Restaurant review: Manna
4 Erskine Rd, London, NW3 3AJ - Map
Tel: 020 7722 8028
Review by: Alexa Williamson
Overall experience: **** (out of 5)
Service: ***** (out of 5):
Food: *** (out of 5)
Atmosphere: **** (out of 5)
Praised by many, Manna offers pure vegetarian food in a romantic, candlelit setting* in the distinguished area of Primrose Hill, Northwest London.
Because of its excellent reputation and undoubtedly overall delivery of excellent food, it’s hard to get a table here on short notice.
When myself and a friend dined here, we were intrigued by a menu that offered:
- starters such as chestnut mushroom knishes, which contained such wonderful ingredients as buckwheat, tofu, and chesnuts in filo pastry on a bed of baby leaves and drizzled with garlic sauce and pink yoghurt (£7) and tortino di riso – a lemon-thyme risotto cake, filled with creamy jerusalem artichoke and pecan pate and served with beetroot, port and orange sauce (£7)
- main courses such as creole sweet potato galette, which was topped with Monterey Jack cheese, black beans, red pepper, and also included a sweetcorn hot pot, fried okra, grilled plantain, avocado, and lime puree, coconut and habanero salsa (£13) and green korma – chick peas, broccoli, mange tout and cherry tomatoes in a mint, coriander, and almond curry sauce, served with jasmine and petal rose rice, lychees, tamarind salsa and baby papadum (£13)
- salads such as grilled halloumi on quinoa with wild rice, pistachios and tahina dressing (£5) and also hijiki seaweed salad with cucumber, radish, carrot and red pepper sesame sushi, bean sprouts and japanese pickles (£8 )
- desserts such as indian infused pannacotta with blood orange and cardamom yoghurt mousse, served with caramelised orange segments and cinnamon tuile (£7) and chocolate fondant – (£8 )
The menu, which included these regular items among many other regulars and specials, sounded exciting and is indeed reasonably priced.
However, both myself, who ordered the green korma and my dinner companion, who ordered the sweet potato galette as main courses, sadly found them – and our starters (soup of the day and falafel) on the bland side.
This came, sadly, as a disappointment as the service was excellent, the portion-size generous, the ingredients incredibly fresh and the atmosphere intimate and charming. Thus, Manna is a place I would try again, and hope, next time, the flavourings are a bit more robust.
* for dinner (lunch also available)