x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

It’s time to join a new Cargo cult

The new Dubai restaurant Cargo is bringing the bustling vibe of Hong Kong to the Middle East.

The interior of Cargo in Dubai Marina. Vikram Kacher
The interior of Cargo in Dubai Marina. Vikram Kacher

Dubai Marina’s newest dining destination, Pier 7, took a red-hot page from 1960s Hong Kong when it introduced Cargo to the expanding restaurant-cum-lounge scene in town and it’s bringing the ambitious and bustling vibe of the East to the Middle East.

Cargo – conceptualised by a team who have been residents of Dubai Marina for several years – have done well to make shipping crates, raw steel, concrete and weathered wood interiors come across as incredibly inviting, and the massive open-plan space is peppered with free-standing tables – already seemingly well worn-in by in-the-know neighbours sipping Cargo Slings, apple juice with Kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice and ginger.

The huge outdoor terrace, looking out onto impressive views of the Marina, will be put to good use during the cooler months that remain before the summer.

The menu boasts Asian cuisine inspired by street food, including such sharing dishes as the finger-­licking good garlic chilli edamame (Dh22), sesame-crusted ahi tuna (Dh59) and lemon grass chicken skewers – the lemon grass doubling as the stick (Dh49).

Already much-loved mains include the pad Thai with smoked duck and a precious teriyaki-glazed cod on pillowy wasabi mashed potato (Dh145). For those with more carnivorous leanings, there’s the grilled tenderloin, served with crispy potato, braised baby leek and a garlic butter ponzu sauce (Dh165).

“Our grilled tenderloin steak has been a huge hit in our opening couple of weeks – one customer even called me to say he’s been dreaming about it, so had to return for a second taste,” says the head chef Ramon Muyot.

Until Cargo expands its menu over the coming months, there are only three ways left to seal the deal: sorbet/ice cream (Dh11 a scoop), crème brûlée (Dh41), or our pick, a dainty, mousse-y nougat parfait (Dh41).

And with a DJ spinning all night, weekends are looking good here, too.

• Open daily, from 6pm to 2am, at Level 3, Pier 7, Dubai ­Marina. Call 04 361 8129 or visit www.cargo-dubai.com