M Shed Cafe, Princes Wharf: Review

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Living on the harbourside, we’re lucky to have all sorts of excitement on our doorstep. There’s Wapping Wharf and the CARGO shipping container retailers, for a start. There’s the fact that we can walk right round the harbourside of a weekend – around a three-mile route where we’ll always see something different. And then there’s M Shed.

We’ve been before we had our son, but I wasn’t sure when he’d actually start getting any enjoyment out of the place. Turns out that, at 19 months, he’s a big fan – with the hot air balloons and the lifesize model horse being his personal favourites.

 

M Shed - Balloon

 

We used last weekend’s visit to grab some lunch out as a family, too – it’s very handy that there’s a cafe attached, and it always seems busy, despite the delights of Wapping Wharf being just on M Shed’s doorstep. With the bright and airy dining room inside and plenty of outdoor seating, it’s pretty easy to get a seat, too.

We hadn’t been sure what to expect from the menu, but we were surprised: there’s all sorts of sandwiches, salads and savouries to choose from, as well as hot dishes like burgers, fish and chips, and toasties.

That’s in addition to the kids’ meals (either a lunchbox of a sandwich, drink and crisps or a hot meal, which are all £5 or under, and a selection of cakes and other sweet treats. They’ve even got their own ale…

 

M Shed Cafe - Sandwiches

M Shed Cafe - Children's Lunch Box

M Shed Cafe - Cakes

 

Predictably, Chris chose the Wharfburger (£9.95): an organic burger with cheese, smoked bacon, relish, salad and a portion of chips. It looked good, served in a tasty Hobbs House bun, but was a bit hit and miss. The patty was underseasoned although cooked beautifully, while the bacon had tons of flavour but was pretty fatty and could have been cooked for longer. He was impressed with the amount of cheese, but the standard catering-style steak-cut chips weren’t anything to write home about.

 

M Shed Cafe - Burger

 

With a bacon, brie and red onion marmalade quiche on offer, I wasn’t going to say no. Served with a selection of salads, the £7.95 pricing seemed pretty reasonable, and comparable to other places round the corner at Wapping Wharf. And the quiche didn’t disappoint, with tons of tangy cheese and beautifully salty bacon complemented by the sweet sharpness of the onion marmalade.

Sadly the salads weren’t that inspiring: a pile of green leaves, some average slaw, and a pasta and roasted veg salad that was very dry and offered up very little of the cumin and parmesan flavour that it promised.

 

M Shed Cafe - Quiche

 

The real disappointment, though, was the kids’ meal that we ordered for Oscar: a tiny roll, a packet of crisps and a carton of juice. Nothing wrong with the pineapple juice or the Pom Bear crisps – they were wolfed down. The cheese roll, though, was disappointing. There was barely any cheese inside, and the bread was incredibly dry: in the end, he ate more of our meals than of his sandwich, and I decided to complain (especially for £3.75). And I was actually told that I wasn’t the first person who’d complained about the sandwiches, either – a real shame for such a family-friendly place.

At £27.55 for two adults and a toddler for lunch and drinks, the M Shed Cafe felt quite expensive for what it was, with the food a little hit and miss. With so many more choices just outside, I’m not sure we’d rush back for a meal.

 

 

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