Dao Chao Chinese Restaurant, Broad Quay, Bristol Review

Dau Chao restaurant is the very new kid on the block at Broad Quay having been open for only a month or so. The décor is comfortable but casual with floor to ceiling windows giving a spectacular view across the city centre ideal for people-watching and seeing the world go about its business. What could be better than to do this armed with one of their glitzy cocktails from the long list available in a generous two for one offer; caipirinha would always be my go-to cocktail from their ‘classic’ list but I did cast an eye at the Pornstar Tree, comprising nine pornstar martinis and a bottle of Prosecco which I should think would start your ladies’ night off with bang. However, since there was only two of us dining on this particular evening, we sensibly set about the menu instead.

The menu is reassuring short and simple (everything is cooked to order so no fast frozen-to-table malarkey) with a good choice of chicken, pork and lamb dishes, plus vegetarian. From the starters we chose golden prawns; deep fried prawns with a sweet chilli sauce, and satay chicken, skewers of marinated chicken chargrilled and served with peanut sauce. To follow as main courses, crispy lamb in Beijing sauce, shredded crispy lamb with peppers and onions in tangy sauce and chow mein, egg noodles, peppers, onions, and spring onions in a stir fry sauce. You can add chicken or pork to the chow mein, but I love a good noodle and prefer it as a vegetarian dish. We also ordered sides of tender stem broccoli tossed in ginger, garlic and oyster sauce, and mixed prawn fried rice.

The restaurant has a really nice atmosphere with attentive and friendly service, and we enjoyed waiting for our starters, looking out on the nightlife of Bristol with a drink at our elbows. They arrived and both were excellent; the satay chicken was delicious topped with a sprinkling of fine chopped peanuts surrounded by creamy sauce and a most generous portion of chicken. The prawns were terrific too, large, juicy and gently fried, with a good sweet chilli dipping sauce.

After this great start to our meal, we had high hopes of the main courses and were not disappointed. A large steaming bowl of chow mein hove into view, partnered by an equally large bowl of crispy lamb. The chow mein full of dark, sticky, stir fry sauce was spicy and very tasty and my dinner guest lost his bet that I wouldn’t finish it down to the last noodle. The crispy lamb hit the spot too and we both remarked at the end of the evening that there wasn’t one thing we didn’t like about Dao Chao which is a pretty good recommendation.

Jacquie Vowles

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