Manahatta’s Greek Street venue is most definitely one of the trendy strips flagship bars and for good reason. The lively atmosphere, inventive cocktails and slick interiors give it plenty of appeal that sees it busy with both the local work crowd and weekend party animals. The food is another big draw, with an inspired selection of comfort eats that are a cut above your standard bar fodder.
After a memorable meal at Manahatta Headingley last year, I was keen to see what their new autumn menu had to shout about. Arriving on a surprisingly busy Tuesday night (Leeds never seems to get going until Thursday in my experience), we took a prime spot in one of the peacock blue booths at the back of the restaurant area and ordered a round of Asahi’s.
Perusing the menu, it was great to see that the bars signature dishes remained intact, but with the addition of some indulgent plates that pay homage to New York. The Crispy Calamari Melts got us off to a good start, with the delicious squid all wrapped up in a light, fluffy batter that had just the right amount of crispiness.
Served with garlic mayo and a seaweed salad, they’re a welcome addition to the new menu. The Halloumi and Mozzarella Fries came with a lightly spiced Chipotle ketchup and were fine, if nothing to write home about.
Onto the main course and there was one new dish that I simply had to try having heard good reports through the grapevine. The Empire State Chicken was indeed a beast of a dish and ticked all the boxes for me as far as fatty treats go. A towering stack of crispy fried chicken sits atop a pair of American waffles and is doused in cheese, pancetta, purple slaw and maple syrup.
Served with a pot of gravy and a side of mixed skin on fries and sweet potato fries, it’s the kind of dish that will help get you through a break up or a bad day at work (just so long as you remember to put a few extra hours into your workout schedule of course). I approve.
With zero space for what I assume would be a USA sized portion of pudding, we went for a liquid dessert in the form of the Espresso Martini, before rolling out onto Greek Street a stone heavier. If you’re looking for hearty food in a cool, causal environment, then Manahatta will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.
Manahatta, Greek Street, 29 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 5PS.