Fish Meets Meat at Cargofish x Burnt Bamboo in Ortigas
After being first introduced to Matthew and Matthew (that’s Matthew John Hornsby-Bates and Matthew Kenneth Chan Lim), they told us the origin of their new concept.
“What’s the opposite of fish?” Matthew asks. “Meat.”
Cargofish started out as a little container van in Uptown Mall just last year, promising authentic British Fish and Chips in different dips, complete with bottles of Sarson’s malt vinegar and “proper chips” that could rival KFC’s potato wedges.
After expanding, they decided it was high time to give Pasig City a taste of their crispy, beer-battered fish and sides, teaming it up with a fresh new concept to sink our teeth into. In City Golf Plaza, Cargofish x Burnt Bamboo’s takeout counter greets you first. Their innovative takeaway boxes are easy to buy from the counter and make it easy to eat on the go. Not as traditional as a good old paper cone from England, but sometimes you have to innovate. The dine-in area features hip interiors, a mix of London-inspired imagery and more modern street aesthetics. The bamboo stick lanterns and the neon lights are interesting focal points and create a backdrop to the kitchen in full view. There is also a nice outdoor area that overlooks the traffic of Julia Vargas avenue.
After a bit of discussion with Matthew Chan Lim on the other restaurants in the plaza, it’s obvious that Cargofish x Burnt Bamboo found a great little spot where good restaurants started.
But on to more important things. What’s the opposite of fish?
Burnt Bamboo follows the same concept as Cargofish—you choose your meat on a stick, a glaze you can vary per stick and the option of adding a salad or rice (because what’s a stick of meat without rice, we ask). From street fare like Inasal and Betamax, a whole chicken wing and beef tenderloin, seeing the menus of Burnt Bamboo and Cargofish next to each other just feels like a match made in food heaven.
“What we want here is the freedom of choice,” Matthew Hornsby-Bates tells us. “Here, the’s no such thing as ‘hindi pwede’ here.”
And freedom of choice is what everyone gets here. Want to dip Burnt Bamboo’s prawn on a stick with Cargofish Chip Shop Curry? Give it a go. Want to glaze your beer battered tilapia with Vietnamese nuoc cham? Feel free. The world becomes your food oyster here, and we’re happy to take a bite.
But for those who want to stick to the classics, we highly recommend giving Burnt Bamboo’s pork belly with the chimichurri glaze. Chimichurri makes everything better, we swear, and it just enhances the flavors of the pork. It was a clear winner among our team, and both Matthew and Matthew mentioned the combo in their favorites off of the menu.
Also highly recommended off of the Cargofish menu was the beer battered cod with the lime chili sauce. Cod is one of the classics they use in the UK, and that crispy batter paired with their proper chips just made everything better. We recommend trying it with the malt vinegar too. And while British Matthew Hornsby-Bates insists that the Mushy Peas are an essential menu item, we recommend also getting the garlic or tartar sauce with your malt vinegar, just to complete the experience.
We also want to give a shout out to the secret menu item we weren’t supposed to know about! Here’s a hint: it comes in a can.
Cargofish and Burnt Bamboo are at City Golf Plaza, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.