You should visit Manny’s once it gets dark. The lights guide you right from the main road to the entrance of the tapas bar and eatery. Don’t be surprised if you are received as soon as you reach the entrance. The property is divided into four sections – the dining area done in ample lights, a casual patio with projection screen, a verandah with snug recliner-type chairs and the indoor bar done in earthy tones with minimal lighting, controlled temperature and oil paintings of food. At the indoor bar, you may choose to interact with the bartender and occupy a stool right at the counter. For those into food and drinks equally, the wooden furniture with mute-tone covers will do.


The tapas menu is honest, to say the least. No distractions, no impurities. The selection of snacks to go with the drinks is quite comforting – foods that are not messy and easy to handle. The patatas bravas boast an excellent balance of flavors. The tomato-based sauce comes with olives and a heavy dose of green chili peppers, and the saltiness is well taken care of. The vinegar is not at all over powering and you can actually relish each cube with a burst of spices. The gambari al olio – grilled jumbo prawns in garlic and herb oil – is a juicy treat. The warm garlic and minimal herbs give off a pleasant aroma and a slightly sour hint. Top this on a prawn and munch away – relaxing. I was suggested an electric blue mint margarita to go with the tapas. The drink is sharp at first and soothing later – a great combination with spicy fares. With the fried calamari, you can’t help but notice the crunchiness and the absence of the off smell that is usually predicted. The crunchiness is complemented by a serving of mayo. How you want it is totally your preference.

 

5 Ws

Where’s it located?
Shaligram Complex, Jawalakhel
What to wear?
Semi formals
Why drop in?
The tapas and the cocktails
When to visit?
Evening hangouts
How much to carry?
Meal for two with taxes and drinks comes at around 4 grands.

As for the main course, I recommend the Pad Thai – recommended to me as well. The portioning is quite a lot and the rice noodles come with an over-powering aroma of fish sauce. I generally do not prefer the original recipe for its pungent aroma but the one they serve here has a good balance of these. The rice noodles are cooked to the right texture and the sourness is well taken care of by the red chili peppers. If you’ve already had your fill with the tapas, I suggest one serving for two.

 


The tequila marinated chicken is a thin slice served with bean sprouts and chopped red onions in a zesty dressing with rice. The chicken comes with a bone attached and a commendable garnishing of herbs. It is complemented by a sauce served separate so you can decide the amount you want to go in. A cut of the meat dipped in the sauce with a spoonful of rice is all you need for an uplifting experience. And yes, it will not get you drunk.
With the Thai style roasted chicken come a good serving of Som Tom, rice and accompanying sauce. The roast is crunchy brown on the outside and soft on the inside. This, however, is not the succulent kind of roasted chicken that you look forward to. Although moist, it is largely devoid of flavors besides that of the chicken itself, and I recommend you make use of the sauce for an enriching experience.

Verdict
One reason you should love Manny’s is that it is quite unlike your regular watering holes. I am impressed by their selection of snacks and the determination to stick to a particular theme rather than be bent by the winds of common practice. The professional service adds a feather to their cap and of course, the adjoining library is one more thing that is quite interesting. I’ve been there thrice already; and if you’ve not, you’re missing out on something here. !

Furnishings   diverse, the bar seating could be more comfortable
Ambiencee   brilliant lighting, right music
Cutlery   easy to use
Service   utterly professional and caring
Restroom   old-fashioned, yet clean with all supplies intact
My rating   the next hangout spot