Manseki pride itself for it's seasonal menu and sourcing the fresh produce to be served. Supplies comes in thrice a week and the lady boss, Alicia herself ensures only the best is used in the restaurant.
The interior design for Manseki is all carefully thought through and managed by Alicia and we thought she got the lighting, setting and ambiance spot on. Very impressive for a first time restaurant owner. Her motto is, "If I put my heart and soul into this, I am sure my customers can feel it. And hopefully they like it too."
The look from the entrances (They have two, one from the road and one from inside the building) can be deceiving. Only the counter seats is visible, but once we walked in, the place opens up to a seating area for about 30 pax, and the yakitori kitchen. Including the counter seats, Manseki can sit up to 47 pax.
Manseki has an impressive drinks list, of which the sake and whiskey are very reasonably priced. Ask for the magic sake if you want an interesting experience. Somehow the sake taste different in the wine glass and in the sake glass. (Side note: The sake glasses are hand picked by Alicia. We loved them!) The sparkling sake, two selections, are popular with the ladies, sweet, bubbly and at $18 for a 250ml, it is our pick if you want to impress the ladies.
Yamazaki and Hibiki whiskies are on the menu. (The 25 years old Yamazaki is available, but unfortunately it is not sold by glass.)
Salmon head cartilage with vinegar sauce ($10). This was super special. If we were to have had this in a blind test, we wouldn't have guessed it's salmon! It tasted more like slices of lemon cured in sugar water. Excellent dish to go with your drinks. A great starter to awaken the palate with the tangy vinegar sauce.
Sashimi Platter (Seasonal) $48 - $75. Freshly grated wasabi.
Clam with garlic chilli sauce ($25). Yes, this looks like what you would order from a zi char stall. But it totally blew us away. Fresh, sweet clams on deep fried garlic and chilli. It is so easy to over cook the clams but it was superbly done and the juices that came with the dish... simply divine.
Grilled itoryori (seasonal) or threadfin bream. Very delicate meat and simply done to retain the freshness and sweetness. Superbly grilled where the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked while maintaining the moisture.
Seasoned Abalone. This is served with the liver. Ever had abalone liver? The only time we were introduced to abalone liver is on the korean show 大长今。 This had to be the best way to serve abalone. Totally awesome.
Codfish with special sauce, served with foie gras. Imagine the oily fish and the richness of the goose liver. The nutty taste of the liver, salty sauce and the great omega-3 fatty cod..... heart attack alert but oh-so-good.
And the man behind the sumiyaki kitchen is the legendary grill king who had more than 20 years of experience manning the sticks on the charcoal grill. Apparently he was from the ever popular Kazu Sumiyaki at Cuppage.
We love him so much that we have to feature him twice.
Yes, it sounds weird. BUT it's a must order. Especially if you are the kind who eats the garlic in ba kut teh. The chicken skin is first cooked and then the fats is removed BY HAND leaving only the skin that goes on to the grill. Imagine crispy skin and soft sweet garlic. Simply awesome.
Scallops rolled in seaweed and pork ($12 for two sticks).. Careful when you bite into this. So juicy that it spurts! Nice and crisp, nicely grilled and scallops are cooked just right. This spells experience on the grill all over. And yes, the pork is rolled slice by slice BY HAND until it's thick enough to hold the scallops.
Can you feel the love already?
Fresh prawns, nice crisp pork slices with nice basil kick. Ticks all the right boxes.
Grilled Japanese green peppers, mushrooms and gingko nuts. Nice and salty. ($4 for two sticks)
Grilled king prawn with special sauce.This tasted like lobster. The tricky thing about grilling prawns, it may just get overcooked? Chef had this right on the spot. Nicely chargrilled on the surface, nice and moist inside. That's what food is all about!
Selection of sushi. Big piece concept. We particularly liked the ones with yuzu dressing. The river eel is pretty awesome if you can catch the shipment.
There was seriously no complaints about the food. We enjoyed some more so than others but generally an awesome, comfortable dining experience. And after knowing how yakitori uncle prepares the chicken skin and how he rolls the pork slices (individually), by hand, totally can feel the love in the food.
Fresh seafood, perfect grill, wide selection of drinks, great ambience and reasonable pricing. What more can you ask from an establishment that is barely 6 months old.
We loved it.
11 Unity Street
#01-07, Robertson Walk
P.S.: Since our last visit, Michelle Chong went there and posted on her instagram. Go before it explodes with customers.