If artisan food is your chilli jam, then you might be interested to know that Manakish & Naanza are taking over the heart of Covent Garden and ours at the same time.
This amazing restaurant marks the start of us Londoners eating something other than the old pizza. This new, mind-blowing concept is here to change everything you thought you knew about food. Bring on a feast of epicurean Lebanese excellence. But leave your shawarma fantasies at the door. This unique restaurant is all about fresh ingredients and multiple flavours.
This is a new concept called Manakish and Naanza by Emilio Malik and Javier Troitino-Ramos.
Emilio Malik is a true legend, the founder of Lazeez Lebanese Tapas and Liban Tapas in South Woodford while Javier Troitino-Ramos has more than 20 years' experience in the industry and has worked as general manager for prominent brands, such as Starbucks and YO! Sushi, so both founder have an impressive pedigree in the restaurant world.
The space has both a dine-in option (this is London in the end) and an alfresco eating, and all the dishes are simply divine.
Firstly you must try the Manakish, a traditional Levant flatbread topped with lots of wonders such as minced lamb, chargrilled chicken, halloumi and olives Za'atar and sumac. Wow.
The dream continues with Naanza, a traditional South Asian fluffy naan with pizza like toppings: Tandoori chicken, tikka paneer, mango chutney, et cetera.
Another reason we love them is their sustainability concept, they pay attention to the quality of their ingredients and carefully select their suppliers whilst being very conscious of their eco-footprint by transforming all their surplus food into green energy as well as feeding those in need. What more could we ask?
As you arrive at the restaurant you will be enchanted by the smell of freshly baked flatbread topped by the beautiful aroma coming from the Turkish coffee station.
While browsing the menu, you can try their delicious, freshly brewed, Turkish coffee. Its strong flavours and the beautiful smell of the coffee will transport you straight to the Arabian tale of 1001 Nights fantasy, where you are in the Sahara Desert, in a tent, having fresh coffee in the morning. Our favourites were the Nutella chocolate and the dry orange coffees.
Must try dishes:
The Vegan Paradise: chestnut mushroom, chargrilled peppers, vegan mozzarella, sweetcorn, olives, sumac, curried avocado and plum tomato sauce.
The Smoke House Chicken: Tandoori chicken, chargrilled capsicum, English cheddar, caramelised tomato sauce, red onion and rocket leaf.
The Spicy Lamb Manush Wrap: spicy lamb, cheddar, chestnut mushroom, toasted sesame zataar and tomato sauce.
Halloumi Wrap: halloumi, tomatoes, sumac, pomegranate molasses and parsley.
As side dishes we recommend:
Asian noodle slaw: fresh salad topped with aromatic diced onion and a super fresh vinaigrette.
And let us tell you... boy! It will not disappoint.
Be warned though, some dishes may create addiction. That is why you may probably see us there every week.
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