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MK Gallery Cafe & Bar

MK Gallery Cafe and BarMK Gallery located next to Milton Keynes Theatre has had a bit of a makeover. Well, it’s actually a bit more than that, it’s a multi-million pound redevelopment which has seen new galleries added, a new Sky Room auditorium unveiled and an exciting café/bar incorporated into the new buildings.

And it was the new café/bar that we were interested in trying out before a recent trip to the theatre which is literally 25 paces away from the front door. You wouldn’t normally associate going for dinner or a drink pre-theatre at an art gallery…but we’re up for anything and we’d heard rumours that the food was really good.

The café is set in the middle of the gallery buildings, you have to walk through the shop to get to it. It’s light and very airy with double height ceilings. It has a somewhat industrial feel about it but that sort of plays on the gallery’s modern style.

They offer a really good value pre-theatre set menu which is two courses for £14.50 or three courses for £19.50. We didn’t have huge amounts of time so went for the two-course option. The menu is not extensive (but then it is a set menu) – around four starters and about the same in mains to choose from. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the desserts though, so we opted for a main and a dessert for our two courses.

We could have had grilled salmon, harissa spiced chicken or a portabello mushroom burger (veg option) but we went for the bavette steak served with salsa verde and chips. The steak was delicious, all cooked to order and the salsa verde was delicious – but the stars of the show were the chips; really, really good and that made us very happy indeed.

For dessert we went for the salted caramel tart served with mascarpone – this is where we were absolutely sold on coming back again, the tart was incredible. Sublime pastry with a gooey, sticky salted caramel middle and a set dark chocolate top. Frankly, we could have eaten another one, maybe if we come back for the three-course option – two desserts might be on the cards!

They also run a great little bar serving ‘Lemony Lemonade’ – which we particularly enjoyed plus locally-made Milton Keynes lager and award-winning cider, perfect for a pre-theatre tipple.

We’ll definitely be back and not just for that tart; the lunch/sandwich menu looked good and is definitely worth a try, and their selection of cakes and pastries make it a great place for a cheeky stop off whilst in the city centre, and don’t forget entrance to the gallery is free, so you can browse the latest exhibition before or after checking out this new café – a welcome addition to the CMK dining scene.

To pre-book call 01908 032835 or you can find out more visit: https://www.mkgallery.org/visit/