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The Manor Bar & Grill (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Manor Bar & Grill in Tooting, London

196 Tooting High Street, Tooting, London, SW17 0SF
Cuisine: Gastro Average Price: £12.00
Tel: 020 8672 6351 | Email to The Manor Bar & Grill | Transport: Tooting Broadway | Write review

The Manor Bar & Grill Review

Best for: excellent value and specials

Great: decent pub grub in deepest, darkest, south west London

Last week, two Fluid critics (a brace of reviewers? A gaggle? A murder?) found themselves walking uncertainly down Tooting High Street hoping to stumble upon The Manor Bar & Grill. It was raining heavily, getting cold and dark, and tempers were beginning to fray.

Tooting is famous for its athletics track, for boasting the largest freshwater pool in the country (91 metres, if you’re interested), for being the birthplace of snooker legend Jimmy White, and for being the home of Duran Duran’s guitarist. Impressive, non?

But as a metropolitan hub of fine dining? Not so much. I don’t want to denigrate Tooting, but as we walked past the umpteenth Chicken Cottage and checked Googlemaps once again to make absolutely sure this was where we were actually meant to be putting things in our mouths, I had to question my commitment to the cause. Especially on such a filthy night when any sane person is curled up on the sofa with a glass of wine and Come Dine With Me on repeat.

Suddenly, The Manor Bar & Grill appeared unto us, with celestial rays beaming from its doors. We walked mutely towards it, transfixed, cars screeching to a halt as we stumbled blindly across the road. Large glasses of Pinot Grigio were placed gently into our feeble hands, and we were shown to a table in the corner to be brought slowly back to life.

At first sight, The Manor Bar & Grill has most of the prerequisites of a good local pub, but as the night went on I found myself formulating a shifting list of pros and cons in my head. The Good: friendly staff – well, yes, but that really is the most basic of requirements; pool table; pleasant atmosphere; good wine; yes, yes and yes. The Not-so-Good: laminated, Wetherspoon-style menus - I picked one up, and my heart sank, and sank further when I saw that it was ‘Steak Night’; visions of rubbery, unidentifiable ‘Spoonsesque – yes, it’s a word – pieces of blackened flesh and half a grilled tomato came to mind.

It’s not a precise science, but I find that you can often gauge a restaurant using two bellwethers; the ladies toilets and the standard of the coffee. I didn’t try the coffee at The Manor Bar & Grill, but the loos were in a pretty bad way.

And then the food came. Whoever designed the menus at The Manor Bar & Grill should be firmly asked to go home and think about what they’ve done, because they just don’t reflect the standard of cooking the pub offers. As I mentioned, I’m suspicious of any pub that has wipe-clean menus (what do they think you’re going to do with them?) and with sirloin steak priced at under £6, I wasn’t holding out much hope.

We hadn’t let the threat of mango chutney put us off ordering a baked Camembert, which, when it did arrive, was meltingly rich, thick and as satisfying as hot cheese can be. The real surprise though, was that the lightly crisp squid was…just that. Crunchy, lightly fried, and nicely seasoned, it hadn’t been dunked in a glutinous, impenetrable layer of batter and cooked for most of its useful life in a vat of oil.

My companion - who doesn’t believe that wine exists unless it’s from France and has premier cru written on the label, and who thinks that foie gras is a basic human right or visibly shudders if anyone mentions a well-known global burger chain - sat up a bit straighter. This was not what we were expecting.

Still, an 8oz steak and chips for that price? It’s a lot to ask. I had asked for my meat to be served as rare as possible, although I wasn’t hopeful. That wasn’t necessarily a reflection on the pub itself. From bitter experience, I have learnt that in most English restaurants they look at you as if you’ve just ordered live goat if you’ve ask for your steak blue.

So when it arrived, we both leaned in and gazed at it suspiciously. Yes, the ubiquitous half grilled tomato was there, but there wasn’t a buggered piece of meat to be seen. The chips were definitely on the right side of chunky, the steak running with the required amount of blood.

The other main course was fish pie, but not as we know it. This one came with mussels peeping out from under cheesy mash, garden peas buried within the creamy sauce, and large plump, unshelled prawns baked around the edges. It wasn’t Michelin star, but The Manor Bar & Grill deserves a medal for serving up dishes of that quality for that price, which is exactly what pub food should be all about.

At the end of the meal I asked my fellow critic, who never lets the boundaries of social politeness stand in his way when giving an opinion, what he thought about the pub. His response wasn’t entirely suitable to be published on this website, but suffice to say, he was pleasantly surprised.

It may not be a destination restaurant, but the next time I’m sinking a few balls with Jimmy, or practising my breaststroke at the Lido, I’ll make sure I pop into The Manor Bar & Grill. more

Customer Reviews for The Manor Bar & Grill

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Manor Bar & Grill.

“What an odd mixed crowd. Part tattooed locals, part hospital workers out on the lash, all up for the craic. Had a good time here on Saturday. The music was great but incredibly loud. Maybe I'm just old. Not so old that I didn't fall in love when the cute bar lady winked at me. Lots of screens showing premiership footie etc, and some decent ales on tap. Plenty of space for all and sundry too.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The Restaurant Hunter, London (7 years 6 months 17 days ago)

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A great selection of dishes including Steaks, pasta and fresh seafood with something for everybody.

Updated 18/10/2010


The Manor offers a slection of great tastin alcholic and non alcholic coktails

Updated 13/10/2010

Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at The Manor Bar & Grill

A great selection of early week specials

Updated 13/10/2010

Events and other great things going on at The Manor Bar & Grill

Information on coming events is available on our website.

Updated 13/10/2010

The Manor Bar & Grill Hire Details

For private hire,functions information and bookings or restaurant reservations please contact us.

Updated 13/10/2010

Name: The Manor
Type: Entire Venue
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 100
Notes: All areas of the venue can be hired for any function type.

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"Great place where I had my gorgeous time with John Black, Buford and Bolat MMA!! Miss those times so much...." Which venue is this?


"Terrible behavior and attitude of staff This evening I was good mood and I came to SALSA SOHO in London for the latino lessons and later dance in the social. It was my day off which I have very rare...." Which venue is this?

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