It’s 7.30pm on an unexpectedly balmy evening in Bristol. As I sit and wait for a friend to join me, I start pondering over what plates I’m going to break my Harbour & Browns foodie virginity to. Positioned on the first floor of Wapping Wharf's highly anticipated Cargo 2 development, the sister to Whiteladies Road’s popular Brace & Browns is certainly a trendy place to kill time – especially in food.
More minutes pass, and whilst I’d usually be firing frustrated WhatsApp messages by this point – I was pleasantly enjoying the setting in which I was being stood up (well, sort of). Dusky sunlight, ambient music, happy locals and the smell of delicious food coming from all directions – actually, I was quite content.
Whilst slurping on a refreshing Fevertree Elderflower Fizz (#teetotaltuesdays) I scan the selection of small, medium and large plates on the menu, taking my time to envisage the scripted flavour combinations whilst nosily watching what nearby tables have ordered – yes, I’m one of those.
When my friend arrives we catch up over lost time, in no rush to hurry the evening – and why would we? Evenings like this in Bristol deserve to be savoured. When our waiter arrives as what appears to be on cue, we confidently order from the ‘medium’ sized offerings – opting for a varied selection to pick and share. Unfortunately, my choice of Crispy Fish Bites was unavailable – clearly a favourite amongst the other hungry foodies that day. Instead, we were recommended an alternative of Thai Chicken Bites – I didn’t complain.
A short while later and food is served – our eyes collectively widening in the process. As a devote lover of good food (and known fussy eater), I was best pleased to see that what I’d ordered met expectations AND was piping hot. Split between us were the chargrilled Tender Stem Broccoli plated up with crispy triangles of Halloumi, Ginger, Soy and Sesame (£9) along with the Smoked Paprika & Parmesean Chips with aioli (£4.50) – slightly salty, but nonetheless delicious. Surprisingly the Pulled Jackfruit with Beans (£6) proved the evening’s underdog, providing a tasty ‘meaty’ veggie alternative with a sweet, smoky BBQ tang (also part of H&B’s ‘Bottomless Brunch’ menu – imagine posh beans on toast). Despite feeling adequately full, we managed to make room for the Crispy Thai Chicken Bites (of course) – enjoying the indulgent garlic mayonnaise and fragrant corn salsa that was beautifully presented beside it.
So despite not being able to tick Brace & Browns off my Bristol food bucket list just yet, I’m pretty certain that it’s sexy sibling was a worthy runner-up. Offering some commendable menu options and a top-notch waterside location, this Wapping Wharf addition is sure to set tongues wagging this year.
Harbour & Browns, Unit 13, Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6ZA.
To celebrate the launch of Cargo 2, myself and some other talented Bristol bloggers have created a collective round up of the new offerings this Wapping Wharf destination has to offer. If you're looking to find out about the other Cargo 2 establishments (or you're just hungry), click on the links below.