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 and we decided to give it a go.
The Mantl is located in Knightsbridge on Brompton Road near Harrods and is opened by the same brothers behind the multi-award winning Skewd Kitchen. Both restaurants specialise in 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.
The Mantl: the fireplace for good food
Mantl, similar to “mantle”, is a play of word for fireplace. The restaurant concept is to deliver modern but homely flavours of Turkey, hailing from Bursa specifically, and evoke the warming and cosy feeling of gathering around a fireplace with family & friends for good food.
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 which was comfortable and spacious.
The Food: What We Ordered
All meats served are halal at The Mantl. No pork but alcohol is present at the restaurant. An overall rating is available at the bottom of this post. Here is what we ordered:
To start with, we ordered some hot starters. First up was the lamb beef manti, served over garlic yoghurt and pepper oil. These little dumplings were generally a delight to taste especially when it’s paired with the tangy yoghurt. However, 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. Nonetheless, we were pretty satisfied with it.
Chicken Wings (£8)
Next up was the Chicken Wings. They were glazed with date molasses and topped with sesame, featuring lip-smacking sweet and smoky flavours. I enjoyed both its contemporary concept and flavours, and it’s definitely something a little different to your typical Turkish meal. Though for the price given, I thought the wings were rather small and stingy in size.
Pistachio Lamb Chops (£26)
Moving onto mains, we ordered the highly-rated Pistachio lamb chops, which were served over a bed of shallot pomme puree and topped with pistachio dust and pomegranate seeds. We had our lamb chops cooked medium, which came 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! We 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 couldn’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 an interesting one as well. It carried a subtle smokiness from the aubergine, which added texture as well. But same as above, I couldn’t quite pinpoint if I enjoyed it or not. 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 came 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 portion of Pilav to share. In my opinion, the portion was, again, rather small. But it’s really tasty and quite the perfect complement to our main dishes.
And now we move on to desserts. The Kunefe is the one I was anticipating the most. Presentation-wise, it was definitely spot on. It was picture-perfect with the pistachio topping and the ice cream nestling elegantly on top plus the flower. The stringy cheese-pull had been a picture-perfect moment too which is a bonus!
The Turkish ice cream on top had certainly been an intriguing one. It’s got a more gluey texture and stretchy stickiness compared to regular ice cream. It did take a little while for us to get used to its unique texture, but its subtle vanilla fragrance had been a moreish treat and we just loved it.
As for 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, again, topped with a scoop of vanilla Turkish ice cream and a flower on top. The baklavas were generally delightful, featuring a light crunch and filled with delicious syrupy nuts. We especially loved that it comes with ice cream too which made a great pairing to the baklavas.
Turkish Coffee (£5)
Last but not least, we finished off the meal with some Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee is known to be intensely rich. If you can’t handle that sort of intensity but still want to try it, you can 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 has a very smooth mouthfeel. While it gives you an intense hit, it’s not too overpowering. The coffee also comes with a little plate of Turkish Delights, which had been the perfect little nibble to pair with the coffee.
Restaurant Review Summary
To summarize, we enjoyed our lunch at The Mantl and enjoyed its innovative take on classic Anatolian dishes. The flavours were unique and refined, and we especially liked that casual but sophisticated approach for their restaurant concept. Nonetheless, we do feel that some flavours could use a little extra boost for a better wow-ing effect and oomph. Overall, whilst we’re satisfied with the meal, we do also find it a little pricey for what it is. The portions were rather small given the price. But then I suppose that should be partially expected given its location!
Nearest station: Knightsbridge
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