Manuka Kitchen | Fulham Road

Fulham, 510 Fulham Road, , London, United Kingdom, SW6 5JN
Critics Review 4/5
Restaurant info
Opening Information

Tue - Thur 11am - 11pm
Fri - Sat 10am - 11pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Monday Closed

Facilities
  • Disabled Access

About Manuka Kitchen | Fulham Road

Brunch: Pop in for a spot of brunch from 10AM Friday to Sunday and choose from Eggs Benedict, French Toast or Blueberry Pancakes to name a few.

Dinner: AA Gill favourite restaurant, listed in the Michelin guide for the past 5 years.

Cuisine: British, Brunch
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Price point:
£ £ £ £ £

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Critics Review
Table Talk: Manuka Kitchen, London SW6
4/5
William Burroughs said that the naked lunch was a frozen moment when everyone sees what’s on the end of every fork. He says it right at the beginning of his novel. I read it a long, long time ago and it’s the only thing I remember, but it was enough to take away. Opaque, profound — not quite a naked quote. I remembered it again when I read a report that a food agency has discovered that one-third of processed foods weren’t what they said they were. They were more or sometimes less than they boasted. The sausage on a pizza was chicken and mechanically recovered beef. Herbal teas were neither herbal nor tea but some banned slimming drug. This is on top of all the things that they tell you is already in your food, but you don’t have any idea of what they actually are or what they do or why; emulsifiers or colourants or flavour enhancers, stabilisers and preservatives. This won’t come as a surprise to half of you, the Notting Hill-ish half. You already think processed food is the work of immoral scientists and snake-oil salesmen. You already assume it’s all going to give you cancer or deformed babies, make your erections wither, and your skin flake. You think that the other half of the population are ignorant diabetics with arrhythmic, gullible hearts, who believe advertising and trust supermarkets, and that you, the savvy, sceptical half, only eat organic, sustainable, source-assured, farm-fresh, barely washed nonchalantly packaged, wholesome stuff with nowt taken out, as they used to say about processed, steamed, mass-produced bread. But you see, you, you smug, knowing folk, you’re utterly wrong. The truth is exactly the opposite of what you think. Organic, free-range, line-caught, sustainably sourced is all advertising schmalz, a device to merchandise fear and false promises and generally outright lies. You are more likely to be poisoned by your collective allotment veg basket delivery than you are by the weekly supermarket shop. What you can say for mass-produced food is it is amazingly, astonishingly dependable and safe but also byzantinely complex, and a lot of it isn’t really very nice to eat but it’s cheap and it’s predictable. Food doesn’t exist in a cultural vacuum. It is always prone to the fears, hopes and truisms of the society it feeds, and we are living through a moment that yearns for transparency. We want to know the truth about everything, but we want it to be a simple truth, a straightforward truth. We value binary honesty and that’s what we want from our breakfast. Most of the stuff we eat was conceived in a time when we admired things that seemed to be sophisticated, multi-faceted, complex, nuanced and complicated. If you look at 18th-century food, it’s full of stuff pretending to be other stuff. It’s packed with jokes and tricks, it’s decorated with myopic attention — most people’s lives then were quite simple; they understood the workings of everything they came across. Their jobs were repetitive, their lives short, their pleasures primary. What dinner could supply was a mystery, a sleight of hand, edible baroque. Now every restaurant menu I pick up talks about simple construction and honest ingredients and paring down and deconstructing. We are hungrily in search of the naked lunch. Manuka Kitchen is a very good example of the self-explanatory fork. A small restaurant down the un-French, un-Russian, un-bankery end of the Fulham Road. I heard of it from a visiting Australian, who complained about how dreadful London’s coffee was and I asked him if he’d found anywhere for his morning flat white and he said Manuka, down the real end of the Fulham Road, and named after the New Zealand honey. So I went and have been back half a dozen times. It does do a very good flat white but also has a disarmingly simple menu that seems to be constructed around things that people want to eat. The room can only accommodate about 20 souls. It’s not in an area that can charge high prices for high-value ingredients, so they do a prosaic brunch that has the best eggs Benedict I’ve found in a while, a light and generous stack of pancakes that my kids inhale, corn fritters with bacon chutney and sour cream, poached plums with yoghurt and roast cashews, avocado sat on mint bruschetta. There’s also a simultaneous lunch menu with bone marrow and saffron arancini, crispy squid with black lime sauce, carrots and red quinoa lentils with ash-rolled goat cheese and pine nuts, slow-cooked duck leg with spätzle, roasted cauliflower and pine nuts, potato gnocchi, confit of tomatoes, basil and endive, and for pudding there’s a very good chocolate pretzel-and-peanut-butter tart. All the dishes are named by their ingredients alone. You’re probably so used to this by now you don’t notice it, but they used to be called things like veronique, or melba, caprice or chasseur. Plates had titles and aspirations; now they have simplicity and transparency. It’s what we want because we’re frightened and mistrustful. And that’s fine. Food fashions wax and wane, and I’m happy to sit through this period of Quaker austerity and plain-mouthed cataloguing of ingredients, but I can’t say I don’t miss a little mystery. A bit of élan and sleight of hand and perhaps just a twist of snobbery and insincere flattery wouldn’t go amiss. I like Manuka Kitchen for its food, but more I have a great affection for the feeling in this room. There were lots of women eating with each other, a few on their own, and a smattering of babies. I like children in a restaurant, they’re like the canaries down mines, an indication it’s safe. Mothers are careful about what they poke into their kids, and women, together or singularly, make public spaces comfortable, safe and friendly. I had brunch there with my kids and the Blonde. Outside, the football fans marching to Chelsea were cranking up their testosterone, bellowing, swaggering and chewing on nameless burgers. Inside it was calm, warm, well fed and girlie, and so me. I’ve got a couple of lines left, so let me commend an even smaller coffee bar just round the corner called Shot on Jerdan Place, a street off Fulham Road. It’s really just a counter, a bench and a couple of obsessive baristas and really, really good coffee.
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Visited On Sunday, 08 September 2019

Really friendly and attentive staff, food was good & service nice & quick. I wish this was my local!

