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Mano’s

Mano’s
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Mediterranean
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

John Maytham

Food
The comfort of the familiar is what Mano’s delivers, and it delivers so in spades. It’s why so many local families and folk from further afield make regular treks there. Start with one of their generous salad servings – the bacon, blue cheese and avocado is a reliable standby. Lots of mains are favourites – grilled prawns, calamari, chicken liver in many guises, creamy chicken limone, the traditional steak and sauce options.

They do a Fish of the Day simply, but competently. And there’s a wide array of tastefully-assembled pasta dishes. Check the specials – sometimes there is a seafood pasta that makes the table groan with the weight of the mussels, linefish, prawns and other maritime delights.

The chocolate brownie mess and banoffee pie are the go-to options for the sweet-toothed.

Drinks
The comfort of the familiar applies equally to the wine list. No excitement to be found on the list, but it’s probably not a clientele that is looking for innovation. Pricing is on the high side, given the predictability of the wines.

Service
Friendly and efficient even when the place is packed, as it almost always is. The eponymous Mano is often on the floor, chatting with regulars and keeping an eye on things.

Ambience
It’s a plain space with minimal but stylish ornamentation. The large art deco front window is the eye-catcher. Noisy when crowded, but in a warm and ‘join in’ sort of way.

And...
They don’t take reservations. However, the table turnover is fairly rapid, and the long bar is a pleasant eyrie at which to wait and observe.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

    Food
    Simple, tasty fare is what you’ll find on the menu at this family-friendly joint favoured by locals. Unpretentious, homemade style food is served without fanfare, but delivers on the flavour. Classic bistro dishes such as fillet medallions with pepper sauce, Mozambican style prawn curry and Mano’s famous chicken liver pasta make up the offering. The creamy chicken limone is rich but satisfying, and it’s worth it to query the specials, as there are often some tasty gems on offer, such as the sticky barbeque ribs. The dessert menu is only four-strong, but they all live up to expectations.

    Drinks
    The wine list has been well considered, featuring a few local favourites, as well as a house red and white, and plenty available by the carafe. There are also a few bubblies on offer, and prices won’t shock you or your wallet.

    Service
    Staff are friendly and get the job done quickly, with no frills. You’ll often find Mano or his sister mingling between tables to check on diners.

    Ambience
    The beautiful, large art-deco windows act as the façade to a pared down interior. A large bar dominates the middle of the room, and tables are simply laid with white cloths. Black and white photographs of Mano and his family cover the walls, and the large space can easily accommodate its many regulars as well as first time diners.

    And…
    This is another establishment who has cottoned onto the ‘no bookings’ trend. Chances are you’ll nab a table, otherwise you can languish by the long bar while you wait.

  • Greg Landman

    Food 
    Established in 1996, in Green Point has become an institution thanks to the scrumptious, unfussy bistro food its kitchen sends out.

    Do not be fooled into thinking this is a Greek restaurant, even though there are some Greek things on the menu. This is bistro food at its best: modern, unfussy, and well-priced. The Caesar salad comes in such a big portion, I defy anyone to finish it. Plenty of crunchy croutons and bacon bits, avocado in season, masses of cos lettuce and a heavenly dressing to make it all go with a zing. Do not add sauce from the bottle sent to the table—it’s a hot sauce and will not go well with the salad.

    The fish and chips, beer battered and generously portioned, are excellent, with nice white flesh and great chips. If you want something lighter, try the prego roll, which offers just enough to satisfy a hunger for meat; the popular lamb chops will do the same. Finish up with the richest, creamiest, crème brûlée this side of the mountain, topped with a nest of spun caramel – absolute heaven.

    Drinks 
    Mano's offers a very good list, and not badly priced at all, with some good by the glass, like the Rickety Bridge Chenin Blanc and the Fleur Du Cap Merlot in carafes.

    Service 
    In spite of some rumours about the service, my experience was that the service was spot on, friendly and professional, from a good-looking, energetic bunch of young ladies.

    Ambience 
    It’s a nice and bright venue with plenty of sun streaming in from very large windows. White walls are adorned with light, airy pictures, and the room is dominated by a longish bar. Sitting outside on the pavement might not suit everyone, but it seems to be a popular spot to watch the traffic go by. The owner Mano himself is here most evenings, which has made this place into a local institution since 1996.

