Thursday, 2 June 2011

Little Brother Manson you still have some growing up to do....

Manson has been open 18 long months and I have only eaten there once, always favouring its older brother The Sands End when it comes to the Sunday lunch decision making process. Now I don’t need to bang on about how much Jess and I adore the Sands (review here), it is our local and has never failed us, but its younger brother offers a great Fulham Road location and if they share the same blood it must be good right? Sort of.
Manson has all the right ingredients in place; the cool zinc bar with veg boxes as wine racks, brightly coloured fresh flowers contrasting with contemporary muted grey walls, a lot of oversized ‘indoor plants’-however, I have to be honest, it misses the soul and atmosphere that makes The Sands End so special. Manson is much more restaurant than gastropub and having briefly spoken to some of the team they obviously take themselves quite seriously, a quality shown by the hotel lobby lounge music that echoes round the room (not my cup of tea for a Sunday lunch).
Anyway rant about the decor and lack of personality over, the food was very good- expensive but good. They source all their veggies from a local allotment down the road in Bishops Park, for me this is a big tick as we all love supporting the local community and the 'personal touch'. With our local SW6 farmer in mind we went veggie mad and opted for two courses each that certainly hit our five a day quota.
I started with a tomato, asparagus and sardine shavings salad- it appeared like a rainbow before me and was delightfully fresh, crunchy and flavoursome. My mum opted for an asparagus and pea salad with quails eggs, again the presentation was colourful and creative and the dish simple yet delicious.
For my main course I went for a rather expensive piece of plaice with herb coated potatoes, saffron and baby shrimps. It was the perfect Summer Sunday lunch dish; nutrient filled, delicious, satisfying and washed down with some excellent Sauvignon Blanc. Mum chose the smoked trout with a potato and chive salad and said the trout had obviously been smoked locally and very well- I will take her word on this! All in all we enjoyed the food very much, however, the bill was on the gulpworthy SW1 side and the atmosphere was lacking a certain buzz. Sorry Manson, The Sands End will always be our number one! 

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