Gill and Joel know hospitality and food pretty damn well. Manzana would simply not be without this hilarious and hard working partnership- owner and head chef, Joel Groenen, and Co owner and front of house manager/Mumma, Gill Farmer.


Owners – Joel and Gill at Manzana.


Our head chef Joel isn’t afraid of a sombrero or a bit of piñata!

Despite popular belief, no, we do not have a team of Mexican immigrants in our kitchen. We have one Joel- but we are positive there must be some kind of Mexican through-back in him somewhere.

Joel has a serious passion for creating delicious food with unique flavour combinations that just work and complement each other. He has a keen eye for detail (as you can tell by the look of our food) and is quite the perfectionist when it comes to presenting what he has created.

Having started his apprenticeship when he was sixteen, Joel always knew he had a flair for cooking and creating and was eager to get out into the industry and show off his skills. Working in all different establishments, from chaotic kitchens in Melbourne’s CBD to Eden Gardens tranquil and home-like cafe on the Mornington Peninsula, it was only a matter of time before Joel was going to open up his very own restaurant and show off his creative talents.

Gill and Joel had worked alongside each other at Linton’s cafe, and after working as a massage therapist at the Peninsula Hotsprings for five years, Gill decided to have a significant industry switch and jumped on board with the idea to start a restaurant in their hometown of Mt Eliza.

The two have always enjoyed modern Mexican food, and frequented Melbourne’s CBD restaurant Mamacita. Identifying a gap in the kind of restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula, the couple were inspired to create something of their own with their unique flair, Joel’s experience and Gill’s creative eye in interior design.

alas, MANZANA WAS BORN, and boy are we happy about it!


Manzana by night.

Our lovely owners would love to meet you and are super proud of their establishment, so why not come and see it for yourself?!

Love the Manzana Team x



Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 1.12.44 pm

Manzana is passionate about food, but also about social issues and one in particular being tackling the problem of disadvantaged youths and homelessness in our very own backyards in Melbourne.

Manzana will be hosting an all you can eat burrito night on Wednesday the 22nd of August, and all profits will be going to STREAT, a Melbourne based charity that works to tack10525718_814428718607975_2373242419338203826_nle  disadvantage and homelessness by providing the life-skills, support networks, work experience and training young people require to kickstart their lives and a career in hospitality.


One night only (22nd of August). $35 Per person for all you can eat BURRITOS (Why wouldn’t you?!).

Manzana, along with STREAT really appreciate your support and hope you come and enjoy many burritos and sombrero wearing to help support the work of this amazing charity.


Bookings essential. Phone Manzana on 97877772 or pop down to 114 Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza to lock in a table for your friends and family. 

Love the Manzana team x 


Manzana welcomed the quirky, but confident Melbourne celebrity Gamble Breaux for an evening of modern Mexican food and many margaritas with her partner, Dr. Rick Wolfe, one of Australia’s most respected cataract and laser refractive eye surgeons and her three step children on Friday. Gamble is a former model and art consultant from Sydney who featured on the Arena TV (foxtel) show The House Wives Of Melbourne, which follows the lavish, but sometimes dramatic lifestyles of six wealthy and extravagant women of Melbourne, revealing a little insight into their fabulous world. Manzana is Gamble’s favourite restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula and she isn’t afraid to tuck into some of our homemade corn tortilla chips with guacamole and Baja crumbed fish tacos, washed down with her all time favourite drink, our Manzana Margarita. Despite battling a cold, Gamble was eager to test the theory that Margaritas are the cure for a sore throat and blocked nose (Alas, we agree!)

love the Manzana team x 

Gamble and Step son enjoying Margaritas at Manzana.

Gamble and Step son enjoying Margaritas at Manzana.




