We spoke to bar opening manager, John Gilchrist, about what you can expect from the new Australasian eatery

MĀNUKA is the latest coffee, brunch and wine bar to touch down in Liverpool's city centre. Located on Duke Street, MĀNUKA aims to 'bring the goodness' from sunrise to sunset. This Australasian inspired neighbourhood hangout is laid back and full of flavour, serving up fresh and healthy dishes with a 'treat yourself' twist.

We picked the brains of John Gilchrist, MĀNUKA's bar opening manager and director of The Industry Consultants, to discover more. 

We feel there has been a slight movement away from evening dining and are noticing more daytime catch-ups

2023 08 18 Manuka Crossaint With Brie
Croissant French toast with brie, bacon, pecan and honey Image: Confidentials

Why Australasian food?

Australasia has is a fantastic melting pot of cultures from South East Asia, South America and the Pacific islands. The hospitality scene in that part of the world has a real buzz to it (excuse the pun) and we felt Liverpool could do with a hint of that. 

What's the vibe like at MĀNUKA?

We always want to give off a relaxed and chilled vibe. From our playlist in the day to the DJs and entertainment we choose in the evenings, it's all designed to help you to nod your head along and transport you to your most relaxed state. 

Why Duke Street?

It’s a vibrant area of town with lots of residents, just a few streets away from the hustle and bustle of Seel street and Bold street. 

2023 08 18 Manuka Tater Tots
Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside (like all good tater tots should be) Image: Confidentials

What sets MĀNUKA apart from other places specialising in Australasian cuisine in the North West?

I think we are just staying in our lane. We're not trying to compete directly with anyone else. We have organised lots of nice things for our guests to enjoy during the day and through to the evenings and hope people like us for the atmosphere we are creating. 

What do you think to Liverpool's food and drink scene, and what difference do you think MĀNUKA will make to it?

We feel there has been a slight movement away from evening dining and are noticing more daytime catch-ups. Liverpool has always had an amazing hospitality scene and we can only hope our take on Australasian dining will enhance that.

Any key menu items we should know about?

Honestly, it’s hard to narrow it down...all the team seem to have a different favourite dish. The croissant French toast with brie, bacon, pecan and honey is going down very well. Our eggs Benedict with Gochujang hollandaise is also being very well received. First time diners have told us they would come back for the duck fat truffle hash browns alone. 

2023 08 18 Manuka Coffee
Coffee made with love Image: Confidentials

What's your personal favourite dish?

It’s a daily struggle to choose between the eggs Benedict with bacon and avocado or our ricotta and pecorino scrambled eggs (again, with bacon and avocado). As for drinks, our coffee is a bespoke blend from local coffee roasters 92 degrees, so a latte in the day and one of our Rapa Nui cocktails at night.

Sustainability is one of your MĀNUKA's key messages. How will this be reflected across the business?

We have tried to use recycled products where we can, from our glassware, napkins, garnishes to even some of our spirits - one of our rums is made from discarded banana peels. Our edible garnish supplier, The Garnish Guys, plants trees with their profits. 

There's plan to showcase local artists' work in MĀNUKA free of charge. Have you had any willing participants so far?

Yes we have several take us up on the offer of free wall space, it helps us decorate the venue with diverse art plus gives budding artists a platform to showcase their work. We will be showcasing their work on our Instagram very soon. 

We also have set up an area in front of the bar where guests can buy locally made products. We have Zest Limoncello, Turncoat Gin, Mother Gin, Bee Shack honey, macramés for hanging plants in and edible printed garnishes so far. We welcome more to join in displaying their items.  

Click here to find out more about MĀNUKA.

MĀNUKA, 136-138 Duke Street, L1 5BB

2023 08 18 Manuka Fruit Bowl
Refreshing bowls of goodness Image: Confidentials

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