Amazing modernist cooking in a casual, good-looking Clapham bistro.
Please note, The Manor has now closed and Sorella has opened at the same site. Time Out Food editors, January 2019.
Most of London’s really exciting new restaurants open in the centre of town – and you’ll pay two limbs for the pleasure of eating in them. So when somewhere special opens in a residential area, word gets around. This last happened in Clapham in 2013, when The Dairy – a wine and British tapas bar –introduced an innovative, but reasonably priced small plates menu to the neighbourhood.
The Manor is run by the same team, but this time has a fully fledged dining room as well as a bar. Prices are a little higher – but still reasonable – as the cooking has gone up a few notches, too. The Manor looks and feels casual, like a slightly more grown-up version of The Dairy, despite the graffiti, old desks and industrial light fittings. But the imagination and skill of the kitchen places it among the city’s most cutting-edge restaurants: The Clove Club, Story or Lyle’s, to give just a few examples.
Case in point: two slivers of meat resembling pork belly were in fact crisp chicken skin. Something that resembled soft cheese turned out to be the flesh from a cod’s head mixed with sour cream.
Fermentation, one of the most transformative kitchen techniques, is used to good effect on the ‘malt granola’ and fermented grains, both served with the claw-on leg and breast of partridge. The New Nordic technique of scorching and burning is used successfully on both kale and cauliflower, and a smoky aubergine purée (coloured green using mint) served with Irish-inspired potato scones was sublime. There’s a tasting menu (£42 without wine) but the à la carte features the same dishes. Whatever you choose, it’s official: modernist cooking has arrived in SW4.
For dessert, head to the bar stools at the ‘sweet shop’ counter to watch the pastry chef blast liquid nitrogen from a laboratory-style tap to create ultra-smooth ice cream. Sundae bar toppings include nuts, honeycombs, popcorns and meringues. Or have frozen-to-order chocolate fondant with dulce de leche and baked ‘milk foam’.
The drinks bar is terrific for a snack, though it’s a proper come-as-you-are place to pop in for a drink, filled with a stylishly casual mix of drinkers and diners, including one hardy lass wearing a sequinned bikini top on our visit. The kombucha sours cocktail tasted of citrus, tea and the tart notes resulting from the kombucha fermentation. There’s also an interesting selection of craft beers and a good wine list. Clapham folk are very lucky to have The Manor in their manor.
|Venue name:||The Manor - CLOSED|
148 Clapham Manor Street
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:16
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
When we walked in I was really impressed with the staff and the decor of the restaurant. We had the 7 course tasting menu. The first course with chicken butter and skin was great but I felt the rest didn't quite live up to the same standard. There was a sweetcorn and fish course which was horrible (we noticed the table next to us both didn't finish this either), then a course where our veal was absolutely drowned in beetroot. Then wild fennel ice cream didn't work for me. Altogether a bit disappointing!
went here as a super date night treat with the bf and it was so delicious. We did the smaller tasting menu and did doubt that we might not be full afterwards (like with all tasting menus), but oh how wrong we were. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it. Definitely recommend. The staff were super lovely as well.
Beautiful dining room with exquisite food. Staff are all really friendly too and there is a dessert bar!
Outstanding food - funkier decor than The Dairy, like it's cooler older brother. Would definitely go back.
I hate to disagree with the majority but I really don't get the hype around The Manor. I totally appreciate the fuss over small plates, ideal for sharing etc and I absolutely love tapas bars (in fact these are some of my favourite London restaurants). But The Manor really didn't impress me. One good thing I will say before ranting about the food is that the atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and the decor gives off an unperturbed vibe, each colourfully painted china plate has a different design on it and the wooden chairs and tables evoke a very unpretentious feel. It is a shame that the food stirs up such opposite feelings.
The first off-putting thing about The Manor was the fact that the waitress (who was dressed rather inappropriately might I add) was overwhelmingly pushy in insinuating that we should all go for the set tasting menu (£45 per person without booze). And if the idea of the restaurant is to share then what's the point in all getting the same dishes? The menu is quite limited although I guess each dish is curated and executed very carefully. There are 3 veggie options, 3 fish options and 3 meat options for mains, along with a bunch of starter type dishes, but these are honestly so tiny that they aren't fit for sharing. Being with a vegetarian, we went for all three veggie options, all three fish and one meat.
The veggie stuff came first, and each plate looked more like a work of art than anything edible, I felt guilty as soon as my fork touched the plate! The sweetcorn dish was flooded in a beige coloured sauce which pretty much drowned the rest of the food (little pieces of corn that had been detached from the cob and a few coco beans). The mushroom dish was a little better in terms of flavour but was such a strange selection of foods that would have individually tasted a lot better. We cleared these three plates in a matter of minutes and actually ended up wiping the plates with our fingers our stomachs were that empty. Next was the fish, a cod dish, a mackerel dish and a John Dory, all with a lovely combination of flavours but so so tiny in size it was unbelievable. The waitress suggested 4 dishes per person which means you're looking at about £32 a head without drinks or desserts. We then waited a good twenty minutes before being served the single meat dish we ordered; two small and very fatty lumps of beef, and one more tender lump of pulled beef.
After finishing this we decided it wasn't worth getting puddings and that we would rather get an ice cream on the way home. I was truly gutted to feel so disappointed by the food at The Manor, particularly considering it's location and the hub of restaurants in that area are consistently good. On the plus side, I did end up getting accidentally quite drunk because the food was so dissatisfying in terms of portion sizes...
I came to The Manor after seeing its profile and recommendation on Time Out. My partner and I wanted to have a nice lunch during our travel in London, and I would have to say this was the best meal I've had in quite a while (London and otherwise)! The two of us had the tasting menu for our lunch reservation, and we also had to order a few more appetizer dishes because we were very excited by the creative menu. I thoroughly enjoyed how different ingredients complemented one another, and the dishes pleasantly excited our taste palette. The service was also impeccable - our waiter was extremely pleasant and knowledgable about the dishes, and gave us great recommendations. The ambience and setting of the restaurant was also superb - the space has a serene, beautiful, and rustic quality. I highly recommend it! :)
I don't normally spend £100 on lunch for myself. Or drink 6 different wines in one meal (sparkling, rose, albarino, mouvedre, port, sweet semillon).
But it was my birthday and I was celebrating another year of life and honouring my partner's recent death.
So I went to The Manor in Clapham and I see why it's one of Timeout's Top 10 restaurants in London.
The service was attentive, friendly and knowledgable without being intrusive or cloying. The food -- I had the lunch tasting menu (7 courses!) with the paired 'flights' of wine -- was elegant, delicious, beautiful, creative and satisfying. (Nothing worse than expensive, technical micro-cuisine that has no soul... this was not that!)
Thank-you everyone for a lovely afternoon in a difficult time -- and for all the little touches (adjusting the dishes for my allergies, and the dairy free dessert. Who knew rhubarb and sorbet could be so tasty!!)
Go. You won't be sorry :-)
We just had their set lunch menu and it's phenomenally good value - £25 for four exceptionally impressive courses. We took the opportunity to splash out on a decent bottle of wine, of which there are many. A fantastic restaurant.
I went here the other night and had a fantastic meal. The food was spot on and the service excellent!
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