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“An amazing dinner”

Manuel's Restaurant and Bar
Ranked #1,378 of 22,674 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $57
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Manuel's is an Italian & Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar based on the site of the former Luigi's in n.129 Gipsy Hill, London SE19 1QS. The food served at Manuel's is based on the traditional Italian cuisine. Our philosophy on cooking is simple - based on quality and seasonality of produce with minimum fuss. Our decor is sunny Mediterranean, our welcome is warm and relaxed, and our menu offers you well loved dishes with a twist The restaurant has relaxing atmosphere and friendly service. Saturday we are open from 12 to 22:30. On Sunday the restaurant will be open all day between 12:00 to 9:00. We will be serving a Sunday roast but the a la carte menu will also be available. The downstairs bar is available for private functions
Varese, Italy
1 review
“An amazing dinner”
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I'm Italian and I just arrived in London, after Christmas, for a Romantic Holiday with my boyfriend. We were staying in Crystal Palace and on the first evening we decided to look for a nice restaurant nearby. And we found Manuel's. We loved the calm, elegant, but familiar, atmosphere we felt as soon as we got in. We had an Amazing Dinner. The food tasted and was presented as only the finest restaurants in Italy do. We had first some delicious grilled vegetables with Caprino (goats cheese) followed by a Risotto ai frutti di mare (with seafood). It was so good!! But I can say that there was one thing that tasted so good I couldn't even compare it to Italy, the Olive oil. So fruity and delicate that was, by itself, the King of our dinner. My boyfriend and I couldn't stop eating bread with a drizzle of this wonderful oil on top! And last but not least the Wine, beautiful real italian wine. I just can't wait to go back to London for another beautiful Holiday and dinner at Manuel's.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BalyClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel G, Owner at Manuel's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Thank you for your feed back. I look foward to see you again soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Do not be confused by the Spanish name; it is Italian”
Reviewed January 21, 2014

As a regular visitor to Gipsy Hill to see my daughter, son in law and grandchildren it was with a heavy heart that the news reached me that Luigi’s, one of South London’s finest restaurant’s had closed after some forty years. It was somewhat disconcerting that it appeared to have changed into a Spanish restaurant by name of Manuel’s. A telephone call to find out what the change meant was a reassuring answer from Manuel that it was still Italian despite his name.
The family joined me in our first trip to the new restaurant. We were not disappointed as the greeting was warm, the service second to none and the food even better than that served at Luigi’s. Nothing was too much trouble. If it is the host's wish a bottle of red wine can be decanted and both empty bottle and filled decanter are brought to the table.
As it was Saturday there was no table d’hote available so we tried many dishes from the a la carte menu. The drinks were served seconds after the order was taken. A delicious bottle of the house Montepulciano d’Abruzi (£ 16 ) was drunk by the two men whilst the women and twins enjoyed a variety of soft drinks. Without ordering along came a plate of large green olives which were different in appearance and texture from run of the mill olives and a selection of brown, white and olive bread served with olive oil that had been pressed by family members back in Sicily. Delicious.
The decor has changed to a modern functional style but the venerable floor tiles remain in situ. This will appeal to the regulars who are conservative by nature.
My son in law was served a huge grilled sea bass ( £18 ) whilst I savoured the fantastic calves’ liver ( £ 16 ) so finely sliced that it melted in the mouth with the most amazing flavour.. My wife, a stickler for chicken to be cooked perfectly, had no cause for complaint with the delicious chicken and mushroom ( £ 16 ) whilst the twins ate every morsel on the starter size portions of rigatoni with beef sauce ( £7 ) and spaghetti vongole veraci ( £ 8 ) and indeed asked for more. My daughter enjoyed every mouthful of her seafood risotto. The meat and fish dishes were accompanied by a selection of perfectly cooked vegetables.
We had to forgo the puddings except for son in law and twins. Two had tiramisu and one the crème caramel. I stole a mouthful from each twin, much to their annoyance, and both were out of this world. ( £ 5 each ).
Three of us had coffee which was served strong and hot ( £ 2.50 ) a cup. A 10% optional service charge is added to the bill. Manuel gives each guest a leaving present of a large glass of Limoncello liqueur which is just the required tonic to venture out into the cold.
This was culinary experience equal to any Italian restaurant in Soho.
My wife and I are searching for a reason to visit Dulwich again and dine at this superb family restaurant. We shall return.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 612Michaeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel G, Owner at Manuel's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you for your feed back. We are pleased that you were happy with Manuel's and we look foward to seeing you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Italy Reborn”
Reviewed January 21, 2014

