Mangetout Takes Over Old Churchill’s Ria March 13, 2015 Food & Drink, Local Business, Local News, Southend Mangetout re-opened last Friday night, having upgraded from their tiny restaurant that would always look so busy and cramped from the outside. (Which admittedly is a testament to their overwhelming success. They certainly were in need of a major spacial upgrade.) I have to say, I was very impressed. Mangetout is looking very sexy wearing Churchill’s old clothes. Of course, the place has had a bit of a revamp, but they’ve done a fantastic job on “Mangetout-ing” the place up. The restaurant is said to now sit 150 diners across two levels (with a sort of balcony seating area that overlooks the restaurant below). There seems to be an area for live acoustic entertainment which, even without any performers “on stage”, looked awesome. There are multiple bar areas, and you can really see that a lot of thought went into the arrangement of it all, with atmosphere in mind. Which, might I say, was a-buzz. The atmosphere, that is. Images from Mangetout’s Facebook I’m particularly looking forward to the Summer, when the outdoor garden and patio area will be open with its outdoor bar and barbecue á la Mangetout. The Meal at Mangetout Upon entering, we were greeted with a smile and extremely friendly staff who showed us to the cocktail bar as he prepared a table for us. Mangetout seem to pride themselves on their cocktails, but I opted for the Old Mout Cider in kiwi and lime – an absolute gem of a cider with that classic New Zealand cordial sort of taste. I found their drink prices to be quite reasonable, and there was a fantastic choice of drinks on the menu with intriguing cocktail names and descriptions that did tempt my mouth-watering curiosity. The Mangetout restaurant staff were attentive and never kept us waiting too long for a table, the menus or our food. We ordered the 8oz steak Mexican Burger (hot beef chilli, chilli cheese, jalapeños and crushed nachos) and the grilled chicken Diablo (firecracker pulled pork, Swiss cheese and jalapeños), both with a side portion of sweet potato fries and relish. As you can see, we both like our hot food. Neither meal was particularly fiery, but there certainly was a very flavourful heat that didn’t overpower the more subtle flavours of the burger. The burgers were presented on a slate with a salad garnish of lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin and mayo that served more than just to please the eye; the salad was fresh and tasty. I ordered an after dinner mocha (the exciting person that I am), and I’d have to say that this was my only disappointment of the evening. Though it was priced at the average price that you would expect elsewhere, there was a very small amount of actual mocha in the cup. I’d say my cup was given to me literally half full. And, honestly, it didn’t taste any better than I could make myself at home. I would much rather have ordered another one of their delicious Old Mout Ciders – maybe even in a different flavour, like summer berries. But I’m sure it won’t be the last time I visit Mangetout’s new restaurant! With the lively atmosphere, I can see it becoming a real pre-club location – perfect for a dinner out with your mates, or a candle-lit meal between two… if you don’t mind a bit of the usual pre-club banter here and there. The new Mangetout restaurant can be found right around the corner from their previous site – honestly, you can’t miss it. You can take a look at their menu and book a table on their website here.