Drawing inspiration from the extensive traveling done by Chef Ryan Gorby and Executive Chef Lon Symensma in Southeast Asia, Cho77 offers South Broadway patrons a meticulously thought out culinary offering sure to please your tastebuds.
Cho77 is Executive Chef Lon’s second venture showcasing his affection for Asian ingredients, opening just a few years after the James Beard nominated ChoLon on Blake Street.
Loki Media stopped by the popular new restaurant to enjoy an exclusive tasting and speak with Head Chef Ryan Gorby and General Manager Jose Rodriguez.
(with Plums, Beets, Cashews, Green Tea Vinaigrette)
Place of Origin: Burma
Chef’s Inspiration: When looking for a salad to put on their menu, Ryan drew inspiration from a fermented tea leaf salad he ate in Burma. It’s practically a national dish of Burma, where it is served on a large platter where you can pick and choose your ingredients. There is a lot texture and crunch in this dish, comprised of delicious local Colorado ingredients.
“I wanted to make a salad drawing inspiration from the fermented tea leaves, but I wanted to use Colorado regional, seasonal ingredients. Beets, kale, these are in season now, plums are always in season, and the Green Tea Vinaigrette helps it stay true to the fermented tea leaf dish.”
This is a relatively new item on the menu at only two weeks old, but Chef Gorby assures us that it will remain at least until the end of the holidays.
Thai Coconut Curry
(with Pulled Chicken, Crispy Egg Noodles, Mustard Greens)
Place of Origin: Chiang Mai, Thailand by way of Burma
Chef’s Inspiration: This curry is inspired by Khao Soi, a highly recognizable dish in Northern Thailand.
“The dish is done Chiang Mai style; if you go down the road [in Thailand] to Chiang Rai, it is prepared totally different, usually featuring ingredients such as tomatoes and pork. This dish became popular in Thailand but is of Burmese origin. So, it’s a Thai dish but the Burmese are the ones who really started it.”
Here, the dish is served differently than the typical Thai way, with the crispy noodles and mustard greens served separately, as opposed to having everything served together, which allows the eater to add these ingredients as he or she sees fit and preserves the crispiness of the noodles. The curry broth has a nice Thai kick to it, but is not too overbearing thanks to the coconut milk that helps offsets the heat.
“Bao Mi” Buns
(with Black Pepper Pork Belly, Sriracha Mayo, Pickles)
Place of Origin: Vietnam
Chef’s Inspiration: The flavors of a Bao Mi, but in a steam bun.
“We make the buns in house, which sets us apart. The buns aren’t super hard to make, but it’s a technique that must be mastered, which we’ve successfully done over the years. These are relatively new to the menu, but I don’t foresee them going anywhere.”
The buns are done with very little sugar, which provides a more savory flavor as opposed to sweet.
(with BBQ Pork Belly, Bok Choy, Pork Bone “Tea”)
Place of Origin: Malaysia
Chef’s Inspiration: Cho77’s take on the classic Wonton Mee from Malaysia. The crispy pork belly, egg noodles, and bok choy offer a very savory meal, with a delicious bone tea broth that helps cut through some of the saltiness. The only criticism here is the Bok Choy substitution, which doesn’t soak up the flavors as efficiently as Kai-Lan (Chinese broccoli) normally found in the dish.
However, given the limited availability of Kai-Lan and the accessibility to fresh local ingredients, it’s understandable that Bok Choy was substituted, and this substitution certainly doesn’t prevent it from being one of the top selling dishes at the establishment.
Cho77 does not disappoint. Executive Chef/Owner Lon Symensma has left his latest venture in good hands with Chef de Cuisine Ryan Gorby and General Manager Jose Rodriguez. The proof is in the delicious ensemble of Asian-inspired street food winning the hearts, and tastebuds, of so many locals. A must visit for you and a friend.
Photos Courtesy of Brad Gustafson of Loki Media