Nestled just off Soho Square, in the heart of the city’s historic glamour, lies the reincarnation of a legend: Manzi’s. A tribute to a beloved London seafood establishment that first opened its doors in 1928, this new rendition of Manzi’s echoes the grandeur of the past and invites the future.
There’s a sense of seclusion as you wander down Bateman’s Buildings, slotted right between the bustle of Frith Street and Greek Street. Calmness makes way for an impressive blue frontage and, as you enter Manzi’s, the first thing that will catch your eye is the immense acrylic swordfish on the wall—a nod to Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea.” Subtle nautical themes adorned the interior, with delicate details like seahorses on the doors and Neptune presiding over one of the tables with a light. The glamour of mermaids and sea creatures in soft blues and whites only added to the magic.
The service at Manzi’s was a masterclass in attention and professionalism. From the moment I was seated, the staff made me feel both special and at home. This is where I have to shout out to the service maestros, combining the timeless elegance of The Wolseley Group’s hospitality with an approachable and refreshing demeanor.
Now, let’s talk about the real show-stopper: the food. My dining journey began with starters of Galician octopus, and Katie went for the roasted scallops. The octopus was cooked to perfection, served on a bed of ratte potatoes and paprika oil. The scallops, served on shells, were swimming on a delicate serving of smoked chilli butter sauce that was so divine that I found myself mopping it up with bread.
The main course was a celebration of the sea. My Lobster Thermidor, served with samphire and French fries, was cooked in the most incredible sauce. My only gripe was that it didn’t come equipped with a claw – often the best meat to be found on this crustacean – but it was unbelievably plump and the portion size was prefect. Katie’s Roast Shellfish Mix, complete with lemon and garlic butter, is a Manzi’s specialty and well worth the money if shellfish is your thing.
To conclude, Katie went with Manzi’s Strawberry and Cream Tart with with strawberry coulis, while I channeled my inner child and took on the towering Knickerbocker Glory; vanilla & strawberry ripple ice cream, meringue, honeycomb, chocolate shards, whipped cream and a strawberry sauce served in a generous glass bowl.
The new Manzi’s has captured the spirit of a bygone era, merging it with a fresh and lively twist that reflects the creativity of modern London. With their meticulous recreation of classic seafood dishes and exciting new concoctions, they’ve managed to pay homage to the original Manzi’s while carving their own unique identity.
As with any thematic London eatery, Manzi’s is on the pricier side, but every penny spent there resonates with quality, taste, and an ambiance that aligns with the restaurant’s illustrious legacy. It’s more than a restaurant; it’s a journey through London’s rich culinary tapestry.