• Manna from Heaven

    Manna vegan restaurant in Primrose Hill, north London

    Manna is tucked away in a leafy, desirable corner of London north of Regent’s Park more than appropriately called Primrose Hill. Its on a hill. There’s undoubtedly primroses. It’s a bohemian village that you can surprisingly reach on the C8 to Camden. There’s Georgian edifices, independent shops, the House of Folk (Cecil Sharpe’s) and happy, wealthy 30-somethings spilling onto pavements. It made me want to rethink all the major decisions of my life.

    Having known about it for a long time but never been to Manna it had gradually morphed into a culinary Mecca in my mind. So when we finally made it there I was crestfallen to see nothing on the menu was vegan. Hang on. That’s because everything on the menu is vegan . Oh I see. Swallow that bitter taste of disappointment down with some bubbles and wolf down some humble vegan pie, along with my Arancini starter. Arancini? Breaded risotto croquettes stuffed with coconut oil pepper cheese. Original, subtle, delicious. You wouldn’t know they were vegan. A cheese-loving breaded risotto croquette expert couldn’t have guessed there weren’t made with cheese.

    Adam had the special – a pizza packed so high with stuff no two mouthfuls were the same. It somehow managed to taste as good as it looked. The chunks of tofu on my chef’s salad were delicate, tasty and crispy on the outside. We were full but the dessert menu was impossible to pass on and equally hard to chose from so we ordered an extra one to take home on the train. I can’t tell you which was the winner out of the blueberry cheesecake or the raw carrot cake with coconut ice cream but I can assure you they were ambrosial, luscious, celestial, divine. Manna is aptly named. It’s food from the Gods.

    No one can accuse Manna of being cheap. It’s not cheap. It’s in an exclusive part of London and the chefs and lovely waiting staff know what they’re doing. The prices reflect that. This is the high end of the veggie restaurant spectrum and a lot more classy eatery than vegan café. But for the extra money you get quality and originality, and lots of it. Go there for a treat. Go there for all your treats.
    Note to self: always check the price list when impetuously ordering a 1/2 bottle of champagne to fit in with the area and occasion. It made up a third of the bill.

    www.mannav.com 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London, NW3 3AJ


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