At a time where sustainability and ethical consumption are at the top of everyone’s minds (or at least should be), it’s important for high-profile restaurants and eateries to comply. One such restaurant is Sydney’s Manta. Manta prides itself on its sustainably-sourced produce based menus; the Woolloomooloo Wharf restaurant’s website reads, “We know the names of the fishermen who catch our seafood. We know the names of the farmers who raise our steaks. From pasture to plate, from the fishermen to the table, we know everything about our produce. It’s guaranteed to be sustainable.”
When I visit Manta, it’s a perfectly sunny Sydney day. As I get there, the rest of the lunch crowd starts trickling in too. There are tourists excited to enjoy their afternoon by the water, workers from nearby offices in Friday-lunch high-spirits, couples in conversation over a bottle of Veuve.
Manta’s Executive Chef Daniel Hughes and Head Chef Steve Hetherington regularly change up the menu in response to the available fresh and local ingredients. Seafood makes up the majority of the menu, split into categories of oysters, caviar, raw, starters, crustaceans and fish. ‘Land’-based produce is also prominent, with a selection of stone char-grilled cuts of grass-fed meat available – some of it sourced from owner Rob Rubis’ property in Texas, QLD. Manta even offers a substantial vegetarian and vegan menu for those wanting to take their sustainability efforts further.
I opt for a few starters that include five-year-old oysters from the north coast, kingfish carpaccio from Spencer Gulf, South Australia and fish and truffle croquettes from the waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. Everything is, as you’d expect from a fine-dining restaurant, presented beautifully and flavoured impeccably. The seafood’s freshness is also evident in the taste.
Manta’s wine list is extensive, to say the least. Like produce on the dining menu, the offerings are mostly sourced from around Australia, but there are a number of choice selections from various regions in France and Italy too. If it all gets a bit too overwhelming, the restaurant has an in-house sommelier on-hand to help guide you through the list and make suggestions based on what you’re eating.
Manta features a modern, clean design with ample indoor and outdoor seating. There’s a friendly and casual atmosphere to the sustainability-led restaurant that sits nicely alongside the premium dining experience.
Find out more: mantarestaurant.com.au
6 Cowper Wharf Road