as you wish it. It is in a sauce of balsamic and merlot, which perfectly balances the strong beef flavour. Some grilled polenta and a capsicum chutney are on the side.
A Lamb Shank arrives on roasted butternut pumpkin, with snow peas. The Crispy Skinned Duck Breast has been lightly coated with red curry paste. A Fillet of Pork is with mushrooms, potatoes, bacon and balsamico figs.
The dessert list is small but interesting. A Chocolate Melted Cake, with orange sorbet and double cream. A Mango Mousse with toasted marshmallows and mango salsa or a Crème Brulee with blueberries. They also have a good selection of very fruity ice creams and sorbets. Perfect for on the beach, under the trees.
A good and extensive wine list and fresh interesting food with pleasant service make that long casual lunch or elegant dinner a visit to remember.
Relaxing in the shade of trees, enjoying the summer tastes of this interesting menu, you want the moment to never end. Lunch at Gado Gado provides one answer to the question of why people come to Bali for a holiday. But then we are the lucky ones, we can come here any day of the year!