Mano Café – A Jack of All Trades

By on November 25, 2015

In the hustle and bustle of Sheung Wan, you may find yourself searching for a comfortable, inviting place to eat some good food. Chef Vivian Herijanto and Shally Lees have come up with exactly such a place, to satisfy all types of hunger.

Mano Café Hong Kong

Mano Café is located on the ground floor of L Place in Sheung Wan – it’s hard to miss. The cake options are placed at the entrance so at least I knew what I was having for dessert before I’d even had lunch. The rustic and contemporary décor creates a trendy and cozy feel, making you feel comfortable enough to want to order a glass of wine but also eat a tasty fish taco with your hands. On the left of the entrance was their salad bar. For $98, you can pack a box to the brim with salad- greens, eggs, veggies, proteins, and quinoa (for vegetarians who still need their protein). And maybe a slice of cake to go?

Mano Café food

Left: Fish Tacos and Right: Chicken Inasal (BBQ Chicken)

The menu is categorized into “small plates” and mains, which are either “from the sea” or “from the land”, with some great vegetarian options too. There is also a kids’ menu that makes ordering for children a whole lot easier and fun for them too. We started with the Prawn and Corn Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing. The moment the flavor hits, you feel like you are in Bali. Great flavor combinations make the salad refreshing and surprisingly light considering they use coconut milk. Then we tried the Asian Chop Salad with Sambal Dressing. The salad comes with perfectly grilled chicken but it’s the sambal dressing that makes it special. Mouthwatering. The dressing is sweet, tangy, and spicy. Then onto the tacos. First we had the Fiji Pork Taco with Coconut Lime Dressing. A similar dressing to the salad but when you mix it with pulled pork and stuff it in a taco, delightful. Next up was the Balinese Fish Taco with Kaffir Lime Dressing, this was the highlight of the starters. The crispy fish adds a great crunch to the dish and when drizzled with the dressing, elevates it to another level.

For the mains, we started with the Bebek Goreng Cabe Hijau (Crispy Fried Duck) with Green Chili Sambal. Wrapped in exotic Balinese spices so good enough to eat on its own or lather on the green chili sambal too. The dish also came with pickled vegetables that provided a great contrast. Then came the Chicken Inasal (BBQ Chicken), marinated in a homemade BBQ sauce and grilled to perfection – the meat was tender and the skin crispy. Every bite has flavor and crunch.

Pumpkin Cheese Cake at Mano Cafe

Now for the dessert. We started with the Red Velvet Cake. A bright red, fluffy and smooth interior with a lovely marshmallow icing. You can’t go wrong with that! Then came the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake. Do not be deceived by its appearance. It looks rich and heavy, however, it is so light and creamy, a second serving won’t be a bad idea. The German Chocolate Cake is a tribute to all things chocolate, just dive into it. The Pecan Pie was rich and covered in toasted pecans, the biscuit base cutting through the sweetness to once again make for a delicious piece of cake.

So whether you want to grab a quick lunch, have a business meeting or are meeting friends, Mano Café is the ideal place. Catch up over coffee or brunch that extends into the late afternoon, Mano Café has it all.

Mano Café |GF, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong | 2362 6997

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Gaurav Tracy

Gaurav is a phenomenal chef, said no one, ever. But one thing is for sure; he loves to eat and is really good at it! Some say he can eat an entire Thanksgiving turkey in one sitting. And then a healthy serving of pie. Currently working in financial services, he dreams of one day having his very own restaurant. Not to cook. But to just turn up at any time of the day and be served one of his favorite dishes. Now now, don’t judge. He would be more than happy for you to join him.

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