Knightsbridge Has A New Turkish Restaurant... And They're Doing Outrageously Good Manti
A sleek, smallish spot on Old Brompton Road, The Mantl's a very Knightsbridge take on a Turkish kebab house — with some surprises up its elegant sleeve.
Somehow — despite a Turkish-dwelling dad and our own dedicated haunting of London's Turkish restaurants — feraye manti have flown totally off our radar till now. Similar to the boiled manti we've known/loved/gorged on, these are tiny parcels of stuffed dough with mall twists of lamb folded into it, but fried into a light crunch: tender and meaty inside, delicately crispy-shelled. Those would be reason enough to visit The Mantl; by the time the plate's just smears of the tomato sauce, smoked yoghurt and mint butter they're served in, we're deeply grateful to the restaurant for shoehorning them into our consciousness.
However, there's more to The Mantl than its (near) namesake: the Iskender kebab comes served on stacked rounds of chopped-up simit bread rather than a flatbread, a stroke of weird genius that leaves the chewy simit soaked through with tomato and grilled meat juices. And our kadayif dessert — crushed hazelnuts in the centre, draped with fine strands of shredded filo and topped with crumbled pistachio, on a milky sauce — would make for a perfect cake-and-coffee pitstop.
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Some paths through The Mantl menu feel better-value than others. The feraye manti, technically a starter, could be a lot more than their £9 price tag and still feel like a bewitchingly good and thoroughly substantial main. On the flip side, the mixed shish (£17) is two beautifully-smoky, tender skewers and some flatbread triangles and some salad leaves, all delicate enough to need flanking with mezze and dessert to bulk it up.
There's no point holding it up for comparison against the stalwarts of Green Lanes, it's a very different beast: the dishes more primped, the decor glossier, the set-up more formal. The cheapest wines start at £29-£30 a bottle and shoot up rapidly from there. You could drop the price of a three-course meal at one of Haringey's finest on one relatively dainty kebab here. But their hero dishes — the manti, that kadayif (and, we expect, a lot of the reaches of the mezze and dessert menus we haven't explored yet) — are easily memorable enough to justify the spend.
The Mantl, 142 Brompton Road, SW3 1HY.
Last Updated 29 August 2019