October 2023 Newsletter

  • It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch; we’ve been busy, and now we have much to share with you.

  • A new era - Ivan Vukadinovic 

    Over the coming weeks, we’re bringing our guests to the kitchen to introduce them to our new Head Chef, Ivan Vukadinovic. Originally from Serbia, Ivan grew up in Venice and joins us via restaurants Frenchie and The Clove Club after being introduced to mana as a guest.

    Ivan will take charge of maintaining a sharp edge on a kitchen and its brigade proudly built on precision and synchronicity, the ownership of which allows Chef-Patron Simon Martin the creative freedom required to develop new chapters of our menu perpetually, whilst inviting old favourites back to the drawing board.

  • Travelling against the grain

    Over recent years, we’ve been searching for (and enabling) a particular cooking style previously unknown to us. We want our food to be simple yet complex, bewildering, yet with elements of reference that allow each guest to feel as though creations were intended just for them.

    At this moment in time, we seek to achieve a sense of elegance through texture, purity with product research and intelligent levels of intervention, and robust flavours that give undeniable merit to this ethos in the first place. Ultimately, it meant stripping back but thinking long and hard about what needed to remain.

    We believe we’ve been doing well to accomplish this, purely based on feedback from our guests and the way it makes us feel every time a plate leaves the kitchen. Our latest main course of ‘Barbecued Hogget with Orange Wine and White Miso Sabayon’ was also featured in the Michelin Guides ‘Inspector’s Dishes of the Month’ for July.

    With this feeling of accomplishment and security, an unnerving trickle of unrest naturally finds its way into our hearts. We question whether we’re taking enough risk, and whether we are still willing to confidently dive in the unknown. The fact that we ask ourselves this is what gives us the answer. It’s once again time to travel against the grain, a prospect that excites and inspires us every time it knocks at the door in the successive circle of progression.

  • Leading with action, not (just) words - A sustainability update

    A few months ago, we announced our plans to become a zero-waste establishment, with full knowledge of what this entails, we have given ourselves two years to achieve this feat. We’ve been thinking differently about how we approach our work, who we can partner with to help us, and what foundations we’ll place in the near future to create a closed-loop food system within our comparatively small operation. Due to the size of mana and our systematic approach to operations, our effect on the environment is already tiny, yet our footprint on the industry and those who look to us for guidance is large. We value this responsibility, and we never take it for granted. Therefore, we believe taking action and speaking publicly about the benefit is the most effective way to make a difference.

    We believe that using every part of an ingredient or visiting suppliers to discover and support their sustainable practices is no longer ‘doing enough’.

    These things should be a restaurants' first step to being present in an environmentally positive world. For us, it  constantly inspires us to be creative in the kitchen, leading to eye-opening and sometimes delicious discoveries, naturally building better relationships.

    Our latest project will be converting our small outdoor picnic area. This area was originally built to allow outdoor dining for twelve guests during the pandemic, and later repurposed for the team to enjoy their meals. Subject to planning permission, we will build a walled kitchen garden with raised beds to grow various herbs and vegetables using our own compost made from kitchen waste. Whilst many rural restaurants already have gardens, not many have the primary purpose of it to utilise their ‘waste’, and especially not in a small city-centre space. We hope that by building this, we can encourage even the most densely populated urban areas to do the same.                   

  • Sharing our work 

    We want to remain as accessible as possible whilst maintaining our commitment to providing an experience which exudes artisanal and unique quality in every detail. Therefore, we also offer a shorter version of our menu at £95, alongside the complete experience at £195. Our pricing is transparent and fully reflects the cost of the incredible produce and team that create mana.

    Our work doesn’t mean a great deal to us if we’re not able to share it far and wide, but we know and feel the cost of living crisis, and we want to help.

    We’ve been cleverly analysing our business, considering ways to reduce costs behind the scenes on things that don’t affect the guest experience. Hopefully, this will allow people to still find a way to experience our ever-evolving work that we’re so excited to share.

    For a period starting on 1st November, we will therefore be reducing our Full Menu price to £175.  

  • A final word

    We still have some availability throughout October, an exciting time for us as we begin to introduce our Autumnal additions to the menu, reflective of the aforementioned reinvigorated approach.

    As always, if you’ve already visited us, please don’t hesitate to plan a visit directly by getting in touch with our Reservations Manager, Amanda, contactable at reservations@manarestaurant.co.uk