Well where do I start? Manna’s banana and pineapple cake has to be one of my favourites and THAT is a BIG statement to make. Manna is a modern, minimalistic tea room situated opposite the cathedral in Old Portsmouth near my parent’s house. They visit on an almost weekly basis, meaning I am lucky enough to be taken there whenever I am home.
Manna’s white interior and countless editions of Vogue filling the magazine rack gives it a unique trendy style but its warmth and friendly atmosphere shouldn’t go unnoticed. Stylish as it is, Manna is all about the food. Slightly pricier than average, the food is fresh with most of it being made on the premises. The selection of cakes alternate depending on what day of the week you visit so unfortunately when I went there last Wednesday I was unable to enjoy my favourite (I had a Cream Tea instead which a review of will follow) so I was pleased when my parents invited me along on Sunday.
The banana and pineapple cake is so enjoyable because it has a variety of flavours. The soft bouncy sponge has a light banana flavour which isn’t too overpowering like some banana flavoured foods are. The pineapple in the cake compliments the banana well and adds texture and moisture to the sponge. There is nothing worse than a dry, crumbly sponge as it leaves the cake tasting stale so the soft, moistness of this cake is why it is one of my favourites. Chunky walnuts are the cakes hidden gems providing crunch and a distinctive but pleasant taste. Adding to the moisture and texture, the cake is filled and topped with a creamy butter icing similar to what you would find in a carrot cake but not as sweet. Another reason why I love Manna’s cakes is their generosity when it comes to filling and icing. A good cake is one which includes a generous helping of icing both on top and through the middle. As if this cake doesn’t have enough different flavours and textures, it is finished with a sprinkling of coconut flakes!
The softness of the sponge is comforting, the flavours exotic but the strange mix of ingredients seem to blend perfectly to create a sweet but extraordinary moist cake, a perfect addition to a cup of tea or coffee. If you happen to be in Portsmouth then you must try a slice of this cake, I’ve tried plenty of banana cakes, coconut cakes and pineapple cakes in my time but this sure is something special!
Living life, loving cake,