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by Tom Marshall
Thursday, May 24, 2012
If you want to create high expectations of your restaurant, naming it Manna, with its heavenly connotations, is a decent place to start. It’s a brave move, but fortunately this vegan Primrose Hill institution lives up to the moniker.
Manna, 4 Erskine Road, NW3 3AJ
Tube: Chalk Farm
Tel: 020 7722 8028
Mains: from £11
Wines: from £20
Children welcome: yes
Disabled access: no
It’s a veggie’s paradise, one of the few places where meatless cooking is given the respect it deserves and never seen as a pale imitation.
The quality of the food is such that I’m sure most meat fanatics would barely miss the lack of dead flesh.
The eclectic menu features vegan twists to dishes from across the globe.
A mouth-watering ravioli starter, stuffed with wild mushroom and walnut paté, was deliciously complemented by fennel cream sauce and sun-dried tomato pesto. We also enjoyed some hearty cabbage spring rolls to begin.
The elegantly-furnished restaurant, which opened in the 1960s, is one of London’s oldest vegetarian eateries, and it’s clear this experience counts.
The mains were superb and perfectly presented. An Indian thali selection included a magical channa masala, the chickpeas flavoursome and soft.
But the best was the chef’s special, a wellington filled with cashews, almonds, mushrooms and sweet potatoes, accompanied by gravy and vegetables. Another divine concoction.