As much as I enjoy Turkish food, it’s always been a hit and miss. There are the notorious overcooked mixed grills, but Turkish food is definitely more than that. The Mantl stood out to me when I saw them over social media with their modern and contemporary take on Turkish cuisine.
The Mantl is situated in Knightsbridge on Brompton Road near Harrods and is opened by the same brothers behind the multi-award winning Skewd Kitchen. Both specialise Anatolian cuisine, which comes from the central parts of Turkey. I haven’t been to Skewd Kitchen myself (just a tad bit too far for me to trek to), but with all the good things I’ve heard, I was very much anticipating a visit to The Mantl to see what they’re all about.
Stepping into the restaurant, the interior is very modern, sleek, and bright. It’s not too busy when we arrived for lunch on a Saturday. We got seated comfortably at a booth table. It was fairly spacious and comfortable.
Here is what we ordered:
To start with, we ordered some hot starters. First up was the Manti, i.e lamb beef manti over garlic yoghurt and pepper oil.
The Manti was certainly lovely to taste, especially when paired with the tangy yoghurt, though I was expecting it to be slightly juicier. For me personally, I would like to see a more robust touch on the pepper oil to enhance the dish’s overall flavour profile. But overall, I was pretty satisfied with it.
Chicken Wings (£8)
Then we got the Chicken Wings, which were glazed with date molasses and topped with sesame.
The wings carried a lip-smacking sweet and smoky flavours. I really enjoyed it and its contemporary concept. Though for the price given, I thought the wings were rather small in size.
Pistachio Lamb Chops (£26)
Pistachio lamb chops served over a bed of shallot pomme puree and topped with pistachio dust and pomegranate seeds.
We had our lamb chops cooked medium, which comes out beautifully tender. The pistachio crust added a lovely texture to the meat and lingering sweetness to it.
The most memorable part though, I’d say is the shallot pomme puree! I absolutely loved it. It was nicely savoury and cooked to a really smooth texture. There’s a mix of savoury and sweetness from the molasses drizzle as well. All in all, fantastic flavours packed in one plate and quite addictive ones too I’d say. Would definitely recommend ordering when you visit The Mantl!
The Gentle Veli (£22)
Next up for the mains is the Gentle Veli, which is made up of smoked aubergine, kapia peppers, yoghurt, and grilled chicken.
For me, the dish had been an interesting one. It’s got an odd smokey touch of flavours that I can’t pinpoint whether I like it or not.
The chicken was generally tender in texture. Personally, I was expecting a more robust kick of spice from it and thought it turned out slightly underwhelming.
Chicken aside, the yoghurt had been in interesting one as well. It carries a subtle smokiness from the aubergine, which added texture as well. In overall, this dish has left me a big question mark – I guess you should try it yourself and see what you think!
Both of the main dishes we ordered come with a salad each, but that’s of course not enough for us as we love our carbs! So as another side dish, we ordered a Pilav to share.
In my opinion, the portion was, again, rather small. It’s really tasty though.
The Kunefe is the one I was anticipating the most. Presentation-wise, it was definitely spot on. It’s picture-perfect with the pistachio topping and the ice cream nestling elegantly on top plus the flower. It’s also picture-perfect for a cheese-pull shot which is a bonus!
The Turkish ice cream on top had certainly been an interesting one. It’s got a more gluey texture and stretchy stickiness compared to regular ice cream. It did take a little while to get used to its unique texture, but its subtle vanilla fragrance had been a moreish treat regardless.
Back to the Kunefe, while that silver plate was really hot, the pastry itself was not actually that warm. Flavour-wise, it was decent but not as rich as expected. It’s got a good balance of sweetness though.
Additionally, we also ordered some baklavas to share. Four pieces of baklava were served and topped with a scoop of vanilla Turkish ice cream and a flower on top.
The baklavas were generally delightful – it’s got a light crunch and filled with delicious syrupy nuts. Loved that it comes with ice cream too which made a great pairing to the baklavas.
Turkish Coffee (£5)
Turkish coffee is known to be intensely rich. If you can’t handle that sort of intensity but still want to try it, you get to order your coffee medium or sweet.
I went for the Plain one, i.e. the original. It was, of course, really rich to taste but at the same time very smooth to drink. While it gives you an intense hit, it’s not too overpowering. The texture was rich and velvety.
The coffee also comes with a little plate of Turkish Delights, which had been the perfect little nibble to pair with the coffee.
…I enjoyed the concept of The Mantl and I find it quite an exquisite and innovative experience. The flavours were unique and refined. Nonetheless, I feel that some flavours could use a little extra boost for a better wow-ing effect. In overall, whilst I’m happy with the meal, I do also find it a little pricey for what it is. The portions were just rather small given its price. But then I suppose that should be partially expected given its location!
Nearest station: Knightsbridge
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