Nepali Times


What do Charlie Chaplin, tapas, siu mai, and Thai food all have in common? Manoj Basnet, better known as Manny, leaves us stumped. His newly opened, self-dubbed restaurant in Jawalakhel is an ambitious eatery and tapas bar with just too much on its plate.

Divided into four sections: 1) an outdoor garden with a big-screen projection for silent films and sports, 2) a formal dining area, 3) a coffee terrace and 4) lounge and dance floor, Manny's resembles a hotel lobby and an executive member's club designed without a general theme. As for its menu, Manny's eclectic tastes carry through.

The concept of tapas is not foreign to the Nepali palate. Tapas are snacks that dance well in a chew-and-quench number. Manny's offers diverse savory bites like crispy buffalo wings and Chinese dumplings or siu mai. Patatas bravas is a classic Spanish snack composed of roasted potatoes lathered with a tomato-mayo sauce. But Manny's version is roughly an aloo sandeko served with a mayo dip.

For repast, the tequila-marinated chicken is a letdown. The idea of meat simmering in an intoxicating sauce sounds exotic and appealing. But like the vodka shrimp penne at Roadhouse Cafť, it's a foolish faux pas. The chicken, presented like lamb-chops, was dry and overcooked. Shame on me.

The highlight on the menu, which miraculously summons back to last week's request, is the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. Done right, but needs just a tad more cheddar, the sandwich is a toasty, buttery baguette (so rare) lined with perfectly cooked strips of steak and is definitely worth the visit.

For now, the desserts are bleak with no options listed. Curd was offered, however, which was politely denied.
Ultimately, the ragbag of 'Continesian' options at Manny's renders more confusion than 'non-fusion'. The trend in the dining industry to go international is an unfortunate one and should be left up to food courts and IHOPs. With Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Thai, Japanese, Italian, American, and French dishes to choose from, Manny's is overlwheming. At the very least, as Manny says, the menu is momo-free (but like any 'good business', they're flexible, he adds).

South from the roundabout in Jawalakhel turn right into Shaligram Hotel and Apartments

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1. Mita
I think your review of Manny's is unfair because judging by the selection you never even tried the Tapas.

While I was just a visitor to Nepal, I am a foodie and enjoyed the selection of Tapas. I thought the ambiance of the restaurant eclectic and urbane - a perfect place to chill out and relax with friends, accompanied by a clever bartender that whipped up some very interesting (and deceptive) cocktails.

Maybe you should go back and give the place another try and this time actually try the Tapas. 

2. yep
The wings were fantastic. I have been there three times and counting and have enjoyed both the food and the ambiance. Have'nt tried the Tapas bar as yet, but the food is good and different - I thought it was Thai and continental (at least in the restaurant, maybe Mexican tapas at the bar (I'll try that too sometime)- Did'nt see any momos there nor were they offering - so I don't know about being flexible? I'm sure the menu will be revised time and again - A good start Manny's. Looking forward to more innivations. A breath iof fresh air from chilly chicken and momo. Hey is you want momo's "Marco (Polo)" try the jhol momo at Tri in Jhamsikhel - awesome. 

3. Guru
A nice option and you can actually get parking for a change. Tapas were good. Very interesting concept. 

4. shambu
terriyaki chicken - juicy, yummy the best in town. the hot soup is average though. pork chops were delicious.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)