Everything you need to know about food and drink in Liverpool.


Mani, Mani, Mani

It’s a dark Wednesday evening, I’m nursing a large white wine spritzer alongside a bowl of Mani’s signature salami crisps and for a brief moment everything is good in the world. I hadn’t pegged 2022 to be the year Lark Lane finally had a revival but stranger things happen in this city so little takes me by surprise any more. 

The aforementioned salami is one of several reasons why one of Lark Lane’s newest indies has already made an impact on this booming, boho area of Aigburth. On a previous visit (strictly for a Caramac espresso martini that I’d spotted on Instagram), a couple on the table next to us wouldn’t let us leave the building until we’d eaten some. It’s the crispy bits of a pepperoni pizza in bar snack form- meaty, greasy and ridiculously salty. My three favourite flavours funnily enough.

Don’t let my lurid descriptions of salty bar snacks fool you, Mani is a sleek Italian inspired tapas restaurant with a small but perfectly formed menu of the traditional with a twist.The croquetta for example are stuffed with chunks of harissa roasted cauliflower. The bruschetta comes topped with a single, sliced heirloom tomato, fresh pesto and flaky sea salt- it’s one of the best four pounds you’ll spend these days.

We’re ordering from the ‘hands full’ menu so aside from snacks and starters we get two big plates and two sides for just £20 a head. As with all small plate restaurants these days the tables are challengingly tiny and before long it’s a game of tapas Jenga trying to fit in the dishes as they come flying out of the kitchen.

The fritto misto comes with big, meaty pieces of seafood- our ‘catch of the day’ a full soft shell crab- one of my guiltiest pleasures in life- alongside generous chunks of white fish and squid. Mains are more traditional- fresh pasta and home-made sauces (not too much choice if you aren’t a pasta lover) and for dessert we squeeze down tiramisu and a humongous pistachio cannoli. 

Overall you’ll find the food at Mani to be deceptively good. It’s a serious contender for Lark Lane’s burgeoning restaurant scene if not for their interesting take on tapas then certainly for their smashing service, great cocktails and utterly iconic salami crisps. It’s a resounding yes from me.


*Part of this meal was gifted to me in exchange for an optional, completely honest review…and here it is! 

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