Woolloomooloo is one of the most appealing spots to dine in Sydney I think, especially on a gorgeous, warm sunny Autumn Friday. You get better value dining at lunchtime so you can soak in the beautiful water views, sit by the sidewalk and just ‘people watch’. You may bump into a few familiar faces along the way. I recognised a voice, being an avid listener of Smooth FM, of a passer-by. It was Richard Wilkins as he casually strolled past talking on the phone.
The views as you dine at the Manta Restaurant and Bar are not really designed for an ‘Express Business Lunch’ because I could sit there for hours soaking in the sun and drinking in the glorious waterview, but the reality is as much as I would like to sit all afternoon until the sun goes down, I have to go back to work. I tried the Express Business Lunch where you can choose 2 dishes, one from their entrée selections and a main course for $55 including their house red or white wine. You have a choice from 3 entrée dishes and 3 main dishes. Side dishes and desserts are extra.
I’ve been to Manta now a couple of times now. Seafood is what Manta does well. I also think what makes this an excellent business lunch menu is that not only is it ‘express’, the food quality is excellent and consistent, the flavours in all the dishes are understated, using fresh ingredients that all work, the dishes are presented well which is important if you want to impress your client guests and there is also enough of it. If you are dining with clients who are big guys, they are not only plates that are pretty to look at, but you will get a decent meal. I thought to mention this as there were discussions in our office the other day how it’s difficult to dine at restaurants that only focus on plating, are expensive and yet you don’t have enough food on the plate. That doesn’t work for the big guys in the office and who can blame them.
We started with some delicious dough that comes with olives and Manta’s house olive oil. This is their organic sourdough & flat bread seasoned with black pepper, fennel seed, oregano, sea salt, served with olives, Manta’s extra virgin olive oil, white bean, paprika, roast garlic & walnut spread.
For a fine seafood starter, try the Alpine salmon carpaccio, horseradish crème fraiche, orange, capers, celery cress.
For those who want that tomato tangy taste in their mouth with fresh seafood, try spaghetti of black mussels, pipis, chilli, garlic, grape tomato.
For meats, try the tender char grilled short ribs, caramelised onion puree, chat potato, watercress, aged balsamic.
You can order sides like the trusty Hand cut chips (Sebago potato, NSW) for that ‘fish and chips’ experience and steamed curly kale, chilli, garlic, olive oil and lemon, which is a new side on their menu.
Now if you still have room, the desserts are delicious. I love their pavlova with mango & lemon curd, passion fruit, Chantilly cream, strawberry sorbet and a new dessert that's coming on their menu that I was lucky enough to try: Milk and Honey with curated milk, tonka beans, milk granita, honey cremeaux, honeycomb and mache honey.
Manta Restaurant & Bar
6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 email us >
Lunch Monday – Sunday 12pm-3pm
Dinner Monday – Sunday 6pm-10pm
Bar menu available daily from 12pm till close
Ph: 02 9332 3822