The was my first visit to Manhattans (even in previous manifestations) and I have to say I was very impressed. While I agree with one of the reviewers that the bar area lacks warmth, there is a solution. Simply enter the restaurant through the side door into the main dining area and you never have to set foot in the bar! Or as you suggest, have a drink at Matahari beforehand.
And the chairs and tables at Manhattans in the main dining area are so comfortable, why not just enjoy a pre dinner drink in this fabulous space. The tables and chairs are large and plush.
The evening got off to a fantastic start with some truly excellent bread and three accompanying dips and butters. The Amuse Bouche was a superb asparagus soup, rich and flavorful and the perfect start to the meal.
Being a computer programmer and longtime tablet user I found navigating the menu on the Android device (similar in size to an iPad) to be perfectly acceptable, although of course the screen is not as responsive as an iPad.
To the same reviewer who commented 'there is nothing wrong with paper' to me the advantages of an electronic menu is that daily adjustments (presumably) can be made to the menu and then pushed out to the tablets. This means in theory you shouldn't get any 'sorry sir that is not available today' or the typical Thai response in lesser establishments... 'No have!'
Having said that, as scrolling is required to get down to some of the categories such as specials, I would questions whether these might be missed by some diners. That would be a shame because in the specials section are a terrific range of imported oysters including Fine De Claire.
I went for a very risky option for entree - Sashimi Tuna and Salmon, after checking that the Tuna was not Thai Tuna which is notoriously bad for Sashimi (lacks any flavour). I was told no in fact the Tuna was Yellowfin from Australia, and of course the Sashimi Salmon was imported too as Thailand does not product Sashimi Salmon.
Being a huge Sashimi fan I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the dish, and it came accompanied with slices of pickled ginger, excellent wasabi and wakame.
Second dish was chicken livers served with a delicious cheese sauce, I cant recall exactly what it was but it was superb.
Now to the almost the best part... house wine is served fresh in 187ml bottles similar to the ones you get on an airline. The advantage of this should be obvious to anyone who enjoys a glass of wine in Thailand. The wine is always fresh, and secondly its a huge serving (quarter of a bottle). And the wines are prices at just 180 baht which is truly, superb value for money.
The Chardonnday (Australian) was a typical quaffing Chardonnay, and like most Australian Chardonnays benefited from warming up but was most drinkable. The Shiraz I really enjoyed. Just this gesture by the new owner says to me that he cares about wine, and about the customer!
Finally the chef made the rounds of the tables several times to check everything was okay and clarify a food allergy I have. Again, much appreciated.
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