The Athenian – more style than substance?
- Location: Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf
- Cuisine: Greek
The shiny arrival of Cargo 2 brought a glittering variety of eateries and retailers to Bristol’s waterfront earlier this year. It’s given lucky Bristolians the creamiest gelato from Oliver’s Ice cream, the urban flair of New York diners with Spuntino and delicious seaside staples courtesy of Salt & Malt. You’ll find the The Athenian on the first floor, a team from Shoreditch who specialise in authentic Greek fast-food. Here you can expect your traditional Souvlakis, salads, mezze dishes and specialty dips with pitta.
Souvlaki takes centre stage here, with meaty fillings ranging from pork, chicken, lamb and beef, with meat-free options including mushroom and halloumi. Being a veggie I went for the super mushroom & halloumi wrap priced at £6.50 As I had expected, the halloumi and babaganoush brought out a great combo of juicy and salty flavours, (any place that recognises babaganoush and all its beauty has my vote), however I did find the amount of mushroom slightly overbearing, and I embarrassingly faced problems with greasy remnants dripping out from the bottom and onto my clothes.
On my second visit, I opted for their classic Greek salad with added halloumi and a side of smoked aubergine and pitta. The salad was generously portioned, and you could tell all the ingredients were freshly prepared (although perhaps the explosion of feta was a bit too much to handle when nearing the end).
Personally, I think their specialty dips are the real winners. You can choose from tzatziki yoghurt, melitzanosalata (smoked aubergine) and tyrokafteri (spicy feta and red pepper), all served with grilled handmade pitta for £3. Though I’ve only tried the first two I think they’re excellent value, plus it’s refreshing to see something aside from your standard humous! You can enjoy them as a light bite or starter, or add some sides in the form of Kalamato olives or Oregano fries (£2.50) to make a meaner meal of it.
The Athenian is perhaps too ambitious with their pricing, considering their drunken brethren Taka Taka offer a similar deal, with wholesome portions and considerably lower prices. I hasten to add however that The Athenian’s veggie options exceed in quality, variety and flavour – far better than Taka’s veggie grill and magic rolls. Though it may be a trendy spot for casual dining with added views of the harbour, the food itself is nothing to get blown away by – it feels like a clean attempt at Greek fast-food, which normally sells due to its greasy and hearty appeal. The service was ok, perhaps not the level it should be considering it’s up-market feel. I’d consider visiting again, but only so I can try out every single one of those dips.
- Price: 2/5
- Service: 3/5
- Overall: 3/5