My quest for the perfect steak continues. Anywhere overlooking water, that promises gourmet steaks cooked to perfection with flawless service gets major brownie points from me. I also love a novelty. So when I got wind that Manhattan Grill near West India Quay has a wine tasting island, dedicated gin bar next door, and Scottish and USA prime steaks, I knew I was onto a winner.
Manhattan Grill is a great bright space with an open kitchen which adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Our table had stunning views of the quay as the sun was just setting.
Before we got comfortable Sonia whisked us over to the wine tasting island and began choosing a few bottles that might tickle our fancy for dinner. After some rather professional smelling, sipping, and mouth swooshing we felt we could make an informed decision on which wine to go for. This was a great experience and interactive start to our evening.
We shared a carafe of the crisp pinot grigot while we looked over the menu. We found it was paired perfectly with the upcoming fish dishes.
To save us making a tough decision on which starters to go for (as they all sounded good) we were treated to a trio of their bestselling. The plate looked amazing, fantastic presentation. The seared scallops were perfectly cooked with bursts of pineapple salsa and crispy leek.
A beautifully deep-fried ox cheek croquette sat on a bed of garlic sauce. I was so happy to see a huge chunk of juicy beef inside the crispy coating.
I love king prawns especially still in their shell, these tasted so fresh and juicy. The garlic butter and chilli drizzle went down a treat – finger-licking good.
The bottle of Spanish rioja we chose earlier was poured just in time for our mains. Manhattan Grill sources their beef from both Scotland and the USA giving a nice variety. The main difference is they are either wet or dry aged giving 2 distinct flavours. We decided on one of each to compare.
I opted for the grass-fed dry-aged fillet, while Mike had the Black Angus wet-aged New York strip. As they came over to the table our mouths dropped. They were huge with the juices glistening in the light. My fillet was cooked medium rare, with a soft pink centre and slightly charred edge. It cut like a dream and was so delicious.
Mike’s New York strip had the signature slither of fat down one side making it so juicy and tender, it needed no sauce. We got stuck in and there were many quiet moments where we just looked at each other appreciating this incredible spread.
Both were garnished with a big flat mushroom and on-the-vine baby tomatoes. We were also presented with a selection of sauces to accompany our steaks. The horseradish and mushroom were my particular favourites.
As the beach season is almost upon us we opted for a selection of healthier sides. Smooth mash, a fresh crunchy salad (topped with onion rings) and some ultra-creamy spinach filled the table.
Although super full, Sonia twisted our arm into trying her favourite dessert, the warm Danish pudding. Armed with 2 spoons our full bellies vanished and we were soon left fighting over the last scoop of caramel ice cream. Just divine.
Our evening wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the gin bar next door. Mo, the very knowledgeable barman took us through a few of his favourite gins and the interesting stories behind them. After a few potent sips we decided on a glass of bathtub gin. It was delicious, quite different to anything I’ve drank before, and the strip of orange peel gave it a lovely sweet tang.
We had a brilliant evening at Manhattan Grill from start to finish. The team are so friendly and welcoming, nothing is too much trouble. We loved the setting and atmosphere, not to mention the incredible food. Our steaks really were top quality with the Danish pudding blew my mind! I can’t wait to return with my steak loving friends.
Manhattan Grill and Bar
22 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4ED