Cargo at Wapping Wharf* is arguably the city's most exciting new development and as such, I couldn't wait to explore what each converted shipping container had to offer...Starting with a carnivorous luncheon at the novelly-named PIGSTY*. Now, Bristol's burger scene is undoubtedly next-level and thus, there was a high expectation that this newcomer would meet the bar set by its well-established, bap-happy counterparts. However, what we found was a mixed trough of faultless flavour versus questionable service and value for money. Read on to learn more...
Date and time: 11 February 2017, 14:00 approx.
Name of Establishment: PIGSTY
Location: Units 1&2, Cargo 1, Wapping Wharf
Reason for Visit: A late-lunch pig-out!
It was a good day when the three brothers that founded The Jolly Hog brought a restaurant to our fair city that would specialise in all things porky and I figured that it would be an even better day when I'd get to sample its wares. And so, hungrily stepping into the quirky container and shown to the only free table within the suitably intimate space, it wasn't long before silence descended upon our party of four as menus were unfolded and scrutinised. Now, to get the low point of our experience out of the way, I have to say that the server we had was really rather solemn and clearly considered herself too cool to be dealing with the likes of our rabble! I mean, aloof didn’t cut it and a smile would have gone a long way, especially as we would imminently rack up a bill that would set us back well over 60 big ones! As a minimum, she should have written down our order as it was twice delivered to our table incorrectly and without an apology....Not a good start...
Service aside, I have to say that the quality of the fare itself was first rate and the 'Pig Mac' (£9), although a little tepid, was bloody delicious; the slow-roasted BBQ’d pulled pork and cheesy ‘Baconaise’ that topped the pork patty really packing in the flavour in terms of what constituted a juicy, meaty feast of epic proportions. The Hoguettes (£5) too were indulgent and flavoursome whereby that same slow-roasted pork (shoulder to be precise) had been encased within a perfectly crisped crumb. The addition of the restaurant’s seemingly signature sauce – that aforementioned Baconaise - really sealed the deal here and in fact, my only gripe was that I could have done with a couple more…You know those moments when you don’t want what you’re eating to end?...That! I thought that for nine whole pounds, a side of fries would be a standard accompaniment for PIGSTY’s burgers but alas, they were a further £3.50 (or £4.50 if, like me, you have a weakness for sweet potato fries). Instead, the ‘raw slaw’ that was offered received mixed reviews – I considered it well-seasoned and enjoyed that it wasn’t as ‘wet’ as coleslaw had the tendency to be elsewhere but others didn’t appreciate its simplicity and suggested that ultimately, it just didn’t complement the main event.
To wash everything down was to choose from a small yet perfectly formed selection of drinks and although the Craft Ales (‘oh hai, Wiper and True!’) were a tad on the expensive side, I thought that a 125ml glug of the house wine for £3.50 was fair game. I opted for the ‘Pinoso Tinto’ which was pleasingly palatable.
Overall, I think PIGSTY will be a takeaway affair for me in the future. I have no doubt at all that the thoughtfully-sourced ingredients will constitute a cracking bacon sarnie to enjoy 'on the trott' but I'm not sure that, given the comparable quality elsewhere (and for less spondoolies to boot), that I'd 'sit-in' for a full-on pig-out. Here's hoping that this review doesn't make me too unpopular amongst my fellow foodies and that my next visit to Cargo warrants a more gushing reception.