In its short lifetime, the ground floor space of The L. Place has seen more restaurants come and go than I can count. The last three have kept the same name, whilst offering rather different concepts. However, this time, it looks like it will be third time lucky for newly rebranded Mano Café, now owned by the same people as Corner Kitchen Café on Hollywood Road.
As soon as you enter the new Mano Café, you immediately get a feeling that you could stay there all day, and indeed you actually can, since its comprehensive menu offers all day dining, from breakfast through to dinner. In the same way as Corner Kitchen Café, it offers an eclectic menu with influences from around the world.
The space is gorgeous and open with that same bright, airy and comfortable feeling that Corner Kitchen Café posesses.
We visited at lunchtime, but since we hadn’t yet had breakfast, we went straight for the all-day (on weekends) breakfast menu. The huevos rancheros were simple yet delicious. Two fried eggs were served on a bed of smashed black beans and corn tortillas, topped with sliced avocado and, at an additional cost, a side of streaky bacon. The beans had a decent kick to them, and the tortillas were perfect. Perhaps the only thing missing was some grated cheese. One thing to point out is that we were almost tricked on the amount of bacon we were given – the menu said ‘3 rashers’, but we were given only two! Obviously this was quickly corrected, as nobody screws us over when it comes to bacon!
The French toast with bananas and maple caramel syrup was also very good, carrying a beautiful hint of vanilla and cinnamon, and of course a satisfying swirl of caramel through the classic maple syrup. I would have liked the toast to have been just a little crispier on the outside, in order to contrast nicely with the lovely, doughy centre.
Prices are pretty fair, and obviously a lot more so than they used to be when Mano was a fine dining establishment. For our brunch, including tea and coffee, we paid less than $300 between the two of us. The new Mano Café definitely made a lasting impression on me and I’m keen to return one of these days for the Balinese fish tacos and the salted caramel cake…
G/F, the L. Place
139 Queen’s Road Central
Tel: +852 2362 6997