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To The Manor Born!
Whilst born in Clapham, and living in Norbury throughout my childhood; I went to school in Streatham, and spent many evenings during my latter teens in a bar called the Grape Affair (long gone). I went away to university in Birmingham, and then lived in various places, but returned to Streatham shortly after the birth of my son, and lived there happily for 18 years until moving 5 years ago. It’s true to say that I have a soft spot in my heart for this often maligned part of South London, and so it was with pleasure that I accepted the invitation to dine at the Manor Arms.
It’s situated on Mitcham Lane, at the top of ‘the dip’, the locals name for this stretch of the High Road. It has retained all the things that make for a good local; original features, a friendly atmosphere, good beer on tap, comfortable seating, and has added to that with good quality pub food and a quieter dining area.
The menu is well designed, with enough choice for the diner, but not so many items that the kitchen struggles to produce quality food. There is a small selection of starters, followed by pizza, salads, and burgers. I liked the open plan kitchen where we could see the chefs hard at work. The bar also features beers from local breweries, such as Herne Hill, and so was a hit with my partner. There was a small selection of wine by the glass, and I decided upon an unoaked Chilean chardonnay.
I opted for the potted shrimps to start from a special Halloween menu, these came with Melba toast and a salad garnish. Whilst the shrimps were nice, I was a bit disappointed that the Melba toast came from a packet and wasn’t warm, so the butter surrounding the shrimps couldn’t melt. The dish could have been improved with some nice warm sourdough toast or similar.
My partner chose the salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce; the squid was cooked to the perfect point of tenderness and was declared good.
For our main courses, I had a chicken Ceasar salad, which came with a lovely grilled chicken breast, homemade croutons, and marinated anchovies on a bed of well-dressed leaves. This was the perfect lunch for me; not entirely guilt-free, but it still felt healthy and a lighter option.
A spicy burger with jalapenos was the choice of my partner. This was served with a decent portion of fries, a tomato chutney, and looked delicious.
He followed up with an apple and blueberry crumble in honour of autumn having arrived officially. Whilst I again attempted to be good, with a blood orange sorbet. Both were prettily presented and slipped down rather too well.
If you live in, or near to Streatham, this should be a regular unpretentious haunt. I know that I will visit again next time I return to the area.
We were guests of the Manor Arms
THE MANOR ARMS,
LONDON, SW16 6LQ