I must admit that we walk past The Hold often, but have never really thought about it for a place to eat dinner. Mostly likely this stems from the association that this space was just a cocktail bar previously and an expensive one at that…Harlem, for those playing along. When you walk past , looking in, the interiors of The Hold are still dark and surreptitious but now are also detailed with wood from floor to ceiling and themed to be the inside of a old schooner ship, hence the name, The Hold.
However, the name does not give away what type of cuisine is on offer. It is a bit of a mystery… So when I said to The Hubby, lets try out the First Table site this week and see which restaurant we can tick off our Eatery List; The Hold appeared on their roll call of restaurants and the cuisine catalogued was American (New), Gastro Pub Food…ah ha mystery solved! We had particularly healthy home cooked meals for well over a week and the thought of a deluxe burger and fries instantly made my hand scroll over to the ‘book now’ button to secure our reservation. Now, not only were we in for a burger fix, we were also going to get 50% off the food bill too. Winning!
Being a First Table reservation, we were just that, the first table to be seated, so we had the pick of seating options plus the sort of undivided attention of our waiter. The menu was handed to us, our drink order taken and we were left to peruse our dinner selection. The menu is a short, quick & punchy and one that Gordon Ramsey would certainly approve of in that manner. There was also a Weekly Burger & Fries special to consider too. I decided on the Captain Jack burger which comes with streak fries.
150g all beef patty, crispy bacon, spanish onions, jack cheddar, mac and cheese infused onion ring, Bourbon BBQ sauce & American mustard with Detroit pickles
The Hubby had the Weekly Burger & Fries special called the Beer Cheese & Chilli Burger or the BCCB …ummm, this has bloke written all over it!
Japanese milk bun, 150g grass-fed free-range beef patty, house made beer cheese w/crunchy tortilla chips, Guinness and cayenne candied bacon, chipotle & beef chuck chilli con carne, jalepeno & tomato relish, grilled onions, house aioli, served with the house beer battered steak fries
And lastly we order a roasted sweet potato & pumpkin salad main that we could share with our bub and have a bit more greens with our dinner too.
Roasted sweet potato and pumpkin, chickpeas, rocket, cherry tomatoes, Spanish onion with harissa yogurt dressing
Our order was in and we were both very much looking forward to tasting these burger creations.
The Hubby & I had chosen to sit in the new outdoor seating area out front of the restaurant, so we weren’t fully immersed in the feel of The Hold’s atmosphere. However, due to it being a gorgeous summer eve, having a baby with us (who would be sure to leave some scraps around) and having a 5.30 reservation – being outside amongst the weekday shuffle was a perfect setting for us. But we did miss out on the themed interiors which are tastefully inspired and authentically decorated.
So lets talk burgers. They were presented on an individual wooden chopping board with a steak knife stabbed through the top of the bun acting as an anchor. Not only was our table looking mouthwatering good, the aroma was teasing our noses too. The only problem was the salad, we ordered for the bub, was going to be delayed as the waiter mistakenly put through an order for sweet potato wedges instead of our sweet potato and pumpkin salad….doh! Good thing we brought some food from home for her to eat in the meantime, so we could tuck into those burgers pronto and keep her happy!
Lets not joke about this. These are some serious burgers and may not be for the faint hearted. However, if you are not a burger person, I am extremely happy to report that the salad we order was seriously delicious and packed with flavour and healthy too. I ordered my Captain Jack without the Bourbon BBQ sauce and to me it certainly did not seem like it was missing it. The Captain & I got on very very well. Yep, it was delicious, juicy, tasty, great flavours and was the burger of the night. In fact, when I get a hankering for a burger again, The Hold will come top of mind now for places to go. With the Hubby’s burger, our waiter notified us that one of the key ingredients, the chilli con carne, had run out but they could gave him a double beef patty to make up for it. Nice thought, but it really wasn’t needed as once The Hubby removed the extra patty, he enjoyed the flavours and the overall burger that much more. We also agreed that the salad was both original as well as a bit moreish… a noteworthy fact to see that the greens did not get overlooked when designing the menu!
As the Hubby & I were pushing the bub home in the pram we were discussing our meal and how we would review it. Would we go back to The Hold again for dinner? Yes. Easily. One of the best things about trying The Hold out was finding out what cuisine was on offer and confirming that it was done well, deliciously well. When we normally think of burgers in Manly, BenBry Burgers or Moo Gourmet Burgers are the first two eateries that we will decide between or Salty Rooster if a kick-ass chicken burger is required. But now we have another option to add to the go-to burger list and with the bonus of being able to get 50% off the food bill by booking through First Table, The Hold’s burgers are looking even tastier.