This used to be an Italian restaurant called Luigi's, which served, I would say, high end home cooking. Now reborn as Manuel's, it remains absolutely Italian, even though the name might suggest otherwise. And the food is executed with a lot more finesse than before. Beautifully balanced, well presented dishes, and attentive service to match. Manuel's is a new local gem. The quality exceeds that of some more expensive Italian restaurants in the centre of town. We are already planning a return visit.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel G, Owner at Manuel's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you for your feed back. Manuel's is definetely Italian. We look foward to seeing you again soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
210 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Great quality meal and service”
Reviewed January 20, 2014

This is a very good, newly opened restaurant using good produce and offering top quality service at a reasonable price. 4 of us tried various dishes: I enjoyed a generous Zuppetta alla Pescatora (Fish soup) and Chicken Spatchcock and the family enjoyed Melon & Ham, Rigatoni, Spaghetti alla Vongole and Ravioli with spinach & Ricotta - all good. We had a Sicilian white to start with then a very good Etna Rosso recommended by the waiter. The freshest breads were in constant supply and the Panacotta & Creme Brûlée desserts with dessert wine and Limoncello finished off a really great dining experience. We live in Australia, but our kids have just moved into SE19. We look forward to our next visit.
Well done Manuel and staff, it was nice to meet you. I wish you every success.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel G, Owner at Manuel's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Thank you for your feed back. We look foward to seeing you soon and trust your next vacation isn't too far away.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Gipsy Hill's best kept secret - but not for long!”
Reviewed January 19, 2014

My husband and I were excited to try the recently opened Manuel’s, given that we seem to be bereft of independently owned establishments in the area, and I am pleased to say we were not disappointed!

We were greeted by the charming Manuel himself and shown to our table. What struck us immediately was how light and airy the place felt - It had a wonderful Mediterrean feel about it.
We started the evening with a glass of Prosecco, which was first class, whilst we browsed the impressive wine list. If we hadn’t been having fish for our main we would have liked to have tried the Sicilian, Mount Etna red, but instead we opted for the house Sicilian white which was a lovely colour and very gluggable.

Copious quantities of fresh brown and olive bread were served with the most delicious olive oil, made by Manuel’s family in Sicily. We chose from the very impressive A La Carte menu, Parmigiana di Melanzane and one of the specials - Scallops on a bed of spinach to start, both absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. But the star of the show had to be the grilled fish of the day – Sea Bream which you could have served on or off the bone - we opted to have it whole and it was the best fish we have eaten in a long time - beautifully moist, crisp outer skin with a lovely marinade and just about the right amount of char-grilling. This was served with a very acceptable medley of steamed, al dente vegetables and rosemary sautéed potatoes (which for me were not quite crisp enough). Sadly we didn’t have enough room for one of the reasonably priced puddings, but perhaps next time as we shall definitely be returning.

Manuel’s is Gypsy’s Hill’s best kept secret, but I don’t think for very long! Thank you, Manuel for a superb dinner, and for being so welcoming. We look forward to our next visit with eager anticipation.

Mr & Mrs Carpenter

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Snaffles_15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manuel G, Owner at Manuel's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Tthank you for your feed back. It was an honour to have you dinning at Manuel's and we look foward to seeing you soon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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