How I do love to mix business with pleasure. (but only in the food sense mind!) I was recently given the opportunity to review the family run Portuguese restaurant Manuel’s situated in Brentwood, Essex whilst meeting with In-spire LS Magazine’s media partner Steve from Phoenix Fm. I informed him prior to visiting that as much as was a foodie; I had never actually sampled any Portuguese food before. However, he reassured me that once I had tasted the food at Manuel’s I wouldn’t be left disappointed.
I can confirm that the food and service was truly exceptional and I have already decided that I will be reserving a table there again in the near future.
Manuel’s is a Portuguese Restaurant with a number of key significant differences. The first being that they seamlessly offer a delightful range of seafood dishes and Portuguese national dishes. It also resides within the confines of a traditional English style pub, Eagle and Child and includes all the key features such as a full bar and a classic Sunday roast meaning there is something for everyone to choose from.
When I approached the building, it did indeed look like a standard English Pub in it exterior décor; but once I ventured inside I was blown away by the cosy and intimate feel. There were families and groups of people dining inside and the dark oak furnishing and candles really helped to create a warming and welcoming atmosphere.
After indulging in some brief discussion and tackling key themes we jumped into another more pressing form of indulgence. Tucking into the starter.
You could describe me as a very fussy eater as there are so many types of food that I will not try for the fear of not being able to eat it. The worst thing about me is that even if I have to keep up appearances; my stomach will not allow me to consume it so the chances are if I have to eat something I don’t like I will either coax my guest to eat it for me or I just make another convenient excuse.
However, none of this was necessary as the wide range of options to choose from was fantastic. Manuel’s offers such a complete menu that I was spoilt for choice. After much deliberation I opted for Bolinhos De Bacalhau which is a type of cod cake made of potato and light herbs. This tasted so good, especially with the glass of white wine I had in tow which was more than complimentary. I also had a glass of orange juice because I’m very much a creature of habit and
When it comes to my food, I’m quite a sucker for good presentation so have to give Manuel’s top marks for the layout of my starter which was more than pleasing and picture perfect.
I then revisited the menu to decide on my main. I love seafood and have a soft spot for mussels and other shell fish so opted for a Arroz De Marisco, which was a delightful and tasty combination of different seafood and rice. I was a little concerned when the plate was brought over as I hate soggy food. However, this dish was absolutely amazing. It was full of flavour and left an amazing after taste.
Steve opted for a Monkfish rice which he said was cooked to perfection.
I wasn’t planning on making room for dessert as I was already stuffed from my starters and main dishes. However, I was convinced that I couldn’t visit Manuel’s without trying out one of their desserts. Like the rest of their menu’s there was a wide range of dessert options to choose from. However, I decided to play it safe and go for their chocolate mousse. THIS MOUSSE WAS SO NICE! It actually has to be written in capital letters. The chocolate was sweet but not of the sickly kind and it left such a pleasant taste after. Every part of my meal was top quality. I honestly couldn’t fault any aspect of it if I tried.
Then there was the excellent customer service. The staff were attentive to all our needs and ensured that we were seen to and happy with each part of our order. Manuel’s is without a doubt one of the gems of Brentwood and after being given the opportunity to try their food I can honestly say that I now need to try more Portuguese cuisine. If you’re ever in the Brentwood area or fancy venturing to pastures new, I strongly recommend that you visit Manuel’s and taste their gorgeous food for yourself. You will not regret it!
Compliments to the chef for these treats at the end!
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