[Shanghai Girl Eats] Goga

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Goga | gogarestaurants.com | Dianping
Address: 1 Fenyang Lu near Dongping Lu / 岳阳路1号(近东平路)
Date visited: 2016.01 for dinner
Price: RMB350-500 per person; cash only!
Will return: Definitely
What to get:
– Uni & avocado
– Teriyaki BBQ salmon salad
– West coast lobster roll
– Miso broiled black cod

I have always been a fan of Hai by Goga [1][2] and I have finally made it to Goga (Golden Gate). The two restaurants are by Brad Turley, a San Francisco native who creates unique American cuisine with a mix of Asian elements from his days in Hawaii, Shanghai, and somewhere in Vietnam. Goga and Hai by Goga are places that have been around for awhile for a good reason — they are delicious and consistent. I will make it a point to come here more often.

During our visit, Brad was seen in and out of the restaurant; his staff cooked and it was all top notch. Having a staff that can function with minimal supervision from the boss chef is like a unicorn sighting. Digression: another place that can do this is Table No. 1 [1][2] — Executive Chef Christopher Pitts’ long-time staff have their dishes down.

The space at Goga is a lot smaller than Hai by Goga. Goga has a few bar seats facing the chefs in the open kitchen and just a few small tables lining the window wall. Reservation is a must — we came into an empty restaurant at 6:30pm on an early night but by the time we left, every table was filled. Don’t forget, cash only!

Uni & avocado (RMB90) sea urchin, lemon avocado, grilled crostini
Recommend: yes
So little (essentially RMB45 per piece) but so good. The warm baguette slices had a nice smokey hint to them and was not too hard.

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

Sizzling kampachi sashimi (RMB110) with yuzu, white soy, white truffle
Recommend: no
Seared on one side and raw on the underside — there was nothing wrong with the execution but I just don’t like this particular fish paired with truffle. I am usually pro-truffle but in this case, I don’t think the dish needs it. Perhaps a bit more citrusy and ceviche-like elements instead.

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

Teriyaki BBQ salmon salad (half portion RMB100/full portion RMB190) with nori seaweed, green apple, Asian slaw, wasabi crunch
Recommend: yes – definitely
An explosion of flavors ending with wasabi. This salad is so good I could eat only this as a meal and be happy with it. This is actually like the best salad ever.

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

West coast lobster roll (RMB140) Atlantic lobster with sriracha, cilantro aioli, sprout salad, butter grilled bun and corn on the cob
Recommend: yes
Though I like this, I have had better lobster rolls in America. If you have access to good lobster rolls back home, I would advise allocating the money elsewhere on the menu because it is worth half a portion of miso cod that you could be eating. If lobster rolls are an exotic dish where you are from and since there are almost no good lobster rolls in Shanghai, it could be a worthy splurge.

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

Miso broiled black cod (half portion RMB140/full portion RMB270) with shrimp shiitake salsa, edamame jus, truffle kabayaki
Recommend: yes – definiltey
This is what you come to Goga for — the famous miso cod. Flakey, fatty cod coated in a sweet glaze. Not big on the shrimp on top though. Full portion shown below, worth upsizing!

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

Lemon curd (RMB70) with sugar cookie crust and blueberries 
Recommend: yes
A very sour lemon curd — clean and simple. The alternate dessert option is chocolate mousse, which is also good.

Goga Brad Turley Shanghai

There are mammals on the menu but my friend and I were in an oceanic mood today. Will be back for the rest, no doubt.