Manna, Old Portsmouth – our favourite place

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Manna’s interior

As this is our first post of 2017, I thought I’d start the new year with a review of our very favourite local ‘go-to’ place which is…drum roll… Manna Tea Rooms. We know the menu, we know there will be specials and most importantly, we know that the food will be fresh and of good quality. Consistency is the key and Manna is always that.

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Lunch menu

On Helen’s surprise return visit to dear old Blighty back in June of last year – after travelling on a ramshackle bike around India with her brother – her first port of call was the little tearoom in Old Portsmouth which is opposite the cathedral. In fact, in the ten days she was here we went there three times.

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More of the lunch menu

There’s plenty of choices on the menu which I like, not so much for Geoff, but then Geoffrey is a bit of a fussy eater.

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Sausage & bacon breakfast sandwich

He prefers the breakfast menu as there’s more to his liking such as the bacon & sausage doorstep sandwich.

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Breakfast menu

The lunch menu starts at 12 noon which is when the breakfast menu ends.

Bacon, brie & cranberry sandwiches

A small side salad comes with most sandwiches (apart from the fish finger and breakfast ones) along with a handful of crisps. Coffees, teas, soft drinks such as elderflower with sparkling water which is very nice, milk shakes and wine are also available plus I mustn’t forget the Spanish hot chocolate which comes with madeleines to dunk.

Homemade soup

The soup is always good and of course homemade, served with fresh bread & butter, although this is not always available in the summer months.

My favourite, bacon & avocado club sandwich

My favourite on the lunchtime menu at the moment is the bacon & avocado club sandwich which consists of three slices of slightly toasted granary bread (or white if you prefer) with bacon, avocado, sliced tomatoes, mayo’ and lettuce leaves. It’s SO good, I just love it!

Breakfast special, smashed avo’ on toast with poached eggs

Another favourite of mine is the breakfast special, smashed avo’ on toast, topped with a poached egg and how can I leave out the amazing banana bread toasted and served with set honey which is simply amazing. I’ve taken several different friends there the past two weeks and recommend the banana bread to them and there were lots of ‘ooh’s’, ‘mmm’s’ and ‘oh my God’s’.

Amazing toasted banana bread with set honey

On the specials board which is changed every so often, are things such as twice baked souffle which I really should try one day.

A Special – Halloumi burger

This was on the specials board for a while last year and it was fantastic, I had it a few times, I hope they bring it back again soon. Halloumi burger which is slices of halloumi – obviously – roasted red peppers, served in a brioche bun with crisps and salad garnish.

Another special

This is another special I think, jacket sweet potato with homemade baked beans and sour cream.

Quiche of the day

The quiche of the day are really lovely, there’s no soggy bottoms, just crisp perfect pastry.The quiches are served with coleslaw and a salad garnish.

Thick and moist bread pudding

Geoff’s favourite cake is the bread pudding. It’s lovely, it’s thick and moist and nothing like mine which I tried to make recently. Geoff said mine were more like biscuits 🙁

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The best carrot cake, ever!

For dessert there are many cakes on the counter, lemon chiffon is a favourite of mine, so too is the banana bread with honey as I mentioned which isn’t just for breakfast I don’t think, but our all-time favourite is the carrot cake, the best carrot cake around and I really mean that. It’s always moist, light and so tasty, with walnuts inside and a lovely delicious creamy centre and topping.

Clockwise top L-R: Banana & pineapple cake/err, I can’t remember, some sort of caramel cake I think/Bakewell tart with ice cream/Victoria sponge.

Other cakes we like is the pineapple & banana cake; fresh strawberries with meringue and cream (summer only I think) and warmed chocolate brownie with ice cream, gosh there’s so many.

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Clockwise Top L-R: The current specials board; the exterior of Manna; white chocolate & peanut butter blondie; the Italian night menu

Occasionally they have a special evening event which you have to book in advance. They’ve just had a steak night which sold out within two days and another coming up which is to be an Italian evening – see above photo. A couple of years ago we reviewed one of these nights which you can see here.

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A trial-sized piece of a new dish, Breakfast Baked Cheesecake

I popped into Manna yesterday lunchtime to get a couple of photos of the menu etc., – see what I do for you all – and we had a taste of a new dish, the Breakfast Baked Cheesecake. I wasn’t sure of the sound of it at first but it tasted so good I’m definitely going to order it next time I’m in at breakfast time. It contained orange, sultanas and oats with a strawberry compote.

We like Manna a lot (as you can probably tell), we know we can sit and relax with a newspaper whilst eating tasty food, plus we’ve got to know the owner, Lorraine and some of the staff.

Note: They do not take credit cards, only debit cards for orders over £10 but the Co-op across the road has a cash machine.

Ambience 8
Value 8
Service 8
Quality 9
Return? Yes, again and again
Overall 9/10

Living life, loving Manna!

A x

1 Comment

  1. I agree, every time I return to my hometown of Portsmouth I find so many new cafes and eateries to try but I always leave saying to myself “that was nice nice, but I still prefer manna”. All the cakes are fresh and perfectly baked, the same with the bread and the quiches, you just can’t beat it.

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