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Manu Therapy

Anna Azarova
16 April 2018

Have you ever considered food as meditation for your body, mind, and soul? Manu, a high-profile restaurant, makes it possible, taking your notion of culinary experiments to a whole new level. Treat yourself to well thought-through evening of culinary delights in a stunning setting to think about your eternity.
Sprawling over two floors with a summer terrace and impressive bar, Manu is Kyiv’s first and only place with a strong focus on contemporary Peruvian cuisine.

Feel the Power
The interior aesthetic is an indispensable part of the menu. Natural stone and wood of warm brown, beige, and black colours create a special ambiance intensified with accents of golden orange lighting – like sunrays. Brick and metal installations decorate the walls and echo the pyramids in Peru, cave paintings by ancient Incas, and mysterious Nazca Lines. Chandeliers resemble planets rotating around the Sun; a throbbing heart, which is an open grill, is situated in the upper floor’s dining hall. The laconic refined design reflects a connection between Heaven and Earth. This is in line with legends about Manu – the demi-god who brought civilization to Peru and taught people to cultivate the land and control universal energy flows.

They Have Their Way
Seated at a table near the panoramic window, we enjoy a view of the Organ Music House at twilight. Our acquaintance with Manu starts with ceviche. This variation comprises cubes of fresh tuna soaked in soya sauce. The fish has a firm but tender texture alongside a refreshing flavour enhanced by a marinade with a touch of bitterness. Sesame seeds add a piquant accent to all ingredients.
Guacamole comes second to present traditional recipes in a modern way. The appetiser entails an artful performance. The server puts avocado, salt, red onions, red peppers, yellow chili pepper sauce, and lime juice in a stone bowl and grinds the components to a smooth, mild-tasting paste with no trace of pungency. We do it full justice by smearing it onto thin banana, shrimp, black rice, and batata chips.
Black cod completes our first course. It reminds me of the signature dish I tried once in London’s iconic Nobu. Manu, however, has its own approach. The cod is steeped in miso paste and soya sauce for three days. When cooked, we are offered a chunk of white, creamy, and slightly fatty fish that has a spectrum of sweet, salty, and sour tastes crowned with caramel notes.

Winner Takes it All
The party reaches its climax as we order Ribeye steak. For this, Manu uses 28-day dry-aged beef, properly stored in its special freezer and grilled on a three-level grid. At the top level, the premium quality meat is warmed from within. At the lower level, it is covered with a brown crust. At the middle level, it gets finishing touches – medium rare in our case. Both fish-people, we admit the steak wins us over. The perfect marbling helps the steak stay soft during roasting. We savour a delicious contrast between the crispy exterior and rich, succulent, melt-in-the-mouth meat underneath with a slightly charred flavour. Sufficient in itself, it requires no additional garnishes. If you wish, you can dip it in spicy tomato sauce, and sprinkle it with smoked salt or freshly ground black pepper.
As for dessert, Maya Secret sounds irresistible and looks even better. A multi-layered masterpiece consists of coconut sorbet, mango sauce, French meringue, and passion fruit compote. The blend produces a pleasantly cooling sensation to round out the dinner.

 

For the Road
Manu’s every cocktail has its own story worth reading while you wait for your order. Served in a skull-styled goblet, the Dead Conquistador combines three different rums and suits those relishing in trendy sour tastes. In full compliance with its name, the Old Gods beverage is based on predecessors of tequila, gin, and rum. Its flavour starts at a high note and gradually evolves into a lingering aftertaste with base notes.
The whole experience feels like we have gone downstairs to some dark vault hiding forbidden treasure and forgotten idols. We perform a sacred ritual and ‘go through our death’ to resurrect into a new energy-filled life.

 

Edible Inventory

Tuna with soy, sesame seeds, and shrimp chips  295 UAH
Guacamole with plantain chips 282 UAH
Black cod den Miso with aji amarillo – passion fruit sauce  950 UAH
Ribeye steak in Peruvian style 1400 UAH
Maya Secret dessert 325 UAH
Old Gods cocktail 240 UAH
Dead Conquistador cocktail 280 UAH
TOTAL 3 772 UAH

MANU
(Velyka Vasylkivska 94)
FB manu.kyiv
+380 98 888 2204
Open: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 12.00 – 24.00, Friday, Saturday 12.00 – 02.00

Make sure you try
Ask sommelier Aleksandr to give you a guided tour of the wine chamber boasting a gorgeous selection of at least 300 samples from Argentina, Chili, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Israel, and other regions. Following his advice, we take red Savigny-Les-Beaune from Burgundy, which pairs with all our dishes.  

The What’s On Checklist

English Menu Yes
English-speaking staff Yes
Wifi Yes
Price $$$$
WO Rating 5

 

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