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Mandira (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Cafés Covent Garden

Time Out says

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Please note, Mandira has now closed. Time Out Food editors, December 2018.

Mandira – a cute, clean spot on the far eastern end of Covent Garden’s Long Acre – bills itself as ‘London’s first fresh yoghurt bar’. It’s a slightly bizarre concept, but not a bad one, and most of the menu is indeed based around tubs of yoghurt, embellished with either sweet or savoury toppings.

Being lunchtime, I ditched the fruit, nuts, honey and herbs of the sweets and plumped straight for the savoury. A bowl topped with hummus and za’atar was over salty, and the texture – smooth yoghurt + slightly grainy chickpeas and a sprinkling of sumac – was odd, though by no means awful. Far better was a bowl strewn with good-quality smoked salmon, dill and excellent olive oil (an amazing bagel filling without the bread, basically); and then one topped with smokey aubergine purée, sharp cherry toms and nicely punchy chilli pepper.

The only problem was that none of this felt like a meal, per se: even with (or perhaps because of) a bag of tangy, oily bread chips, it all screamed ‘upmarket dinner party dips’ rather than lunch. Lucky, then, that Mandira also does an ace line in simit bagels: skinny, chewy Turkish breads best filled with mild kasseri goat’s cheese and Turkish-style cured beef (one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in eons and a steal at a fiver). Get one of those and demote those yoghurt bowls to dipping duty and you’ll be pleased as punch.

By: Tom Howells

Posted:

Details

Address: 78b Long Acre
London
WC2E 9NG
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
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