Mancia - a restaurant review

HU5 is home to plenty of neighbourhood restaurants - small, friendly, family run places loved by locals and less well know among people from outside the postcode.

The latest of these eateries is Mancia on Newland Avenue.

I first noticed Mancia pop up in a couple of local Facebook groups and thought the food looked amazing. I love Southern Italian cooking and this restaurant specialises in Sicilian cuisine, so I knew I had to try it. 

We booked in at 7pm on Saturday and weren't really sure what to expect! The restaurant is in a former cafe and looks pretty small from the outside. 

Ready for food!

On first appearances, the restaurant looked fresh and modern, it was tiled white and decorated with lovely shelves of pots. The dining room is pretty small, so it's no wonder they're always fully booked, with the chef cooking in an open area at the back of the room.

When we arrived we gave our name to the waitress, who was a lovely, motherly Italian woman. She showed us to our table and handed us some menus. The restaurant is BYOB so we brought along our own bottle of Prosecco, which she took and opened for us - causing chaos in the restaurant when it went off with a bang and the cork landed somewhere in the kitchen!

The menu is made up of traditional small plates (which you can have as tapas or as a starter), pizzas and pasta dishes, with a small dessert and soft drinks menu, too. 


The waitress soon took our order; we decided to share a couple of small plates and a pizza, and leave some room for dessert - which were homemade and looked really tasty on the photos I'd seen. 

We plumped for the meatballs (£7) and the arancini made with mackerel, sweet potato, rosemary, chilli and mascarpone (£6), with a Norma pizza (£10), made with fried aubergine, ricotta, basil and extra virgin olive oil to follow. 

Arancini starter 

The small plates soon arrived even though the restaurant was busy and the pizza followed shortly after.

The food was delightful. It was a little piece of Sicilian summer on a chilly March night in Hull. 

The arancini were lovely and light and the flavours of the filling came together wonderfully. The mackerel was fresh and not overpowering and the chilli wasn't too strong either. The ball of rice was served on a bed of a tasty tomato sauce and you could tell it was freshly fried, with a creamy dollop of melting mascarpone in the middle.

Meatballs starter 

The meatballs were succulent and the sauce was so tasty, long after the meatballs were finished we were scooping spoonfuls of the sauce onto our plates, which was made with sweet onions, tomato and ricotta, with some ndjua sausage crumbled on top for a kick.

The pizza was one of the best pizzas we'd had in ages. the dough was so unbelievably light and it was lovely and crisp, with delicious soft fried aubergine and creamy cheese on top. We ate it so quickly we forgot to get a photo until we were half way through! 

We were too busy eating to photograph the whole pizza...

All the food was melt-in-your mouth. I can't describe it any other way.

We were glad we hadn't overdone it with the mains (even though there were so many more dishes we'd liked to have tried) as the desserts were just as good. 

The waitress explained that since the chef's wife had just had a baby that week and he was only just back at work the dessert menu was limited to just a few options, with Jono going for the lemon cheesecake (£4) and me the cannolo (£4.50). 

The delicious desserts

I am something of a cannolo fan after trying them on a trip to New York in Little Italy I order them whenever I see them! This version was different but still so nice, a pastry tube filled with sweet ricotta, not made with candied orange as I've had before but instead with pistachio and glazed cherries and drizzled with nutella. It was delightful. Jono's cheesecake was also so good - I tried a piece and it was so light and moreish, I'll definitely order it myself next time!

All in all the bill was only £37 and we were served all our food in just an hour - super speedy service even though the lone chef looked really busy with Just Eat orders coming in too! 

It's definitely somewhere we're going to go again in the future, it only being a short walk away and the food being so nice. If you're ever in HU5, I know there's stiff competition for restaurants to choose from, but I think Mancia is worth taking a chance on!


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