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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 Saturday, 09 February 2019

Lovely cosy place and great food

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Visited On Saturday, 09 February 2019

Wonderful food in a lovely setting. Great pumpkin starter, hake and steak main. Great service. Roberto and Dinate (spelling??) were attentive without being overbearing. They made some great suggestions. Lovely neighbourhood restaurant with few choices which was great for me! Few dishes done really well. Definitely recommend.

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Visited On Sunday, 03 February 2019

All was perfect!

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Visited On Sunday, 27 January 2019

Great menu and the food is excellent. Very good value and very friendly and efficient staff. Highly recommend

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Visited On Sunday, 27 January 2019

I came here for a brunch with two friends, we had the Full Fulham, the Pancakes and the Eggs Benedict. They were all amazing and portions were generous. The place is very warm and cosy and the people serving us were kind and efficient.

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Visited On Thursday, 24 January 2019

A cute little find.

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Visited On Saturday, 19 January 2019

Excellent food, nice cosy atmosphere, good service.

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Visited On Friday, 18 January 2019

Why is your 2 course lunch deal only for Main course + dessert? Could it not be starter + Main? Some of us don’t like pudding.

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Visited On Saturday, 12 January 2019

Great local restaurant, that always delivers.

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Visited On Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Really lovely. Will definitely return.

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Visited On Sunday, 13 January 2019

The service was very slow despite 3 people serving. The coffee didn`t even fill up the cup but the food made up for it. Change of the waiting staff will do this place good.

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Visited On Friday, 11 January 2019

Excellent food wine and service. I will definitely return.

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Visited On Sunday, 06 January 2019

Too many lovely brunch options. DELICIOUS!

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Visited On Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Lovely little restaurant, great food, amazing atmosphere and the staff were friendly and welcoming! Will definitely be back!!

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Visited On Friday, 14 December 2018

Perfect, as always!

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Visited On Saturday, 15 December 2018

Friendly staff, attentive manager - would definitely recommend.

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Visited On Thursday, 13 December 2018

Loved the service, your team are very lovely. Was well looked after. Food was really good too! Recommend the calamari, some of the best I've ever had!

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Visited On Friday, 14 December 2018

Always have a great time at Manuka Kitchen and my guests are always very happy !

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Visited On Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Lovely helpful waitress, I was with a friend whom I hadnt seen for a while, and we were not rushed whilst we did sit and talk a lot, and ate slowly!

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Visited On Sunday, 02 December 2018

Fantastic cafe!

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Visited On Saturday, 17 November 2018

Great food and lovely service

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Visited On Sunday, 04 November 2018

Closed at 3. Staff started cleaning the coffee machine at 2:20 so we couldn’t order a coffee, even though we had a 2:15 reservation. Paid the bill in cash and received some pounds and 16x10 pence pieces as change. Waitress couldn’t understand why i wasn’t happy gett8ng a pocketful of change!

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Visited On Saturday, 03 November 2018

First class. Excellent and friendly service

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Visited On Wednesday, 31 October 2018

A great find and we will be back

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Visited On Saturday, 27 October 2018

All lovely thank you for a lovely brunch and for being so accommodating when I turned up early and we were one extra

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