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  • Writer's pictureThe Five

Eat (and salsa) your heart out at Mano

Walking through the first floor lobby of Block E at The Five, we catch a glimpse of the newly opened Mano, a Latin American restaurant that celebrates getting jiggy with it.

As you step in, you are greeted by the smell of the fired up open grille. The hustle and bustle of the open kitchen is the next thing to grab your attention and finally, as you are about to be seated, you will likely hear the “honk” of Horaitio. Mano’s permanent resident rubber chicken, which will be honked to signal a new order for the crew to prepare. Mano buzzes with unmistakable energy and excitement that sets up the scene perfectly for a great night out with friends or even for the singles looking for a quick bite and sip after work.

At the helm of Mano is Sergio Meza, one of the two the head chef’s. A man who has travelled the world and seen the inside of many kitchens and has also had the tutelage of the best chefs from Noma to In De Wulf. Sergio has now landed in Malaysia to get up to some fun with his partners Rocky and Brian in their newly opened restaurant, Mano.

Mano kept their design to a minimum and incorporated the existing design/bare shell of Block E. The stripped-back aesthetic highlights is what makes Mano, Mano, allowing all of your senses to be thoroughly engaged. The smell of the open fire, the sound of music blasting (Iron Maiden if you are lucky 😉) and the sight of the Mano crew working away in perfect choreography within the open kitchen.

The open kitchen concept invites diners to peer at what goes on behind the scenes. It also lets the chefs easily walk out and interact with diners, adding a fun dynamic to dining at Mano. And because there is no set menu, all the more reason for interaction with your diners. The concept, while rarely heard of in Kuala Lumpur, is something that’s important for Mano. They want to surround diners with the experience and make sure that all the elements in their restaurant stay true to what they’re doing – honouring the people in Mano.

When we dropped by, on the menu was a Tuna Tortada, an Aguachile (similar to a ceviche, but Mexican) and a Beef Tartare served with Popcorn. The dynamic menu is a reflection of Mano’s dynamic space and the people behind the counter. And while drinks are not the main focus at Mano, diners will find a selection of natural wines and cocktails to suit your fancy, and what is a Mexican restaurant without Margaritas, Tequilas and Micheladas.

Dining at Mano is all about pushing outside of your comfort zone. If you dare to try, Mano is the place to be.

Mano is now open at Block E at The Five.

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