Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Après ski at Cargo

Cargo at Gantley’s is continuing a long-time tradition as a quality hospitality venue with its charming, family style pub at Arthur’s Point. The authentic stone building was opened in 1865 by Patrick Gantley, serving food, drink and lodgings to miners searching for gold in the nearby rivers and today the legacy lives on under the ownership of Malcolm and Merrin Blakey.

Cargo is open for all day coffee, baked goods, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

“Contemporary comfort food presented with a fun twist is what we’re about,” says head chef Will Eaglesfield who has a refreshing modern take on pub food.

“We wanted to elevate the experience while keeping those general crowd pleasers like burgers and fries and our new winter menu reflects this complementing the local craft brews, wines and ciders.”

Will worked for eight years as executive chef of Eichardt’s, No5 Church Lane and The Grille and previously spent three years at Queenstown’s award winning Amisfield and his attention to detail is evident in the ambitious menu at Gantley’s.

“ I love making things from scratch and every week we chargrill vegetables over the woodfire for multiple dishes. Our brisket burger takes two days to prep as we brine the brisket for 20 hours, dry rub and leave for 12 hours before cooking it for a further 12 hours.”

“We make our own vegan mayonnaise and the burger has both chipotle and mustard mayo made using our Cargo IPA beer to soak the mustard seeds. It’s one burger with six different components, each taking up to 48 hours to produce.”

Other top Cargo winter dishes include a shoulder of lamb, vegan rice bowl and game paté.

“A winter drawcard is the return of our Sunday roast where I draw on my UK heritage serving up giant Yorkshire puddings with the roast meal.”

Will also likes to tie in Cargo beer and uses left over hops to make Hot Hops pesto and Hip Hop apple jelly –  he is also a keen forager and is always on the lookout for local produce.

“Rosehips, elderberries, elderflowers and watercress are regular finds. We use lots of seasonal vegetables in the dishes to keep a lightness to the repertoire that customers love. I want the food at Cargo to be fun rather than fancy, interesting, simple dishes that pack a punch of flavour and taste and look great.”


Cargo at Gantley’s is geared for the après ski crowd with a welcoming outdoor garden courtyard complete with heaters and blazing wood fires.

“Kids and dogs love running around and there’s lots of tables for families and groups to relax in their ski gear,” says head chef Will Eaglesfield. “Inside it’s spacious and light with wood floors, fresh interiors and open fires.”

“The menu is filled with salty, crispy, snacks. Zingy treats like our famous pickled pepper poppers, Havoc pork popcorn and new crunchy polenta fries are super popular.”

The bar serves a range of craft beers, portage and cider, their own Canyon Brew and beers from local breweries such as Searchlight, Altitude and Scotts alongside Central Otago wines from Terra Sancta, Peregrine and Coalpit.

“There’s a great selection of international beers and wines including Australian reds, Chardonnays and Rieslings and New Zealand Pinot Noir,” says Will. “Cargo is en route to Coronet Peak and a favourite place to stop off after a day on the mountain to enjoy our après ski drinks and food.”