I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mantoushe, a quick service restaurant serving wraps and salads on the upper level of Cluster P in JLT.
The exterior from afar doesn’t look all that. But when you walk in, the interiors are actually quite stylish with a modern vibe, industrial decor, and deep house music playing in the background. (Mr. S contributed that piece of knowledge.)
There were two tall tables in the centre the room, individual seating with a view out the window (though the window cleaners desperately need to make a visit), as well as a few outdoor tables overlooking the park.
Mantoushe’s USP is a commitment to fresh, natural, additive-free food. But a wrap’s a wrap, right? (In fact, I almost confused Mantoushe with Man’oushe Street, also in JLT, which is a similar concept.)
Well, let’s see. Mantoushe’s bread was slightly thicker than a standard flour tortilla, and slightly thinner (and less sweet) than the bread used at Zaatar w Zeit. (Can’t compare it to Man’oushe Street as I’ve never been.)
Mantoushe’s wraps have clever names – such as the Steakmous (steak, spicy potato, hummous, pine nuts, tomato and roasted garlic sauce), the Falafa-Guac (falafel, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and tahini) or the Mr. Draper (steak, cheese, spicy potato, lettuce, pomegranate, roasted garlic, salsa verde and peanuts, and Dijon mustard and honey). You can choose a white or multigrain flatbread, a regular or mini wrap, or you can completely customise your own with whatever combination of fillings you choose.
And in fact, the ingredients seem relatively fresh. As per their tagline “all-natural real food,” you can see the team prepping fresh veggies throughout the morning in the open kitchen area.
We ordered the Southbaked Crisp (AED 30) – baked crispy chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and buffalo sauce. They say the crispy chicken is baked so that’s good enough for me. It was tasty and actually felt quite healthy and grease-free.
We also ordered the Rosto Steak (AED 30) – steak, cheese, tomato and roasted garlic. Of course, the steak is less like USDA Prime and more like the standard beef you get in similar types of outlets, but this should come as no surprise. Though this one was more cheesy and mayonnaise-y than the chicken wrap, Mr. S and I went halves and were happy with our choices.
Mantoushe also offers a range of salads with equally unusual names such as Steaky P, Hot Chic and Fresh Prince. We ordered the Quinowawa (AED 30) with lettuce, quinoa, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, dried cranberries and a balsamic glaze dressing which went down a treat.
The only disappointment was my juice. I wanted a mixed veggie juice which was advertised in their menu, but was told that of the 6 veggies, they only had beetroot. But when I got my beetroot juice it was a curious colour, unlike any beetroot juice I’ve ever seen. When I asked what it in it, it seems they had juiced cooked beetroot which had been boiled with vinegar. Let’s just say this is a combination I won’t be rushing to have again anytime soon.
Does this place have enough to differentiate itself from the competition? That remains to be seen. But I enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, the free wi-fi, and my iced coffee. Oh, and of course, the company. ( I mean you, Mr. S!)
Verdict: The food was tasty, healthy, and the ingredients fresh. I liked the vibe and the music. Though the service wasn’t overly effervescent, I would still go back.
Note to self: Steer clear of the beetroot juice.
Armada 3, Cluster P
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Tel: 04 277 8170
Chow for now!