Our famous lime #manzanamargarita

We are not scared to tell you about how much we love our cocktail menu (its the best on the Ninsh’ hands down) so much so that we want to share with you our ‘Cocktail Of The Week’ segment, where we will share a blog post showcasing one of our favourite cocktails, and include the recipe! Each week, the featured cocktail on our blog will be on special at Manzana, and if you snap a photo of yourself drinking one in the restaurant that week with the hashtag #cocktailoftheweek and tag @manzanarestaurant on Instagram or Facebook you will go into the draw to win a round of cocktails for your table ON US. Here at Manzana, we have never met a margarita we didn’t like- so we thought it was appropriate that our first #cocktailoftheweek is our famous Manzana Margarita. While we do have many different flavours-from passionfruit to jalapeño, our personal favourite is the classic lime margarita, the perfect combination of sweet and sour! and they go almost too well with one (or five) of our soft shell tacos.

Fish tacos and Manzana margaritas are a match made in heeeavan.

Our recommendation: one (or ten) Fish Tacos and our Manzana margarita!

 So the story goes a little something like this (apparently)- Dallas socialite, named..you guessed it – Margarita Sames favourite party game was to duck behind the bar and mix up all kinds of drinks for her guests with whatever was available. During a 1948 Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico – must be nice – she threw together tequila, Cointreau and lime juice with great success. Her friends took the recipe statewide, and it spread like melted cheese sauce over nachos. While we aren’t completely convinced of this story, seeing as truth be told that Jose Cuervo tequila was running Margarita ad campaigns as early as 1945. Sorry, Marge. You sound like a good time though.


Cocktail shaker


Fresh lime juice

Tequila of your choice (we like Jose Silver)


Crushed rock Salt (for rim)

Lime wedge to make it sing!

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.40.54 pm

Juicy limes ready for many a-margarita!

Step one: Pour 1 shot of tequila, 1/2 shot of cointreau and 2 1/2 shots of lime juice into cocktail shaker .

Step Two: Add ice cubes, do a little dance, shake it around.

Step Three: Line the rim of the glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into crushed salt, we like our margaritas over ice so pour all ingredients from shaker into glass and finish with lime wedge on the side or in the glass.

Pop down to Manzana this week and enjoy a marg with us or make it at home, but remember to share a photo, hashtag #cocktailoftheweek and tag @manzanarestaurant to be in the running to win a round of cocktails, ARIBA!

Stay tuned for next weeks special- we’ve got a goodie up our sleeve!

Love the Manzana Team x



Our cumin seared tuna tostadita with jalapeño mayo and cilantro

The month of May already?! We can’t believe it either, but to help us all cope with the shock of nearly reaching the fifth month of 2015, Manzana is eager to introduce our brand new Autumn-Winter menu, beginning May 1.  Remaining true to our modern twist on authentic Mexican street food, we are keeping some usual favourites, such as tostaditas, fish tacos, and traditional corn tortilla quesadillas and introducing some entirely new and exciting traditional Mexican street food items to our menu. Our owner and head chef Joel Groenen likes to keep his menu as fresh as the local produce in our fridge and has been experimenting with some unique


Pulled pork tortas with pickled cabbage and chilli chocolate aioli.

flavour combinations and really pumping up the spice ratio for winter. The torta, traditionally translated as ‘Mexican sandwich’, is one of our newest additions that we are extremely eager to introduce. Resembling a traditional slider, a mini burger in a buttermilk brioche bun is a twist on an old-school American favourite, who couldn’t love it! With three different choices of flavours, including a vegetarian option, we are positive this could be a crowd favourite, with bets on the pulled pork with herbed slaw and chilli chocolate aioli being the star. (Yum!!) We are fully embracing delicious seasonal produce, with many new and vibrant vegetarian dishes, local Mornington peninsula sourced seafood, sticky pork ribs and wagyu beef with charcoal salt, just to name a selected few!


‘Red as ruby’ cocktail

To perfectly complement our brand new menu, Gill, our star bartender has been busy putting her magical flavour combo skills to the test and has created two brand new, vibrant cocktails. Here is a little sneak peak of the ‘Red as Ruby’. We hope you are as excited as we are and urge you to book a table and not miss out! For any enquiries or bookings, please phone Manzana on 97877775 or drop in to 114A Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza VIC 3930.



