The Shed opened it's doors earlier this year on the third floor of the renovated Westfield Miranda. I had initially avoided this quaint café and espresso bar as I had heard that the coffee they pressed was very strong. For a lover of vanilla iced coffees and smooth cappuccinos this seemed an obvious mismatch. It wasn't until recently, when I and a group of friends picked up a small takeaway coffee after a morning of shopping, that I was able to experience what The Shed had to offer.
There is always something good at the back of the shed.
Like many of the newly opened cafés in Westfield Miranda, The Shed's décor effectively fuses the man cave feel with industrial chic. The floor is paved in slate grey tiles, and the tables and counters are a beautifully rustic stained wood. Green vines woven around metal fencing wire soften the look. The theme is carried right through to even the smallest details; evident by the spanner table numbers.
The cappuccino I had on my first visit was notably robust, but still not as bitter and strong as I had been expecting. The Shed uses 'Blaq' Arabica coffee beans, sourced from Central America and Africa. There was a lot of froth and cocoa on my coffee, which I always like; generally a quality coffee for $4.
These are a few of my favourite things.
One thing I noticed about this café is that they have many, many drink options and an array of sweet treats in the glass cabinet perched on the counter. One treat especially caught my eye, and on my second visit to The Shed I finally jumped on the cronut ($5.50) bandwagon.
While the cronut was sweet, all-in-all the wagon ride was pretty short. To be perfectly honest, I don't understand the craze. It's essentially the cinnamon skin of a doughnut covering the insides of a croissant. In fairness this shortcoming is less an issue of The Shed's and more the fact that the hype surrounding cronuts seems to be a little out of proportion. That being said, the lashings of Nutella on top were quite enjoyable.
While my enthusiasm for the cronut craze was dashed rather quickly, on a later visit to The Shed, I spied a small golf-ball sized doughnut ($5) hidden amongst all the other sweets. This tiny doughnut, stuffed with Nutella, was really rather delicious, despite the lack of fanfare surrounding it, and its slight size.
Good things come in really, really small packages.
Given that I'm a huge fan of iced coffee ($6.50), I figured I needed to sample what The Shed had on offer. A pleasant surprise - the Shed uses proper coffee shots, not coffee syrup like many other cafés do in their iced coffee, which is always a plus. The iced coffee here was light, with a fluffy, airy texture, which put it up there with some of the best iced coffee I have ever had - and I've had a lot.
The good, the bitter and the fluffy.
My only gripe would be that there seems to be inconsistencies. Having loved the iced coffee, I was eager to return, yet the next time I ordered the drink, I ended up waiting almost 20 minutes. When my drink finally arrived the layers of coffee and dairy were still visible, meaning the drink hadn't been blended well, and that it lacked that distinct creamy, velvety texture that had initially drawn me back. While I could see that the staff were run off their feet, I was still disappointed - perhaps visiting during peak times should be reconsidered.
The Shed has an espresso bar situated a mere few metres away and while it is a good idea in theory, in practice it's a bit 'hit-and-miss.' The Shed espresso bar is easily walked straight past, and the coffee brewed here is not of the same standard as that over at the café, meaning long queues remain at the café location regardless. While I understand what they are trying to accomplish, they ought to make the espresso bar more of a feature and improve the quality of the coffee being sold.
It's the little touches.
Overall, The Shed is a decent café and though I have only had coffee and sweet treats to date, I would happily return to try their pulled pork rolls or lunch-time pancakes. With minor tweaking and perhaps some extra staff to help with busy periods, Im pretty sure that The Shed will become a fixture with Shire locals at Westfield Miranda.
Where: Westfield Miranda, Level 3, Shop 3154, 600 Kingsway, Miranda, 2228
Cost: Coffee from $3, food from $4.
When: Monday - Wednesday and Friday - Saturday from 9am - 5pm. Thursday from 9am - 9pm. Sunday from 9am - 4:30pm.
Good for kids: Yes.
Take away: Yes.