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Mud Dock Deli
Author: Michelle Dalley

Mud Dock Deli review – March 2013

On a relatively sunny day out in Bristol with the family we took a walk along the harbourside and enjoyed the sun on our faces. Wrapped up in coats and scarves, but warmer than lately, we dodged steam trains at the M Shed and greedy seagulls the size of toddlers at the chip hut. We don’t actually know the real name of what we call “the chip hut” but it’s a real gem of a place where you get a mug of tea or coffee – proper simple, no cappuccino or latte, just white coffee or black. But the real draw is a cone of chips, sticky with malt vinegar and 1970’s style salt – not rock, not flavoured, just table salt. Fabulous!

Anyway, after sharing a cone of chips three ways and a walk up to HMS what’s-it-called it was decided that lunch out was required. Not quite ready for al fresco dining yet the husband mentioned a place he saw on the edge of a car park that looked “cool”.

Usually I am sceptical of places that are on the edge of car parks – think public toilets and bad cafes. Eeeewwww.

Good news, the husband was SO right – hurrah! And there it was, on the edge of a dodgy car park our new haven in Bristol, Mud Dock Café Deli. In we walked; hungry, curious and of all things in the company of a grumpy four year old.

I wanted to take my time and survey the loveliness, absorb the menu and ingredients, find a nice table and settle in with local magazines and a plate of food. In the company of a grumpy four year old – not a chance!

Instead it was a rushed “get some food inside him” as the four year old lay on the floor in front of the counter crying with tiredness and drama, complaining that he wasn’t allowed a cookie right now. I love my child but I do not enjoy public displays, especially somewhere I want to enjoy.

Thankfully the staff were wonderful, put together a plate of food for said small child and handed it over for a quiet life. It worked (phew!). He worked his way through a deli plate dipping breads in luscious houmous, eating prosciutto like it was the best thing in the world and navigating his way past the rocket (“why is it called rocket when it looks like salad not a sky rocket?”). Happy boy.

In the meantime I organise a salad bowl which was just magnificent. After the third of a cone of chips I decided I needed a healthy option and this delivered. Amazing chick pea , spinach and roasted vegetable salad. The husband had a pizza, large, made in house, proper fresh.

Then we relaxed, everyone eating and talking, flicking through the magazines. Incidentally they had a copy of new-to-market Crumbs Magazine – a great magazine focused on foodie experiences, fine shopping and local knowledge.

Mud Dock Deli is geared up to serve cyclists; it has a bike theme but tastefully done and not too intrusive. Some of the tables have legs made of bike parts, there is subtle artwork on the walls and a great bike (no idea what sort, except it has two wheels!) suspended from the ceiling. There were cyclists in there eating decent, healthy, fresh food clearly geared up to keep them on their bikes and sustained. The place had a real community feel to it, bike community but everyone else can share the secret too. There’s a great range of deli foods, salads etc to take away (clue is in the name I guess). It’s really refreshing to find somewhere preparing very fresh, tasty food at such reasonable prices. The coffee is great too and although we didn’t get to pudding the cakes looked divine too.

We all really love Mud Dock Deli

we went back over Easter with the mother-in-law. The small child was much happier this time, no tantrums at all. Now I think I need a visit on my own, with a magazine and time on my hands. That would be bliss!

Price guide – You can eat a hearty, fresh lunch for less than a fiver

Article by Michelle, lover of the Mud Dock Deli (but not bikes)

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