    And...
    Note that they don’t take bookings at night, so take your chances or have a drink or two at the bar.

    (July 2014)

  • A very popular spot in Green Point with great, consistent food and service. Visit for a lazy, long lunch on a Friday, when an afternoon’s work is optional. The menu does not change often, but it doesn’t need to, with dishes like shrimp tempura and Greek peasant salad for starts and grills, creamy pastas and seafood for mains. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Substantial crowd-pleasing dishes dominate at this Green Point favourite. You’ll want to mop up every delicious bit of sauce from the smoky, peri peri chicken livers starter. If you prefer something lighter, the Caesar salad is just the ticket. For mains, tender chicken schnitzel with mustard sauce and chips is a great option, as is the aromatic prawn curry.

    Wine
    A succinct ensemble with most wines available by the carafe.

    Service
    Dames dressed in white are friendly and on the ball.

    Ambience
    Art deco windows, John Lennon prints, and a long, sexy bar add character to this capacious eatery. A firm favourite amongst businessmen and locals alike, the restaurant’s vibe is convivial day and night.

    And...
    The (surprisingly sizeable) crème brûleé topped with a spun-sugar crown is as delicious as it is beautiful. (AK, October 2011)

User reviews

  • We were a table of 10 and every person enjoyed their food and the evening. Look forward to next visit.
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  • The setting of Mano's is quite plain and unfussy, but the service, portions and flavour make up for this, and I've enjoyed every meal there, whether lunch or dinner. The food is quite simple and homey (think schnitzels and baked potatoes), but the service exceeds expectations - discreet, professional, knowledgeable, pleasant. Portions are absolutely HUGE, and the meal choices, whether a chicken liver pasta or lamb cutlets, are straight-forward but flavourful. Would happily return again for a week-night meal.
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  • What I love about Mano's is the consistency: No frills, no fuss, just simple, tasty food. Perfect for a mid-week restaurant visit. Menu is to the point, as is the wine list. The Greek salad is a must and the Mozambican Prawn curry is just more-ish! Other firm favourites include Chicken Limone and the grilled Calamari - I believe the Spaghetti Bolognese has a rather famous reputation too, but so do most of the menu items! You also can't leave without tasting the banoffee dessert.

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  • One can never go wrong at Manos. I've been eating there for over 10 years and I must say that the food is just as good then as it is now.

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  • Manos never disappoints! I always have a great time here and the food is always top notch. Been going here for years and the food is always of the same standard - superb!
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  • If I had choose only one single restaurant in Cape Town, it would be Mano's. We keep going back and back and taking visiting friends. Mano's easily becomes your second home. Personal, warm service. Cool vibe. Nice crowd. Good, uncomplicated, honest food - lamb chops, fish and chips and chicken limone are the best in town. Not to mention the heavenly creme brulee... And the fact that you can't book a table for dinner is absolutely no problem - Mano's bar is a great place to start the evening.

