The crossrail area of Tottenham court road is rapidly filling up with restaurants in anticipation of a business bonanza once it opens. However, for some it could not open sooner; a recent visit to Manitoba Tigella Kitchen Bar saw staff sent out to the entrance to speak with passersby to attract business. At one point, we were even the only diners in the restaurant. Could it be that Londoners don’t understand the Tigella concept?
Manitoba is the first Tigella kitchen in London. Tigella is a traditional 4-inch round shaped stuffed bread which is thought to have originated from a regional countryside area of Italy, namely Emilia-Romagna. They have a lengthy list of stuffings with the main highlights being the best cheese and salami from the same region. I would say you can either have one as a starter or three to four as a main course. What is slightly confusing is the prices range from £1.80 to £7.20 even though it is exactly the same size; the price varies depending on the ingredients used only.
We tried a very healthy tasting avocado king, which came with king prawn, guacamole and sprouts. Although personally, I thought the indulgent tasting culatello and burrata is the better option with the creamy tasting cheese and the sweet, delicate taste of the meat.
Surprisingly, the real highlights were the main courses rather than the tigellas. We tried the tuna carpaccio, which was expertly presented and tasted more hotel variety than a casual diner preparation. It was matched unusually with a sturdy mustard sauce and ultra fresh home-baked focaccia.
We also tried tender pieces of lamb cutlets which was accompanied with delicious blocks of fried polenta and a very appetising salmoriglio sauce. You might ask what is salmoriglio? It is a pungent South Italian condiment which is normally made using lemon juice, olive oil, chopped oregano, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and is normally served with roast meats or grilled seafood dishes.
The portions of the main courses are not large here and is slightly on the pricey side with the tuna carpaccio at £15.00 and the lamb cutlets at £18.00. However, it doesn’t mean everything is expensive in Manitoba, you can pop in to their counter area and purchase hearty looking pieces of focacce such as the Margherita for only £3.00.