I love a day out at a museum, and M Shed is probably the one I’ve visited most in Bristol, not just because they tend to have a good rotation of exhibitions (the recent one on Childhood TV one was particularly good), but also because of its lush harbourside location.
I’ve popped into the café a few times for coffee and cake, but hadn’t thought about heading over for lunch before now, when I was invited across to try some of the dishes on offer.
The café itself is a decent size, light and airy, with enough tables to ensure you can almost always get a seat (I love Arnolfini, but it can be a challenge to find somewhere to sit at times if there is more than 2 of you). The counter is laden with tarts, cakes, salads and other treats, whilst a menu on the wall behind alerts you to the hot dishes and specials available.
I opted for the mozzarella, tomato and pesto toasted sandwich with a selection of salads, as well as a goats cheese ball to snack on while I waited.
The goats cheese ball was a hefty wodge of cheese, coated in breadcrumbs with a nice zingy chilli jam dolloped on top. It was quite a rich and dense snack, and as much as I love goats cheese, I think this could serve as a dish on its own with salad.
The toastie and salads arrived on a long rectangular plate looking quite impressive and inviting. My favourite was the coronation style slaw, which had a good mix of crunch and spice, but the roasted veg and couscous salad were also tasty. I probably could have done with some dressing on my salad leaves, but then I didn’t ask or check for oil or vinegar, so that’s an error on my part.
The toastie was nice and oozy, with a decent amount of filling and nice bread. It wasn’t a party in my mouth in terms of flavour, but then grilled mozzarella and tomato is always going to be fairly standard. It was a top choice for a cold and rainy day overlooking the boats though.
My friend opted for the halloumi burger, which also looked good when it came out, and came with a generous portions of chips, but my friend was a bit disappointed that it came with just the one slice of halloumi and seemed to be mainly bun and salad; that said, the beef burgers that came out to the tables around us looked a bit more substantial.
I’ll definitely head back to the M Café for a light lunch, and think it will be a nice option in the evenings once the days get longer and warmer – sitting out the front of the café with a cocktail and some of their snacks with one of the best views in town is quite the appealing image, and they’ve certainly done their bit to make the place more inviting than the average museum canteen. Nice one, M Shed.
Disclaimer doodle: We were invited along to try out the menu and received the above items free of charge, but this did not impact our opinions, and we did not send any copy to M Shed ahead of publication. Ta!