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Visited On Friday, 30 August 2019

Just an excellent little nook in Fulham. Great food, uncomplicated and wholesome. Staff were incredibly friendly and excellent value for money. Will be coming back and 100% recommend Manuka Kitchen.

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Visited On Friday, 09 August 2019

Excellent food, great atmosphere and service. Will definitely come again.

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Visited On Saturday, 27 July 2019

I felt the service wasn't the best, waiters were in your face all the time rushing you to make your order, then forgets my coffee, not in a rush to go back.

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Visited On Sunday, 21 July 2019

The taste of the food was great, but the portions are small and there was only one vegan option... I couldn't feel myself up! One waiter seemed very annoyed while taking orders and he forgot to bring us salt and water when asked. My friend found a piece of glass in the pancakes, which is very dangerous, the staff removed this from the bill, so they were nice for it, but still...the atmosphere is nothing special, I don't think I'm going there again to have just a tasty avocado on toast!

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Visited On Friday, 28 June 2019

Great food , great gin cocktail and great service! Would highly recommend !

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Visited On Sunday, 23 June 2019

Great little place and really delicious food - great for breakfast or an early bunch.

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Visited On Saturday, 22 June 2019

The team were very accomodating as we had a 2yr old for dinner with us. The service was very attentive without being intrusive. Menu was lovely and seasonal. Would definitely recommend the restaurant

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Visited On Saturday, 22 June 2019

Very good food and friendly service.

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Visited On Friday, 21 June 2019

Delicious food. Excellent service and a gin to start with: what’s not to like?

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Visited On Saturday, 15 June 2019

Beautiful food, accommodating and friendly staff, very good value for money. Will be back!

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Visited On Monday, 10 June 2019

Always simple, delicious, ingredient led food and genuine hospitality.

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Visited On Saturday, 08 June 2019

The food was amazing, I could have ordered anything from the menu as everything looked great and all 4 peoples food was perfect and you could tell all was high quality. Calamari to start and the Peanut butter tart for desert were the favourites. Really good value for a Saturday eve.

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Visited On Friday, 07 June 2019

Lovely place, really welcoming staff

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Visited On Sunday, 02 June 2019

As always, a delightful experience having brunch at Manuka Kitchen. We love coming here for any family occasion and are always made to feel welcome and looked after. Thank you.

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Visited On Sunday, 26 May 2019

Cute little restaurant with a great brunch selection. Good choices for all our party which included a vegan. Everyone in our party was happy with their dishes. Super friendly and helpful staff. Would recommend

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Visited On Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Lovely. waiter made us very welcome We were a disorganised group but he managed us well

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Visited On Sunday, 19 May 2019

Service staff were a bit overbearing, asking us if we wanted to order every 2 minutes, when they could clearly see we hadn't even looked at the menus. They kept offering us watermelon juice which we really weren't interested in! Food was OK, but not terribly exciting and fairly small portions. Probably won't go back there unless for a coffee.

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Visited On Thursday, 09 May 2019

Fine dining in the Stamford Bridge area

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Visited On Wednesday, 01 May 2019

Outstanding food and cosy intimate venue. Recommend. The owner, Joseph, is charming and always remembers us. .

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Visited On Saturday, 27 April 2019

Excellent !

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Visited On Sunday, 14 April 2019

We hosted a lunch for 20 to celebrate my son's engagement. We so wanted to have great food in an environment where we could all feel relaxed, both sides of a new family who had for the most part not met each other. Josef took the time to plan the event with us, and allowed us to have a cut down menu rather than having to order in advance. Everything was perfect on the day. The service was attentive yet not at all intrusive. The food was marvelous, and all came out at the same time, hot. They kept the drinks flowing, but didn't overfill peoples' glasses to sell more wine as so many restaurants do. Everyone commented on how good it was. First class! Thank you so much Manuka Kitchen!

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Visited On Sunday, 07 April 2019

Never had such a great latte in all my 5 years in London. Beetroot, Spirulina and Wheatgrass...the list goes on. And the food is just delicious. Definitely try the Purple Kale salad with avocado and poached, you will not regret it! Atmosphere is just great, and for Sunday's it's extremely cosy. Definitely will be returning!

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Visited On Sunday, 07 April 2019

Delicious food, the full Fulham was lovely. Turmeric latte was really tasty too!

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Visited On Saturday, 06 April 2019

Great service on Saturday 6th April! Both the waitress and waiter were very attentive and friendly. I had the blueberry pancakes and the golden hot chocolate and both were AMAZING! Will definitely be back again and recommending to friends!

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