The Bristol food scene is bursting at the seams with new places to try out at the moment, and with the addition of a new destination on the harbourside, I’ve got my work cut out for me in the coming months! Hot off the heels of Cargo on the steps of Wapping Wharf comes its cool, hip cousin – Cargo 2 opened its doors less than a month ago, and myself and some other intrepid food bloggers popped along to see what it was all about.
We each chose a new establishment to road test (check the links at the bottom of this post for everyone else’s reviews), which was quite an ordeal given the fantastic choice. In the end I plumped for food market legends Gopal’s Curry Shack. These chaps have been regulars on the Temple Quay lunch market scene for a while, and even used to cook up a storm every Monday evening at the Old Bookshop quiz night. Favouring vegetarian and vegan cuisine, they offer up Indian inspired cuisine with an English twist at a snip – perfect for a quick and healthy lunchtime treat.
One thing I love about Cargo in general was pointed out by the lovely Mel from Gopal’s – the whole thing has a bit of a market feel; if you’re visiting with the family and one of you fancies tacos, one wants a curry, but the little’un just wants an ice cream, Cargo has got you covered. Plus you can take a lush stroll down the harbour while munching on your grub.
On the menu today were classic dishes of chana masala and ‘Roald’ Dhal, with a curry box and thali box option for the colossally hungry. One unusual addition to the menu caught my eye, however – did I spy a cheese toastie in there somewhere?! Never one to pass up the opportunity for melted cheese, I thought I’d give the Mumbai toastie a whirl. (FYI: I did not realise this at the time of ordering, but apparently this is a limited edition run!! The last chance to grab one of these bad boys is TODAY, so you’d better hot-foot it down to Cargo while you still can).
I pulled up a pew outside Gopal’s and did a bit of people watching while I waited for my grub to arrive, but couldn’t resist sampling a creation that I had heard whispered rumours about. Surely, I thought to myself, such a delicacy could not exist? Surely no one would be as brave as to pop an egg into an onion bhaji to create… A BHAJI SCOTCH EGG?
Well, Gopal’s Curry Shack have done it, and by gawd if it isn’t a bloody revelation. Not the easiest thing to eat, but totally worth getting messy for – the gently spiced bhaji is the perfect crispy coating for the perfectly cooked egg in the middle, and at £3.50 this would make a decadent breakkie, ideal elevensies treat, or even jazz up that boring limp salad you brought in for lunch. I adored it.
Soon, the vision of gooey, cheesy glory was in front of me, and I wasted no time tucking in to my Mumbai toastie. This vision of cheesiness is certainly one for those with big appetites, and perhaps not greedy girls who have just snaffled a bhaji egg, like yours truly. Slightly intimidated by the large amount of food before me, I pondered on the concept of this combination, and wondered why it hadn’t been attempted before. I mean, what sounds better than marrying masala potatoes with a wealth of fresh veg, plenty of Indian chutneys and dousing the lot in a mountain of gooey organic cheddar? NOTHING.
Despite getting half of it all over my face and the other half of it down my front, it was nothing short of spectacular. There seemed to be something different to taste in every bite – first there was the lush mature cheese, next a hint of minty pea, then a crunch of green pepper, and… did a detect the tang of lime pickle? Perhaps the only thing that could have been improved is maybe using a different cheese – I reckon something mild and super melty like mozzarella could work well here, to carry the other flavours a little bit more.
Having said that, my first trip to Gopal’s Curry Shack was nothing short of excellent, and I’ll waste no time in going back again – that samosa box is calling my name!
If you fancy having a read of more reviews about Cargo 2, check out the other lovely foodies’ musings below:
Joanna Clifford – Cargo Cantina
Kym Grimshaw – Tare
Bristol Bites – The Athenian
Yes Starling – Spuntino
Stuffed – Pickled Brisket
Stripd – Harbour & Browns
Wuthering Bites – Salt & Malt