Cargo Hold is one of the city’s newest eateries which promises good food, good value for money and good atmosphere - and it did not disappoint.
My friend and I arrived on a rainy Friday evening at around 8pm, cold and hungry. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who offered us a choice of seating and, realising we were cold, suggested the lounge area as she said this was warmest place in the restaurant.
We appreciated the advice and soon warmed up in a cosy booth by the window, enjoying the Spanish music as we made our food choices.
First, we ordered drinks; my friend chose a classic Malbec red wine (£4.40) and I opted for a house speciality cocktail, a Cargo’s Chocolate Orange.
With Mozart chocolate liqueur, Santa Teresa Gran Reserva and Cointreau, combined with chocolate ice cream, this delicious cocktail was a drink and a dessert in one; as indulgent as it was boozy. At first, it tasted a bit more like drinking a chocolate milkshake – albeit a very nice one – but then about half way down the glass the alcohol kicked in.
For our mains, I chose a mixed vegetable paella (£10.95) and my dining companion chose the rump steak (£12,80), asking for it to be cooked medium rare.
I decided on the paella because this is a dish I rarely see on vegetarian menus, at least not without having to order a portion big enough for two, so I was looking forward to trying something different.
The rice dish, which included mixed peppers, courgettes, onions, mushrooms, peas and aubergine, was cooked to perfection. The vegetables were fresh and flavourful and the rice was soft and creamy.
My friend said her steak was tender, also packed with flavour and cooked perfectly. Her accompanying chips were fresh and well seasoned and the salad tangy.
We couldn’t resist a dessert and both chose the chocolate brownie, (£6.70), without nuts which came served with ice-cream. We both felt that what arrived, with it’s soft, sponge-like texture and warm chocolate icing was more of a cake than a brownie – but still enjoyable though a little underwhelming.
Unfortunately, we had to go and find a waiter to be able to order our desserts, and again to pay our bill. This was perhaps because we were in the lounge and not the main restaurant area or because the establishment, on Church Street in the city centre, opened a month ago. However, the overall dining experience was a good one.
Our bill was £49.05.