• manna: vegan fine dining in london

    May 17th, 2011quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    manna in london really does offer vegan fine dining at its best. located at the end of a quiet street in primrose hill, the small restaurant boasts elegant surroundings, friendly service, and absolutely exceptional food. it’s the perfect spot for a romantic evening or a slap up sunday roast, just be sure to arrive with a full wallet and an empty stomach.

    homemade organic bread and hummus: a selection of breads fresh from our kitchen daily with extra virgin olive oil and homemade hummus. ₤5

    we hit up manna in february when we visited the UK, and as usual, we started with a basket of bread. it sounds simple enough, but this dish is phenomenal. soft warm dough straight from the oven to our table, served with a pot of cool chunky hummus. the perfect beginning to a perfect meal.

    organic bangers and mash: organic fennel and pumpkin seed sausages on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero on a red wine, leek & thyme jus topped with our onion rings. ₤14

    though we’ve been to manna several times and we love to try new things, we NEVER stray from the bangers and mash. we order these without fail on every visit to share, because they are so damn irresistible. the plate comes with a huge mound of fluffy whipped parsnips and carrots, topped with seasoned greens, seed-based vegan sausages, and two massive battered onion rings, all in a red wine sauce. the sausages and onion rings especially are just unbelievable—like a fancy gourmet vegan version of junk food. i would kill to have this meal available in los angeles.

    build your own meal (choice of any 4 sides): crispy marinated tofu, sauteed seasonal greens & garlic, grain of the day, bean of the day ₤14

    we also split the “build your own meal” combo, which comes with the choice of any four side dishes arranged on a plate.

    there were so many options to choose from, and we decided to go with the crispy marinated tofu, sauteed seasonal greens & garlic, beans of the day (pinto beans), and grain of the day (brown rice). the beans and rice were good but pretty standard, while the garlicky greens were fantastic.

    the best part of the whole meal though, would have to be the crispy tofu. i’m not exaggerating when i say this was the best tofu i’ve ever eaten in my life.

    manna has got their technique down, and i’d love to know how they do it. the tofu had a really interesting spongy texture and it tasted like it had been marinating for days. do they freeze it? do they deep fry it? do they use a tofu press? god, it was amazing.

    tiramisu cheesecake: a hugely popular chef's special makes it to the menu, served with chocolate cointreau sauce & almond vice cream - not to be missed! ₤8

    being on vacation and in a foreign country and all, we had to splurge for dessert. plus, when we saw that tiramisu cheesecake was on the menu, it was pretty much a done deal. manna served us up a huge slice of chocolate and coffee flavored pie with a scoop of almond ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate cointreau sauce. sheer magnificence! although we were stuffed, we finished every last bite.

    manna is a classy joint, so naturally they have a great selection of cocktails and vegan wines to choose from. we split a bottle of red, and it went down great with the meal.

    we dined at around 7pm on a sunday, and boy i’m glad we had a reservation because the place was packed! not an empty seat in the house, and there was a line of people waiting pretty much the whole time we were there. we’ve been to manna earlier in the evening when it was more quiet, but still, i’d advise always booking in advance just to be safe.

    i’m counting the days until our next visit to london for so many reasons, and dinner at manna is definitely one of them.

    manna restaurant
    4 Erskine Road
    Primrose Hill, London NW3 3AJ
    020 7722 8028
    dinner • tuesday – sunday
    6.30 – 10.30pm
    lunch • saturday & sunday
    noon – 3.00pm

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6 responses to “manna: vegan fine dining in london” RSS icon

  • I really wanted to go here when I was in London for my birthday – luckily we get to go back for my Sister’s final performance in a few weeks and this is the first place I’m hitting. Must remember to book!! So excited, the food looks incredible.

  • My son was working in London the week of the “wedding”, and on his last night there he wanted to eat at Mannas, but did not have a reservation. We had enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner there and he wanted to try there bangers and mash on this trip. Even though they were booked they found a table for him and he was able to enjoy the best meal in London. Thanks to Quarry Girl we have found one of the best vegan restaurants in the world. Great food and excellent service.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    That tiramisu cheesecake and almond ice-cream looks delectable.

  • Um, I want to book a flight to London just to eat Manna. The bangers and mash have me drooling!

  • The tofu looks like it’s been frozen and thawed, which would explain why it’s spongy and could soak up more marinade. I wonder what other steps go into making the perfect tofu though…

  • I still thought the Pound was worth 2 USD. I was about to GO OFF. After a quick up-to-date conversion, I’ve calmed down slighly.

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