I have walked past Manuka Kitchen countless times wondering what type of restaurant it is. My curiosity about this place was always fleeting but when I saw it on First Table I thought I have to give it a try.
First Table offers 50% off the food bill for 2 to 4 dinners. The booking fee is £5 and the times are specific slots that you can book on the website.
Because I hadn’t heard anyone talk about Manuka Kitchen and because I didn’t know what to expect, the 50% off made me feel I wasn’t taking a huge risk. It was a bit of a safety net which I realised I didn’t even need.
Manuka Kitchen describes itself as ‘part restaurant, part gin bar, part café’ and its food is very much above average. It’s great. The starters burst with wonderful flavours. The grilled squid with chilli, parsley, garlic was cooked perfectly.
And I absolutely loved the grilled aubergine with yoghurt, pomegranate and walnuts. The different textures, the flavours and how they came together really impressed me.
As for the mains, my grilled seabass with crispy polenta, spinach and garlic mussels was also very good. Again, the fish was cooked perfectly.
I had a taste of the grass fed Bavette Steak with tomato bacon relish and I could have had food envy if I wasn’t enjoying my own main so much.
The dessert menu looked very tempting especially the bitter chocolate and blossom honey truffles and the peanut butter, chocolate, pretzel tart. But I skipped pudding this time although I was told the saffron and Manuka honey crème brûlée is one of the best out there.
Along with the very satisfying food, there is also a good wine list here and I hear Manuka Kitchen also make their own gin. The sound of their cocktail bar downstairs also intrigues me and I am definitely planning on returning soon. I’m keen to try their brunch menu.
Manuka Kitchen, 510 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5NJ booked via First Table.