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  • Let me start this way - Manos grows on you. As new Capetownians (from overseas) three years ago, we had one of our first dinners out at this casual cool Green Point eatery. It honestly didnt stand out, but somehow you could tell there was a vibe, every night (and lunch). It was a good enough experience for us to return a couple of weeks later, and then again - now we have dinner there at least once a week, often more! So why? Manos has great unpretentious food to start with, at very comfortable prices. Lovely salads (The Cob and The Ceasar are just the best), excellent starters with calamares to die for. Mains are all good - the lamb is the best in town! Chicken Limone is yummie, as well as chicken with mustard sauce. Line fish a hit. Good reliable hamburger, a steak frites that would have a place in any French bistro. Not to mention Cape Towns best Fish n Chips. Finish of with Creme Brule, you wont regret it. Wine by the glass is served in a caraff, nice. service is super friendly, cool and very professional. They make you feel totally at home. You cant book tables at night - but the excellent and viby bar makes it worth waiting, if youd have to. This is our total best cool friendly, every day eat out. Will keep returning.
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  • I dare say that, without Manos, Cape Town wouldnt be Cape Town! This cool, still totally unpretentious and friendly restaurant is what eating out is all about. A quite short but honest menu offers good comfy food. Starters can be great salads - try cob salad or chicken livers. The grilled calamari is also good. For mains, I can recommend fish n chips - perfectly fried. The best lamb chops in town, tender tasty lemon chicken and a really yummie burger. Wine list is good and have what you want by the glass. Service is always professional, friendly and quick. You feel so welcome. Also, Manos has a popular bar, where it is nice to start your evening. So, have a glass or two if you have to wait for a table before dinner - they dont take bookings at night. I promise, its worth the wait.
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  • Ive eaten at Manos for years and have usually enjoyed the food. However, the last few occasions on which I have visited have ended badly. The service, once renowned, has deteriorated to such a low standard that the last two times I ate there I didnt tip, at all (extremely unusual). On the last visit, the hostess was downright rude, explaining that she didnt need our extra patronage. There are lots of restaurants on the Green Point strip. I recommend that you frequent another.
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  • The food was impeccable and as recommended from Eat Out, we had the Chicken Caesar Salad starter. Even though I was very impressed with the chefs, service was lacking. Unless you drove a Porsche with a lady half your age hanging on your arm, the hostesses weren’t impressed with you. The lady who greeted us at the entrance was rude and spoke down to us. It seemed like one of those restaurants where you were there to be seen.
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  • Awesome restaurant. I love that there are no reservations, the service is always efficient, relaxed and friendly. The food is simple but excellent, and brilliantly priced.
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  • 6 November 09 Lunch for 6. Started out well. Prego steak roll ordered medium rare - sent back as overdone. The special steak in BBQ sauce - sent back for two reasons, overcooked and the sauce tasted like something from spur only worse. FINALLY hamburger sent back - A USED MATCH FOUND IN THE PATTY. Response from the floor manager - couldnt give a damn and will inform her supplier as they dont make the hamburgers inhouse. Complained again to Mano, he clearly has been in the business too long since Bellinis days and just looked patronising and walked off. Result - they deducted the steak and burger from the bill. This is typical of South African restaurants. Complain and its a case of oh, sorry and complete disinterest. Will spend my money supporting chefs with talent who are making a name for themselves through attention to detail and good food in future.
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  • Amazing food. Ribs were certainly the best Ive had and not even a red meat fan. Service was excellent, we were entertained by an amazing waitress who put up with a rowdy table of 6 on a Friday eve. Rarely do dessert but a taste of the chocolate brownie was enough to decide it was worth leaving room for, next time.
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  • Wanted to be more than the only table in a restaurant on a saturday night coupled with vibe and food to match. chose Manos and was not disappointed. Great bottle of Chardonnay, BBQ lamb chops that everyone was envious of and a Caesar salad that was shared with my best friend. Subs in the bar was a treat and made me feel like family! Mano checked on our table personally. Will go back tomorrow or as soon as we can. Highly recommended!!
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  • Last nights Valentines meal was a huge disappointment. Steak had a fatty, burnt taste and only served with chips - nothing else. For very basic fair that tasted substandard (two meals, salad [had to pay for that extra], plus one bottle of Fat Bastards Chardonnay) I ended up paying an arm and a leg. Wont go back soon.
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  • Manos is about beautiful people and really magnificent food. Mano is the host that everyone wants to know. the place buzzes at night and is not for the hard of hearing. we go there when we need to vibe. its a boost to the soul.
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  • Thank you for posting your comment on the eat out site, it is unfortunate that your disappointment with the evening wasnt voiced on the night as we would have loved to have solved the problem right then, out of the two starters and main course ordered only the spring rolls were sent back untouched and as far as we were aware the rest was satisfactory. Our style is simple and uncomplicated which might explain the lack of garnish, we are aware that our style doesnt appeal to everyone out there. Regards, Mano
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  • I went to this restaurant on a Saturday night expecting something good, I was sadly disappointed. Inedible and greasy springrolls, plain prego roll.. not even a scrap of garnish just meat and bread. Waitress was unattentive and rude. Restaurant felt like an old age home. Never again.....
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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