Juan and his donkey…duh.

As the story goes, the Burrito originated in a taco street stand in Mexico, by a man named Juan Mendez from Chihuahua between 1910-1921. It is suggested he tried to find a way to keep his food warm for his taco street stand. In doing so, he came up with the idea to wrap a homemade flour tortilla with a napkin.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.12.16 pm

Our selection of burritos= d-e-licious!

In Spanish, a “burro” is a donkey, and “burrito,” means “little donkey.” and It has been said that Juan used a donkey to carry around his supplies for his food cart, hence where the name came from. The dish became increasingly popular in his local town (and why wouldn’t it?!) and some parts of United States closer to the border. Everyday people would wait impatiently for the “burrito” to enjoy Juan’s specialty.

His food was a hit, and Burritos were then sold in areas of Northern Mexico using two main ingredients, such as  meat, beans, potatoes, green or red chilli & onion or cheese in the burrito wrapped in a traditional flour tortilla.

Our menu at Manzana includes three variations of traditional burritos; frijoles (beans) and queso de cabra (goats cheese), cumin spiced chicken breast with guacamole and salsa verde and Yucatan marinated beef back strap with shredded cabbage and manchego cheese- YUM!

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.11.48 pm

mmmm burrito!

If that doesn’t make you hungry, i don’t know what will!

We hope to share a burrito with you soon!

Don’t be a stranger and follow us on instagram and Facebook and for all menu and contact details go to our website

Love the Manzana team x

CELEBRATE Day of The Dead (Dia de los Muertos) At Manzana!


DOTD decorations ready. flowers, candles, sugar skulls, and most importantly tequila..

Manzana will be embracing traditional Latin America culture and celebrating the most iconic, two-day holiday ‘Dia de los Muertos’, The Day Of The Dead. Friday November 1 and Saturday November 2. The restaurant will be transformed to resemble the streets of Mexico throughout the traditional festival with many iconic symbols such as Calacas (skeletons) and Calaveras (sugar skulls), colourful flowers, candles, and lots of celebration with many-a tequila, tacos, and sombreros.

Here is some little background info to word you up on these colourful celebrations.. 


Day Of The Dead traditions in Mexico at a local graveyard.

The Day Of The Dead festival originated as an Aztec tradition in Mexico, whereby locals believed the departed join together with the living, awakening from their eternal sleep to share and enjoy life’s pleasures with their loved ones. Mexican locals rejoice the lives of the deceased by indulging in food, drinks, parties, dancing, colourful face painting and fun.

As part of this tradition, Mexican’s believe their loved ones spirits return. Those who are living place offerings at the cemetery or alter (created in an empty room in the home). Offerings such as the spirits personal belongs, favourite food, beverages, cigarette or toys for children. This gives a time for the living to share these items with them. Other items such as photos, wreaths, crosses, candles, flowers (marigolds) and pan de muerto (bread of the dead) are also used.

Makeup inspired by sugar skulls is worn by women and some men. The makeup consists of using bright colours, distinctive floral patterns and miscellaneous shapes to honour their loved ones. Want to learn how to do your own sugar skull inspired makeup? See Here.

Throughout our own Day Of The Dead festivities at Manzana, drink specials will be on offer including exclusive Day Of the Dead cocktails, traditional Mexican beers for $5, and an special Day Of The Dead $40 per person tasting menu encompassing all of Mexico’s most traditional street food and even a game of piñata!

Here is a little teaser of our celebrations last year:

Our b-e-a-utiful sugar skull inspired staff members- Lucy, Ange, Natalie and Rowan.

Our b-e-a-utiful sugar skull inspired staff members- Lucy, Ange, Natalie and Rowan.

Exclusive Day Of The Dead cocktails and skull tequila!

Exclusive Day Of The Dead cocktail the ‘Blood red raspberry margarita’.

Contact us on 97877772 to make a booking and join in on the #DOTDcelebrations

Love the Manzana team x