One wet night as we trundled through Newcastle city centre to meet up with some friends for dinner, we passed this little Korean BBQ place. We stared through the windows to see a bustling restaurant packed to the brim, with everyone eating delicious, warm food that was steaming from their bowls. It looked so comforting. It looked perfect. We wished we were eating there tonight. We immediately made a note of the name of the restaurant and decided that we would come back for our next date.
So date night rocked up, and we invited another couple to join us to try Mannaza. We were seated immediately and given menus to browse. Since this was all our first experience of Korean food, we decided to order a few dishes and share them tapas-style rather than ordering one each. So we chose: fried udong noodles with vegetables and chicken (£6.90), two BBQ self-grill options of fresh sliced beef ribeye (£8.50) and seasoned and marinated pork (£6.50) and a sizzling hot plate of sliced and marinated beef (£7.00).
The sizzling hot plate of beef arrived first accompanied by bowls of rice. It was cooked perfectly and was not tough at all. It was served with a sweet chilli sauce and fresh lettuce leaves, which we wrapped the beef up in and then dolloped some of the sauce on top to make Asian wraps. It was messy, but delicious.
Our square table had a big grill sunken into the middle, to allow for self-BBQing, and although this was a very cool feature, the table did not seem quite big enough to accommodate for the dishes that would arrive, so we ended up with all our dishes squashed between our plates and the grill, with only elbow room to dine from. However, it was a lot of fun cooking the meat on the grill, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking control and flipping the meat over as it browned. The meat was marinated extremely well and tasted succulent. We all agreed though that next time we would probably skip the self-grill as it was quite time-consuming, and although it allowed us to have plenty of catch-up time and chat away, it also meant that it took longer for us to have food in our bellies!
The last dish, the udong noodles, were also delectable (in hindsight, we should have ordered two portions of these as they were quickly devoured!) The price for the udong noodles was very reasonable for the quantity that we had and it was nice to have something different amidst all the rice and meat dishes.
Although when we first arrived the restaurant was not very busy, by the time we had finished our meal it was quite crowded, and it seemed to be quite a popular location, with every table ordering something that looked even more mouth-watering than the next.
Would we go back? Yes, definitely. If you’re after Asian food but want to try something a little different, head on over to Mannaza for an authentic Korean experience!
Mannaza is located next to Blackfriars, on Taylors and Tanners Court (round the back of China Town).