Greek Street is quickly becoming one of my favourite areas to hang out in Leeds, both for food and drink.
The latest addition, Manhatta, joins Gusto and the Alchemist, and is the second venue in the city centre since the Merrion Street bar opened in 2014.
Part of the Arc Inspirations ‘empire’, the Manhatta chain is distinguished by its concept which is to bring a ‘taste of New York’ to Leeds.
Newbies to the gorgeous new bar which opened its doors late last month, should not be fooled into thinking it’s just a reproduction of the Merrion Street Manhatta. The Greek Street venue has much more of a ‘dining’ sense to it, which I’m told is set to be its focus.
Thankfully, the Manhatta traits that people might already be familiar with are all still prominent – the extensive, exciting cocktail menu, the high ceilings and the classy ‘New York, art deco’ feel.
So, aside from the perfect cocktail, it’s pretty much a vital requirement for a New York style bar and restaurant to serve up a good brunch. I went to investigate…
On a brunch menu, I usually find it difficult to steer away from anything other than eggs, because to me there are few things more satisfying on a breakfast menu than a golden, oozing yolk.
However, being the opportunist that I am, this time I tried the ‘High Line Pancakes’ (£7.95) on recommendation of the waitress.
There’s a good variation of dishes on the brunch menu, some more substantial than others which is great seeing as though the brunch is served until 4pm. Of the more substantial dishes, my friend chose the Steak and Eggs served with fries and hollandaise sauce (£12.90).
To drink, I chose the restaurant’s signature ‘Manhatta Spritz’ (£7.75) – a refreshing, light cocktail, composed using Mahatta’s own unique cordial tasting of grapefruit. My friend went for her favourite, classic Bloody Mary (£7.50),which she tells me was spot on.
On to the food, my showstopper pancakes arrived. Unlike the stack of pancakes I’d envisaged, the dish is just one single maple syrup-soaked pancake (stretching to the edge of the plate), served with fried chicken and bacon. Call me absurd, but the thought of greasy, fatty fried chicken, for me – is not a pleasant one, so I was a little apprehensive about this dish.
However this was nothing of the sort. The chicken was beautifully golden, crispy but not greasy, with a nice peppery kick to counteract the sweetness of the maple syrup. The ratio of bacon to chicken was just right too. The dish did get a little dry towards the end, and could have benefited from an extra pot of maple syrup (probably best without it though for my waistline!).
My friend’s steak was cooked medium rare, just as she liked it, and the poached eggs had a perfectly runny yolk. (The dish comes with fried eggs but they were happy to serve my friend’s poached as requested).
As we’d finished our food we were both enjoying the company and buzzing atmosphere of a sunny Saturday afternoon, so we ordered one more cocktail each.
I went for the Eastern Promise (£7.75) – a sweet cocktail made with blended berries, vodka, and a nice bitterness from Aperol. My friend went for the Sherbet Sipper (£7.50), which for me was far too sweet after my pancakes, but would certainly have had on its own.
For those familiar with Manhatta Merrion Street, I would say the Greek Street venue is much more accommodating if food is what you’re after. I will definitely be returning for a New York style brunch. I might even go as far to say as, I’m now a pancake convert!