Manhattan Toorak has been transformed into an casual, but classy modern Indian restaurant in the heart of Toorak Village, that offers both great deals for lunch, along with a beautiful degustation-styled course for dinner of 7 courses. Their menu encompasses a wide variety of high quality, flavoursome dishes that takes the taste buds on a unique journey through India.
The good fat: This was my first time trying pani puri and the presentation of this was just surprisingly stunning! An elegantly plated selection of 6 shot glasses, all with a different sauce combo – different colours, and a crispy ball of pani puri on top of each. It just makes a simple entrée so much more exciting to eat! Needless to say, the texture of the pani puri was light and crispy, holding its integrity perfectly when the different flavours were poured into it. There was a great combo of both dry options, with spicy peanuts, classic Indian spice-like savoury sauces, and even a few sweet honey-styled options too.
Can you go to an Indian restaurant without a samosa? The vegetable samosa was crumbly and solid outside, encasing a hearty, potato based filling inside. The next item in our course was chicken tikka – another classic! The chicken was particularly tender, and the combo of spices outside wasn’t too overpowering and balanced well with the yoghurt coriander curry powder sauce.
Despite already feeling quite satisfied with how full we were starting to feel from the entrees at Manhattan so far, we were quite excited for our main of curry prawn! The prawns were so juicy and tender, balanced on a bed of fluffy white rice – the curry was perfect for me. A rich, coconut taste pervaded through the dish, and having it on the side was a considered idea that meant anyone could put however much curry sauce they preferred! (Which for me, meant all of it because I just couldn’t get enough!)
Lastly, came our dessert, titled “Pot of Surprise” – having only had a few Indian desserts that I’ve genuinely enjoyed, I was quite excited to try this one. But if you’re keen to leave this a surprise, then WARNING spoilers ahead! The dessert came in a gorgeous, brown clay pot dusted with cocoa power on top, uncovering the mysterious dessert underneath! We eagerly dug into the little pot, scooping out a satisfying amount of cream – before reaching a classic “gulab jamun” Indian donut, buried at the bottom. The cream meant that the usual, sticky sweetness of Indian desserts was offset – making it a beautifully balanced and light dessert to end the night! I’ve been quite used to a very sweet and heavy way to end Indian food – so the “Pot of Surprise” that the chefs have crafted at Manhattan Toorak is definitely a pleasant surprise.
The bad fat: I was a bit disappointed that the dinner course didn’t include roti or naan bread, some sort of classic Indian side pairing that I absolutely thrive off of in an Indian restaurant. It would’ve been lovely to experience it at Manhattan Toorak. Otherwise, I would’ve liked the cream on “Pot of Surprise” to be less deep, just because it was quite a bit to get through before reaching the donut on the bottom – or also a bit of warning for what the dessert involved because not everyone is a fan of cream.
2wofatgirls would like to thank Manhattan Modern Indian Restaurant, Toorak for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.