As much as I bravely visit Richmond often for eats with many different eating companions, Viv never gets much of the action. It is not intentional I swear. She just has no real interest in heading out to Richmond, other than when we meet up with friends or go as a family. However, after watching a movie at the new Marine Crossing location, it wasn't much of a stretch to cross the Oak Street Bridge. Hence, we made the quick hop into Richmond for some rare late-night eats.
We ended up ordering a few items to share with the first to arrive being the Ebi Mayo. It was doused in enough chili mayo that would make a Triple O's burger jealous. With that being said, it did taste good and it wasn't as heavy as it appeared. That was probably due to the large prawns that were cold-water crunchy. Furthermore, the batter was fairly light where it was crispy and not overbearing. Next, we had the Miso Eggplant Teppanyaki which was served piping hot on an cast iron plate. Texturally, it was nice being soft while not mushy. The dish as overly sweet though as the syrupy sauce was too dominant.
Although the Salmon Salad didn't look like much, it was actually quite appetizing. This was due mostly in part to the tangy and acidic dressing. It brightened up an already light and refreshing dish. We liked how the greens were fresh and super crunchy. As for the slices of salmon, they were good texturally, but since the dressing was so potent, we couldn't taste much of the fish. Steaming hot, the Chicken Gizzards in garlic butter were flavourful and a bit salty. It had a nice rebound texture without being too chewy nor overcooked. There was a considerable garlic kick but it wasn't very buttery.
Onto some grilled items, we had the Beef Short Ribs, which were nicely caramelized and charred. They were sufficiently tender while retaining its natural meatiness. We liked how each piece had plenty of meat attached. The marinade was a bit too sweet though. Next was the Pork Cheek and Smelt. We thought the smelt was a bit salty, but nicely fishy. It was a touch chewy, but okay. As for the pork cheek, it was appealingly chewy with a nice rebound texture. It was properly salted where no other seasoning was required. So from the items we tried at Manzo, it was definitely serviceable and in some sense, better than average. Considering the options in Richmond, Manzo fits the bill for late night Izakaya.
- Okay pricing
- Decent eats
- A little too sweet
- Not unique to Manzo, but seating is tight