Review: Sake Night at Sho Cho Abu Dhabi

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” Japanese Proverb

The other half and I have been known to ‘shake our thang’ at the 80’s/90’s night at Sho Cho after many Friday Brunches, I can assure you it’s not pretty but it’s great fun (not so much the next day) and we have dragged a visitor or too along to party with us, if we can manage to stay out and let’s face it, stay awake after brunch.

Sho Cho is a trendy Japanese restaurant located at the Qaryat Al Beri Souk, the perfect place to eat first-rate oriental cuisine with a selection of both traditional sushi and cooked food, sip signature cocktails or dance like a crazy person to classic tunes like Dancing Queen or YMCA. The terrace which is perfect for alfresco dining has stunning views across the water, the Souk’s marina and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque beyond.

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When the invitation came through to preview Sho Cho Abu Dhabi’s new contemporary sake infused cocktail menu that launches this month, I didn’t hesitate to accept. Five tempered sake based cocktails made using the finest Gekkeikan dry sake have been added to the restaurant’s already delicious cocktail selection designed to perfectly compliment the range of fresh sashimi, sushi and classic cooked Japanese dishes on the menu.

Sake is an essential part of an authentic Japanese meal, it’s actually the oldest known spirit dating back to 3rd century AD, made from fermented rice that can be served hot or cold. Sho Cho has taken traditional sake and blended it with fresh ingredients such as elderflower, lychee, basil leaves and fresh pungent wasabi to create a range of five innovative cocktails; the Sake Sour, Sakura, Japanese Bourbon, Wasabi Sour and Kurimina that are served in quirky looking laboratory style glasses.

Our journey through the sake cocktails was accompanied by an array of dishes starting with Sho Gho edamame beans coated in a zingy ginger, sesame and soy dressing paired with a Sake Sour (Gekkeikan sake with vermouth bianco, spice syrup, lemon juice and basil leaves). Next up was a very tasty and pretty pink Sakura (Gekkeikan dry sake with rose wine, lemon juice, elderflower syrup, lychee and basil) served with a decorative sashimi platter, the other half declaring it “the best sashimi he’s eaten in Abu Dhabi”, a calamari salad and the vegetarian options of vegetable maki rolls and the most delicious Nasu Miso, aubergine with sweet miso sauce and sesame seeds, so good I ate it every last morsel.

DSC09471More cocktails and food arrived arrived, the table favourite of Rock Shrimp Tempura and tender melt in the mouth Beef Teriyaki served with a Japanese bourbon (Southern comfort, Gekkeikan dry sake, orange slice, papaya fruit, lemon, sugar syrup, mint leave and lemonade) and Wasabi Sour (Gekkeikan dry sake, vermouth, spice syrup and lemon juice, basil and fresh wasabi), all very tasty and refreshing. Each cocktail was presented and explained brilliantly by the Sho Cho team, part of the great service which made for a relaxed yet informative evening, the other half was the designated driver for the evening (again) so the bartenders made him non-alcoholic versions.

DSC09468The dessert course was three flavours of Japanese Mochi ice cream, green tea, coconut and ginger served in a soft mochi shell presented with a Kurimina (Gekkeikan dry sake, malibu, pineapple juice, coconut cream, palm sugar and cream), a Japanese version of a Pina Colada. We had a great evening taste testing these additions to the already popular Sho Cho experience, every cocktail was enjoyable and every dish was of a high standard. As it was ‘Acoustic Tuesday’ regular Sho Cho entertainer Benri was playing the guitar and singing on the terrace and he was excellent!

Sho Cho’s interior is a fusion of modern design where white minimalist leather seating is combined with blue mood lighting and tv screens showing jellyfish inlaid into the walls, like large portholes to the sea. This restaurant and lounge has an indoor bar and dining area, an outdoor dining area with a funky blue-lit outdoor bar on the decked terrace, which also turns into a packed dance floor at night. I recommend you give this hip dining and late night social venue a visit if you haven’t already, go for a nice fine dining experience (the other half is still talking about how good the food was), indulge in some fab cocktails and if it’s a Friday dance like no-one’s watching!

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Sho Cho Abu Dhabi

Location: Qaryat Al Beri Souk, Between the Bridges

Telephone: 02 558 1117

Website: www.sho-cho.com

E-mail:  abudhabi@sho-cho.com.

See the full Sho Cho menu here

Opening Times: Sunday to Thursday 12pm – 3.30pm and 6pm – 2.45am, Friday and Saturday – 12pm – 2.45am (Friday Brunch – 12pm – 4pm).

I was invited to attend this event. All the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. First, second and last photos used courtesy of Sho Cho Abu Dhabi