Manna Epicure in Kloof Street has always been a prime breakfast spot in the city. They’ve added a dinner menu, and we’re happy to let you know they serve truly excellent steak.
Situated right next to the kings of steak (Carne), it’s tempting to gravitate to what you know. Instead – the warm candlelight and soft jazz draws you in to a stylish white interior. Some of the tables allow for a view of trendy Kloof Street and some people watching; perfect on a balmy Cape Town evening. Manna’s decor is clean and crisp, yet the ambiance is relaxed and friendly. You even get a sneak peak of the open-plan kitchen, along with frequent delectable aromas to tempt your senses.
If you really love your meat, you could start off with some Argentinian steak tartare (prepared at your table with chimichurri, and all the other trimmings). We began with some West coast mussels, sweet and sticky homemade ribs, and calamari – which gave us a promising clue of the quality of food to come. The fresh, seasonal ingredients combined their textures and flavours perfectly. Most guys described it as “the best I’ve had in a while” to “fantastic”.
The meat options on the menu are truly extensive for a restaurant that is not an out-and-out steakhouse. In fact – some are put some to shame, and some of your choices include:
As per usual, we had a good range of cuts and the feedback from most of the table was nothing but glowing. Our large group was split into two tables, and the second table received their orders quite late, but we can hardly blame the restaurant though – as many of them arrived late. Some cuts were expertly carved and plated at the table – and the steaks were all perfectly grilled. Portions were generous, and accompanied by some wonderful sides of big crunchy onion rings and salad.
As for dessert, they take you back to your childhood days with modern twists of banana splits, chocolate éclairs and homemade waffles. That New Year’s detox plan was going to have to wait until Monday!
Our waiter(s) for the evening were friendly and knowledgeable on the menu. Orders were taken quickly, and served expertly and without confusion. Even Agnes (owner) also helped serve our table and make sure we were well looked after.
The old adage of not judging a book by its cover certainly springs to mind. Not many steakhunting guys would select Manna Epicure for their monthly Steak Night, but it turned out to be a winner. You could almost taste the passion that goes into each dish; the food was excellent and the staff were great. Next time you drive past on a weekend morning and wonder why they’re always packed, wonder no more. I am certainly going back.
Overall: 8.0 (average of scores)
151 Kloof Street, Gardens
Tel: 021 426 2413