Manahatta is a New York-themed bar. When we tell them we want some lunch we are seated at a booth. Table service is provided throughout the experience. Despite this, they take a credit card for 'the tab'. The booths are nice but being so big make it difficult to talk to the waiter. He doesn't even try to speak to Elina when talking us through the menu, addressing me directly.
Their menu labels main courses as "entrees". Correct in American English, but incorrect in British English. It is an American-themed bar, but confusing nonetheless. They also have a paleo menu. The paleo diet is designed to replicate what our evolutionary ancestors would have eaten. Any sensible thinking would quickly realise that life expectancy during the Palaeolithic period was half what it is today. Yet it continues.
The toilets are nicely furnished. The doors are labelled 'M' and 'W'. In fact the W is the M upside down. Confusingly, there is a mirror right next to it that reflects it, so at first glance you look like you are looking at two identical doors that say 'M' on them. My advice is to use clear labelling. I was also surprised to see that despite it only being lunch time, the hourly checks had already been ticked off for the whole day.
The restaurant design itself is one that clearly hates anyone with limited mobility. You go down some steps into the restaurant, then back up to the booths, and the toilets are upstairs. There are split levels everywhere.
All of this is countered by the quality of the food and drink however. Their menu offers cocktails, including alcohol free, and smoothies. My cocktail is both refreshing and sweet. My breaded chicken looks anaemic but tastes good. Elina's confit duck has a beautiful crispy skin and a delicious selection of Asian greens, including pak choi. She describes it as possibly the best confit duck she has tasted.
There is a lot of mildly annoying things about Manahatta. I have spent a lot of time airing them in this review. However, the food is excellent and the drinks are high quality too. Worth a visit.
Reviewed by Leeds Restaurant Guide.
11 Merrion Steet, Leeds, LS1 6PG
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