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Review: Manna Chinese Restaurant

chineseIt’s pretty much common knowledge that if you fancy a Chinese in Dublin, the best and most authentic place to go is Parnell Street in Dublin 1. It’s a great little spot in general and slowly becoming Dublin’s Chinatown.

However not all experiences are great. A while back, my sister and I fancied some Korean food and noticed an authentic and bustling little place. Unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t have such enthusiasm for us and point- blank refused to serve us because we were not Korean. We thought we had misunderstood and something had been lost in translation but when we watched another Irish couple try their luck; the same thing happened – Koreans only. I’m still scratching my head about it today.

Heading down Parnell Street on Saturday I hoped for a happier experience rather than a repeat of that. We popped into Manna Chinese Restaurant which is opposite the unfriendly Korean place but thankfully they were very warm and welcoming.

The food was great too. As part of their lunchtime deal from 12 to 5pm you can get a starter, main and tea or coffee for only €6.99 or €9.99 from a more extensive menu. Some of the dishes from the €9.99 menu include Black Tiger Prawns as a starter, and King Prawn noodle, Sizzling duck or Singapore Noodles as a main. I went for the Black Tiger prawns and Singapore Noodles. Although the Prawns lacked flavour, the Singapore Noodles were delicious and I couldn’t finish the enormous portion.

My husband selected from a more authentic looking menu that included traditional Chinese dishes such as Spicy Oyster Fried Handmade Noodles for €8.80, Stir Fried Beef Stew with Handmade Noodles for €8.80 and Handmade Noodles with Soya Bean Sauce for €6.80. He went for the beef stew which was the real deal and the handmade noodles were a nice touch. In total; for a starter, two mains and four Chinese beers, it all came to only €30 – well worth the trip back to Parnell Street.


  1. I hope that behaviour in the korean restaurant desists as they are breaking the law just as if an irish person refused them entry for not being irish ~ it works both ways

  2. They should just make a “No Irish” sign to save any embarrassment.

  3. ..and be prosecuted. Substitute another race, colour, ethnicity and see how that sign would read. There would be uproar

  4. Is there a reason why we’re not naming the restaurant in question – I presume something to do with libel possibilities? Could give them right of reply and then name an’ shame to save other people the trouble of being refused…

  5. Sarah, if any restaurant put up a sign that said “No Koreans” what do you think would happen?

    Rercy, you should notify the appropriate authorities about your refusal based on your race.

  6. GMF: my pedantism’s kicking in – going by the above they were refused on grounds on nationality, not race.

  7. Just to clarify, I was joking.

  8. Aidan: Nice point. However unless they produced passports how could the restaurant ‘know’ they were not Korean…
    without it being race based?


    Sarah: That caught me out. Nice one.

  9. Im with Aidan here. Name and shame that establishment with the blatant discrimination in operation. Truth is a defence to any accusation of libel

  10. ps rercy – you shouldnt be “still scratching [your] head about it today” – you should have been outraged. That was appalling behaviour on the part of the restaurant.

  11. Manna – is that the restaurant that used to be the Ailang (Forgive the spelling)?

  12. It’s quite astonishing that this unnamed restaurant would turn business away, but I’m with Rercy on this one. Maybe I’m mellowing in my old age, but I save my outrage for special occasions: I’d be more bemused than anything else!

  13. To be honest, I’m not naming the restaurant because the name of it is in Korean and I can’t remember it. Bemused is the word; I don’t know if it was blatant segregation or if it was a policy they had that day for what ever reason – I just don’t know. I tried to ask why but the language barrier resulted in confusion and I left. When I was up there the other day I had planned on trying my luck again and seeing if they refused us again; thus establishing if it was racial segregation but the restaurant was closed. At some stage I will return; watch this space.

  14. By the sounds of it they wouldn’t give a flying hoot if they were named here. They obviously have all the business they want!

  15. Hi Joanne, I’m not sure if Manna was called Ailang before, it has been around for 8 years and one of the original Chinese restaurants on Parnell street- either way it’s worth a try. Here’s an article about them.,1884