Last week the 20th Museums + Heritage Awards took place in London and Manchester’s Jewish Museum was nominated in two categories, winning the coveted ‘Café or Restaurant of the Year’ title.
The café opened last year, following a 2 year, £6m redevelopment and extension of the museum building. Located front and centre of the Museum’s new entrance, overlooking Cheetham Hill, the museum café serves a contemporary vegetarian kosher-style menu.
With food being at the heart of the Jewish home and Jewish culture, the café offers a welcoming home-from-home atmosphere serving a nourishing, comforting menu, including a selection of Sephardi and Ashkenazi dishes, whilst learning about the history and traditions of Jewish food.
The majority of the café food is prepared on-site using kosher, vegetarian and largely locally sourced whole-food ingredients, though it is not prepared under Beth Din supervision. All the food served is suitable for vegetarians and there is also a wide range of kosher pre-packaged snacks available.
The café also offers a seasonal menu surrounding Jewish holidays. One of the latest menu additions was the Not Quite Traditional ‘Chicken’ Soup, a hearty vegetarian broth with oyster mushrooms and Matzo balls.
The soup was MJM Café Team Leader Joe’s own, meat-free interpretation of the traditional Jewish dish and was introduced to accommodate those visitors observing the Jewish festival of Passover.
Following the success of the new dish, the café crew have decided to keep it on the menu and serve it each Friday and Saturday as part of the museum’s special Sabbath experience.
Alex Cropper, the Curator from Manchester Jewish Museum, who was representing the organisation at the awards ceremony commented:
“It felt so exciting to be at the Museum and Heritage Awards on Wednesday night and to gather to celebrate our sector for the first time since the pandemic – there was a real buzz in the room. And to win an award was the icing on the cake!”
“It was an honour to accept the Café of the Year award on stage on behalf of our incredible café team and great to see our name up there amongst such incredible museums in the Permanent Gallery of the Year category.”
The Café Team Leader Joe Davey said: ”It feels great to get recognition at such an important event like the Museums + Heritage Awards. Being voted the café of the year proves that we are on the right track, interpreting the traditions in a playful but respectful way. It’s a great success of the whole team, including Rachel who’s put together the menu and the fantastic work of all our volunteers”.
The café is open seven days a week from 10am to 4pm.
Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Rd, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8LW
0161 834 9879