Main image: Brasserie Zédel
It seems like anyone who lived in London between the 1950s and early noughties has a story about Manzi’s.
Just off Leicester Square, it was a two-storey seafood restaurant run by the kind of rumbustious Italian family you see in movies. In the midst of red gingham tablecloths and plastic loaves hanging from the ceiling, first dates, children’s birthdays, and silver wedding anniversaries were celebrated over curried halibut and Manzi’s renowned strawberry flan.
Sadly the next generation didn’t want to carry on the family business, and the place closed in 2006, much to the chagrin of its customers from over the years. But now Corbin & King – the virtuosi behind Brasserie Zédel, Bellanger and The Wolseley – have decided to open a restaurant inspired by the legendary original.
It’ll also be called Manzi’s, a little north of the restaurant’s original home, taking up two floors in an old 50s office building in Soho. It won’t be a replica of the original (it’s probably not even possible to get plastic model bread now), but a loving tribute, that hopes to replicate its sense of warmth and fun. And if anyone can create evocative, old-school restaurants filled with the merry clink of glasses and crisp tablecloths, it’s these two.
There’ll be a seafood-heavy menu, of course, and a nautical theme to the interiors, with polished wood panelling and splashes of blue and white across the banquette seating. There’ll be an outdoor terrace, too, and a private dining room.
For all those silver wedding anniversaries.
NOTE: Manzi’s doesn’t have an opening date yet, but we’ll be back as and when more details are released. In the meantime you can keep up with Corbin & King’s twitter HERE.
Manzi’s | 1 Bateman’s Buildings, Soho, W1D 3EN
Like old-school seafood restaurants? Go upmarket with J. Sheekey’s