Gado Gado, the buzzy Indonesian-meets-Chinese-meets-Bostonian restaurant in the Hollywood District, will serve Malaysian-stuffed flatbread, veggie congee, and shrimp dumplings at its first brunch service this weekend.
The restaurant, which opened last month, started getting into the brunch world as a pop-up, selling dishes like the Indonesian rice porridge bubur ayam and bubbly puffed waffles out of Guilder cafe in Northeast Portland. Devotees will find a handful of those early brunch items on the restaurant’s opening menu. The rice porridge, infused with warm spices like nutmeg and clove, comes two ways: The bubur ayam arrives topped with fried chicken, pork floss, a quail egg, and a smattering of other accoutrement; vegetarians can stick to a veggie congee, which comes with fresh corn, blistered tomato, chickpea crisp, and a Chinese doughnut. The pandan bubble waffle, a sort of bubble-wrap-like sheet of waffle with Chinese origins, comes with whipped ricotta, sweetened condensed milk, Crunch Berries and real berries.
Still, most of the menu is brand-new, according to chef Thomas Pisha-Duffly. Instead of a breakfast sandwich, Gado Gado is taking its house-made roti and folding into a roti telur, a Malaysian stuffed flatbread with eggs, cheese, and spinach. The red-braised pork noodle soup is similar to a boat noodle, with blood sausage meatballs, pork belly, chewy yellow noodles, and smoked shank; on the somewhat lighter side of things, a sizzling crab noodle comes with a snow crab omelet, as well as a smattering of vegetables. Brunch will also serve as the debut of Gado Gado’s fried chicken. Marinated in a blend of coconut, lime leaves, and spices, the chicken arrives turmeric pickled vegetables with dipping sauce.
In true 21st century fashion, the restaurant also offers a smattering of toasts, but they’re anything but minimalist — all three start with a foundation of grilled white bread, but take a sharp right turn into the decadent. The Kaya toast — another original pop-up dish — is a “classic Singaporean breakfast,” in Pisha-Duffly’s words. He makes his own kaya, a coconut custardy jam with fresh pandan, smothered over the bread with a fat pat of butter, served alongside a soft sous-vide egg and maple sweet soy. On the more savory side, the foie toast smears foie mousse with berry preserves and coconut herb butter, while the uni toast comes with a soft scramble of egg, uni, and coconut herb butter, slathered over squares of grilled toast.
The drink menu is staying pretty straightforward: Mimosas, available by the glass or carafe, and a bloody mary with lemongrass, galangal, and fish sauce. The restaurant will serve many of its dinner non-alcoholic and boozy cocktails, as well as Junior’s Roast Coffee, both drip and in a coffee-avocado blended drink.
Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., possibly extending to 2 p.m. if all goes well. Check out the Gado Gado brunch menu below: