Good Italian restaurants are few and far between. Don’t get me wrong there are hundreds of them in London they seem to be everywhere but when I am invited to review one or go to one with friends and family I always do a little research first. Call me a food snob I really don’t care but in my mission to shift some of my baby weight (a work in progress) I need to watch the calorie intake and if I am to indulge I need to make sure it is worth the extra time in the gym, extra exercise classes or power walks.
Manitoba Tigella I was pleased to discover was well worth the visit having gone along with a friend a few weeks back. They are the first tigella kitchen to open in London. For those that have yet to experience the delights of tigella they are a traditional stuffed bread from Emilia Romagna (a region in northern Italy not a female chef).
This restaurant has a lively atmosphere with upbeat yet relaxed music playing in the background. It comes across as a trendy place and has some gorgeous cocktails on the menu. They even have a happy hour from 4 to 8 every day which is great for those that want to work their way through the cocktail menu. Just to add the Pina Colada was lovely!
My friend and I were seated upstairs where we had a view of the whole restaurant including a large screen television playing an Italian film. I could even see the chef in the kitchen preparing dishes if I repositioned myself to take a look. The wall at the back of the restaurant upstairs was covered in street art and this seemed to work well.
There is a mix of dishes available and the vegetarian diners among you need not fear they have you covered too. The starters came out quickly which was great as I had a long day and was ravenous.
Board with 30 months aged Parma ham, Felino salame, mortadella, Parmigiano cheese D.O.P. 24 months aged, stracchino cheese, Italian olives, sun-dried tomatoes, selection of tigelle & gnocco fritto.
I enjoyed getting stuck in there and the flavours all combined well. These are tasty and are great as part of a meal with friends or a snack with some cocktails. These are one of those fun social dishes that everyone gets stuck into like the Mekong Pulled Duck Spring Rolls I had at The Banana Tree in Soho.
The mix of breads was good the gnocco fritto which is the one you see on the left in the picture is nicely puffed, flaky, salty and so delicious that I was so busy enjoying the flavour and texture my half just well kind of vanished really before I even had a chance to contemplate which salami to lay over the top of it, opsy. Clearly it was good enough to eat on its own. It was a shame there weren’t more of these. The tigella had a pretty design moulded into them. We cut these in half and we stuffed them with a range of the items served. This was great as the antipasti provided were good as was the portion. The olives were plump and meaty, the sundried tomatoes brought with them a richness of flavour that really did add to these tasty sandwiches. The thickness of the salami was good, nothing was too thin so you could taste the flavour of each well. The cheeses were amazing and I have to admit popping pieces of the Parmigiano cheese straight into my mouth and pouring a generous amount of the stracchino cheese into my tigella.
Avocado King Prawn
King prawn with homemade guacamole & rocket salad.
The gorgeous, creamy deliciousness of the avocado is unmistakable and serves as a great contrast to the peppery rocket and that of the big juicy, firm chunks of king prawn. We ate half each of this and really enjoyed it. What a lovely idea for a healthy yet tasty sandwich filling.
As I looked around from the perfect view point in the restaurant I noticed that the pizzas and tigella were extremely popular with other visitors.
And now for my favourite part of the meal:
Sponge cake, custard cream, amaretto syrup & chocolate cream.
This was like a light brioche bun. The chocolate cream added a delicious rich chocolatey flavour and i could see my children fighting over one of these at breakfast – they pretty big so one each would be too much for them.
There are so many more wonderful dishes here but we of course we limited by stomach capacity. We didn’t get a chance to try any of the mains, pizzas, pastas or risottos so naturally I will need to try and revisit at a later date to rectify this.
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Photo Credit Me, Pixabay and Pexels.