Eating at The Manor House, Wanstead
- Credit: Archant
The Manor House, favourite dishes done delectably well
Since opening its doors two years ago, The Manor House has proved beyond doubt that it’s possible to perfectly blend high quality food with the warm welcome of a pub.
The Wanstead venue has brought the excellent standard of a central London Gastropub East. Owner, Mark Foster, says, ‘We want to be the place you visit to relax and enjoy good quality food, whether that’s brunch on a Monday or dinner on a Saturday evening.’
The menu focuses on traditional dishes, strong pub favourites from starters including a ham hock terrine, salt and pepper squid and chilli garlic prawns to main courses such as slow-braised feather blade beef and lamb shanks.
Mark explains, ‘These are tried-and-tested dishes, real British favourites created with a high level of expertise. We’re not looking to complicate meals, just offer well-known dishes, made exceptionally well.’
The current dessert menu is the perfect example, packed with winter puddings including sticky toffee pudding and warm chocolate and hazelnut brownie.
Head chef Lazarus Dillon does like to get creative and throw in a few surprises like the pan fried duck with port and orange sauce or the newly-introduced sweet potato cakes with guacamole and a chilli and ginger salsa.
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His banana fritter, battered and crusted in nuts and toasted sesame, has been so in-demand that customers have actually called for a take-away order just to get their fix.
The New Year will see The Manor House build on the occasional tasting menus it has hosted. Mark says,
‘They give Lazarus the chance to play around in the kitchen and rethink those classics. Next year we plan to set aside one night every six weeks or so for a themed evening. Our chef is Australian so I imagine he’ll be looking to put that Aussie twist on the menu, perhaps for summer.
‘I’d personally love to have an 1980s night with some retro favourites like Chicken in a Basket and Black Forest Gateau completely reconstructed to create something very refined.’
Another New Year plan is the introduction of a Doggie Roast, catering for its four-legged customers. Mark explains, ‘A lot of customers like to bring their pet along on a Sunday so we thought we’d put something on the menu, just for them.’
The Manor House prides itself on its attention to detail, from its menu through to the drink offering, from its exclusive oak-roasted coffee sourced from a small Italian provider to its carefully chosen craft beers. Mark says, ‘Beer wise we’ve more to offer than most places outside of the central London craft bars, with 27 on draft from standard classics to real niche choices.’
There’s also an extensive wine list with 50 choices ranging from £16 to £60, something to suit every budget and most available by the glass.
Mark spent 14 years in investment banking before leaving the trading floor to take a new direction. He says, ‘It was time for a change and I’ve always been very passionate about food. I wanted somewhere that offered a relaxed, pub like atmosphere with exciting food of a restaurant standard, I think that’s what we’ve achieved and there’s a lot still to come.
The Manor House
129 High Street, Wanstead, E11 2RL