It doesn’t look like much from outside. A little yellow house with a bright red door on the corner where Alma and Botsford streets meet, just a short distance from Moncton’s core. Had we not been looking for it, we might have missed it completely.
Manuka, the restaurant inside that little yellow house, only opened in late 2014, but it’s quickly making a name for itself as one of Moncton’s culinary gems. Inside, Manuka has kept enough “homey” elements to make the space feel cozy and inviting.
There are two fireplaces topped with knick-knacks, a booth set into a large bay window, a small bookshelf with some lopsided books and baskets, and doorways framed with crown moulding.
There’s a small living wall at the back of the restaurant, which goes well with the hardwood and earth tones used throughout the space.
The menu changes seasonally and uses many local ingredients to create the Belgian and French inspired dishes. We ordered the mini surf and turf and the Plat du Voyage to share.
The surf and turf came with two large seared scallops on top of fresh greens and a delicious, savoury mix of pancetta and nuts – almost like a breadless stuffing.
The Plat du Voyage had big, soft, pillowy balls of gnocchi topped with antipesto and crisped prosciutto. It was the definition of gourmet comfort food, exactly what we were craving on a cold snowy day.
The Belgian inspiration extends to the beer. They have a changing menu of bottled beer, and, on the day of our visit, that menu consisted of a “six pack” selection from St. Bernardus in Watou, Belgium.
Manuka is owned by husband and wife duo Andre Leger and Camille Pluymackers. Camille is the head chef, and was born in France and spent time living and working in Belgium. They work with a small and super friendly staff.
All those elements – the decor, local, seasonal menu, and welcoming personalities make for a comfortable, homey, and peaceful dining experience, putting Manuka on our list of top places to drink and dine in Moncton, with Marky’s Laundromat and Tide and Boar.
184 Alma St.
Our trip was made possible through financial support from New Brunswick Tourism. We chose our final itinerary, and are excited to share our favourite New Brunswick adventures from our recent trip with you here on The Local Traveler.