In a little stand-alone restaurant on Main Street West (just East of Fortinos), you’ll find the neighbourhood favourite, Mister Gao.
Mister Gao hasn’t really gained “mainstream” popularity yet, but those that have been there, love it. The small Chinese restaurant has no parking of it’s own and not a huge amount of seating but what they lack in space, they make up for in flavour.
The restaurant creates dishes that are inspired by Chinese cuisine, and mostly rural fare, in addition to a few unique dishes that are their own creation. Dishes are always cooked fresh to order, so you may wait slightly longer for certain dishes – such as their clay pot stew.
The menu is huge. If it’s a first visit for you, choosing your meal is definitely going to take a while. The menu is split up into sections: Appetizers, Noodles, Fried Rice, Clay Pot Stews, Griddles, Hot Pot and Dessert.
Favourite dishes include: Ma Po Tofu (for those who like spicy), Eggplant + Potato + Green Pepper dish and Country Style Spicy Pork… though from what I tried, you can’t go wrong with much. Their Clay Pot Stew also makes for good conversation, as it comes sizzling out from the kitchen. The Stewed Pickled Cabbage, Sliced Bacon and Glass Noodle Stew was a really surprising flavour combination, reminiscent of Sauerkraut or the Polish Bigos dish.
If you aren’t sure what you should try out first, I recommend looking through all the photos on their menu and choosing one that catches your eye…or ask your server. Two great ways to start out at finding a new favourite! Try something new! Whatever you end up choosing, make sure to order some steamed rice in a bamboo basket on the side. It really adds to the experience, plus makes for a tasty side to go along with your mains.
The Mister Gao team believes that “their dishes taste best when shared”. The best way to tackle the menu is to order as a group and share everything! They’ll even bring you over side plates and bowls without having to ask.
The Mister Gao team is used to serving tables in larger groups, so the food overall comes out quite quickly and as a bonus, the customer service is pleasant.
Go ahead, find a new favourite dish at Mister Gao! Try their veggie options, you may be pleasantly surprised.
1561 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 1E6
7 days a week – 12pm to 10:30pm
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