There’s a new place that has recently opened in New Oxford Street which is perfect to grab a snack, have a light meal and indulge in seriously good cocktails – Manitoba Tigella Kitchen Bar. Sleek and modern, over two floors, this is a place you can go for business breakfast, a quick lunch when out shopping, coffee and cakes in the afternoon or you could spend a whole evening with friends drinking wine or cocktails while having a bite to eat. All food, including the bread and pasta, is made in-house using organic ingredients which are imported directly from Italy.
I have to admit, when the invite to the opening of Manitoba Tigella Kitchen Bar landed, I had to google ‘tigella’. I consider myself a foodie and I love Italian food but I had never heard of ‘tigella’, so I was quite surprised to find out that a ‘tigella’ is bread stuffed with charcuterie or cheese, typical of the Italian region Emilia Romagna. But it is not just any old bread, but a disc shaped one with a pretty flower on it. Apparently the baking of this special kind of bread originated in the chestnut forests of the Apennine mountains, where a clay disc (tigella) was used to cook small dishes on the embers of a domestic fire. Today, the baking doesn’t require chestnut embers or clay discs, but heavy aluminium plates that will toast the tigellas to perfection. And before you ask, Manitoba is a kind of Italian flour.
The food menu was created by a two Michelin star chef and you’ll find, apart from traditionally (salami, ham, soft cheese) and gourmet (burrata, king prawns, aubergine, tuna, burger) filled tigella, gnocco fritto, plain and filled focaccia breads, salads, pasta and Italian meat and fish dishes. Desserts include tiramisu and panna cotta e fragile, a selection of handmade cakes and pastries. Prices are very reasonable with the tigellas starting at just £1.80, the filled focacce less then £5 and all salads and pasta dishes under £10.
There is a selection of bottled and draught beers available as well as a comprehensive, mainly Italian, wine list, with prices for every pocket, from £4.90 for a small glass of Villa Rossi house wine to £260 for a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée champagne. Bottles of reds, whites and rosés are mainly in the £20-£30 range, but there is also a great selection of Bellavista Franciacorta wines, the sparkling wines form Northern Italy’s Lakes, for which you’ll have to dig a bit deeper.
The cocktail menu is also worth talking about and apart from classics like Bellinis and Negronis to modern classics like Espresso Martinis, Mojitos and Cosmopolitans, Manitoba Tigella Kitchen bar has been busy working on their own in-house cocktails, which are both delicious and innovative. Prices, again, are very reasonable, starting at £6 for a Campari or Aperol Spritz and mainly around the £7-£9 mark for the cocktails. Also on offer are tigella pairings, where you can order from a range of tigellas which have been paired with a specially created cocktail.
A week after we went to the opening, we were sitting at the bus stop opposite Manitoba Tigella Kitchen Bar and I overheard the couple next to us wondering what ‘tigella’ is. I was only too happy to explain!
Manitoba Tigella Kitchen Bar
82 New Oxford Street
020 7436 8231