Culture

First date restaurant review: Go Go Music cafe

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Intrepid singleton Anny Ma reviews bars and eateries on a sliding scale of first-date suitability.

Jesus could apparently turn water into wine, and I’m here to turn my tragic singledom into your happily ever after. Welcome to the only guide worth consulting if you’re dating in Auckland.

Expect honesty, more interest in the food than the company, and far too much cynicism for a 24-year-old. The only thing worse than being stuck on a bad date is being stuck on a bad date where the food is as bland as the company. Let us pray for all who’ve previously been afflicted by this, and join me as I vow to never let our readers endure this again.

Gogo Music Cafe, 559 Dominion Road

Location: It’s up a flight of stairs, but that can be forgiven cos I’m #fitspo. It’s also opposite the delightful Capitol Cinema, so if dinner goes well you can suggest popping over for a slightly artsy movie because you’re just SO cultured. If it doesn’t go well, you could quite easily pretend to go the bathroom but actually just make a hasty exit down the stairs. 5/5

Bathroom: The girls’ bathroom is clean, tidy, and has a full-length mirror for any outfit adjustments you may need to make, or SOS mirror selfie snapchats you need to send. It’s also a good distance from the dining area, so you can very easily call a friend for mid-date pep talk if need be. Lighting is a bit dark, but all the better to make an escape in? 3/5

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Atmosphere: Gogo’s decor is best described as Western-fusion: a 3D Western scene hangs in one corner, providing an excellent talking point. There’s also a stage, which hints to me there may be live music at Gogo Music Café, when they’re not playing K-Pop bangers, that is. And yes, the bangers are played at a noise-level within which you can still hold a conversation. 5/5

Food: The Dominion Road staple of dumplings appears on the menu at Gogo, but you can also get meat on skewers, spicy fried chicken feet, seaweed salad, and giant (GIANT) platters of XinJiang chicken noodles. This is not a place to take somebody who thinks sweet and sour pork is adventurous eating. The tables are also shared, which definitely pushes the meat and three veg types over the edge. The food is cheap and cheerful, the former being my ex and the latter hopefully my next. Tip: don’t get the seaweed salad if you’re going for a ‘no food in my teeth’ look. Food is also very flavourful (delicious) which means a lot of garlic. Pack your breath mints (or don’t). 4/5

Drinks: BEER. Lots of light Asian beers, and a few cocktails too. If you don’t need the liquid courage, opt for one of the fruity milk teas, or mashed ice drinks. 4/5

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Service: The service is quick and to the point – something many dates are not. The wait staff don’t hover, and everything arrives quickly – perfect if you’ve decided by the bottom of your first beer you’re faking a bathroom trip via the stairs. 4/5

Verdict:  Would recommend for a second (or later) date, but the vibes may be a bit too chill for a first rendezvous. Plan a date at Gogo for when you’re ready to test their spice quota.

Would recommend for a second (or later) date, but the vibes may be a bit too chill for a first rendezvous. Plan a date at Gogo for when you’re ready to test their spice quota.

This article was first published in Paperboy magazine.
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