• Sio

Deluxe Manna | Tottenham's Finest

There was a time I couldn't scroll through my Instagram Feed without seeing the famous Deluxe Manna Platter. At the time, I wasn't consumed by FOMO but I did wonder, "is it really worth the hype? And is everyone finishing that platter in one go?"

I waltzed into Deluxe Manna excited and intrigued. I've cooked pondu before and I loved it. People can't say enough good things about ntaba. I look at menus before I reach restaurants and this time around, it was no different, so I had been salivating and steeping in anticipation for several days.

It was quiet. It had clearly just opened at a quickly darkening 4pm. The interior was very classy. An electric fireplace was situated just behind our table. Classic black and gold notes were all over the restaurant. Comfy booths and stable chairs. We were served promptly and nobody had to start crying about their hunger to anybody for the food to come.

Sadly, two things I really wanted to try, the mikate (kpoff-kpoff/puff-puff/beignets) and the mini mbika (steamed egusi) were not available. I consoled myself by promising myself kpoff-kpoff for the following day (I got them from somewhere else and the spot that required hitting was missed).

Beef Broschette / Skewer

This was the first thing I tried and I was blown away. I can't really describe how it tasted (sorry, I was focusing on just eating it) but what I can say is that the meat had definitely been marinated for a long while. It was textured with spices and just pure flavour. It was succulent, despite being quite tough. There were some pieces of meat on the skewer that were almost too tough to eat as they had been given some extra love on the grill, but rest assured, I ate them anyway. Suya can be just as tough and I can tackle that.

The white onion that was on the plate (that I know many people would dismiss as a simple garnish) went excellently with the meat. I actually wish that I had been given more of them. They had an almost pickled taste, and they were bursting with sweet liquid.

I was shocked at how weighty the skewer was - the portion was very generous for the price. Probably in my top two of my favourite dishes out of everything I tried.

Poulet (Chicken) Mayo

Such an interesting dish! It was served in greaseproof paper and it really held well. I found it delicious, albeit very rich. It was creamy, flavoursome and the chicken was so well cooked. It was tender and cut into manageable pieces. The one thing I would say, is that there were many pieces of chicken that contained bones. Because the chicken pieces were so small, they were a bit fiddly to eat. However, meat on the bone is generally more flavoursome so this was a minor inconvenience.

The mayonnaise taste was subtle but present enough; there was a tang to the creamy sauce that was very familiar to me. Like the beef skewer, this dish contained no heat whatsoever. I only missed this heat once I tasted a little of it with a dash of hot sauce. I think that heat would have elevated the dish somewhat, but for those who run from fire, this dish is perfect for you.

Pondu (Cassava Leaves)

I wanted to enjoy this. I really willed myself to enjoy it. However, after several bites, and pairing it with a few of the other things on the table, I had to just be true to myself and pack it up. Literally, pack it up and take it home and hope that maybe I'd enjoy it on a Friday.

It lacked flavour, though there was a bitterness that couldn't be counteracted by anything else I paired it with. Cassava leaves will always be tough, and that doesn't bother me much, but there needs to depth in the dish for me to overlook this completely. There was a lot of liquid in the dish as well. I wouldn't order this dish again.

Honourable Mentions

I was able to try a few other menu items as a family member ordered the Manna Platter. Expect very brief descriptions and to-the-point ratings because I didn't eat enough of any of these to formulate a full opinion on all aspects.

The ntaba (smoked baby lamb) was dreamy. 9/10. The lamb ribs were lovely. 8/10.

The Manna Platter

The chicken wings (I believe they were honey sauce chicken wings) were not to my taste. They were way too sweet for me but they were cooked very well. 6/10.

The jollof rice was not to my taste at the time, but for some reason, it tastes great the next day? This is definitely a jollof thing. Generally, I prefer a more spicy jollof rice and a harder, larger rice grain. Flavour wise, the rice was decent on the day and better the day after, so I give it both a 6/10 and a 7/10.

Would I Visit Deluxe Manna Again?

100%. Deluxe Manna is a stunning restaurant. The staff are friendly, attentive and helpful. The food was worth the long journey and the portion sizes were great. Nothing on the table tasted like it had been cooked under duress. I've been to a few restaurants where I've wondered if that has been the story behind the very much 'thrown together' type of meal.

To reiterate, you need to try the beef broschette; the flavours were divine. I also strongly recommend trying the poulet mayo. I ate it with fried plantain but it would probably go better with cassava or a more neutral side.

Let me know how you find Deluxe Manna if you visit.


1 comment