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Twenty Manning is more than just an intersection -- it is a zen greenhouse where fusion delights grow.

The restaurant, at 20th and Manning streets near Center City, while a bit hard to find, will do for both a relaxed, haute-casual evening or something busier, trendier and upscale.

My companion and I started with specialty martinis -- the Lycheini with lychee, and the O.P.eachtini, both smooth, strong and perfectly unsweet. Olive and onion garnishes were replaced by honeydew balls and candied coconut.

Twenty Manning's forte comes at the meal's start. We ordered the dim sum ($14), a sampling of their finest offerings. The platter included oyster tartare, Asian crispy shrimp, black tea smoked tuna sashimi -- and the highlights, lamb and ginger pot-stickers and duck spring rolls.

For entrees we chose the grilled New Zealand rack of lamb and the crispy magret duck breast, both perfectly cooked.

The tender lamb was marinated in mirin-soy and covered in pan jus, accompanied by Asian ratatoullie and a roasted Fuji apple.

We also sampled two other entrees, both worthy of signature dish status. A seared jumbo scallop, dusted with porcini in a truffle beurre blanc, was delectably soft and buttery. The seared cumin and cilantro crusted Ahi tuna was served in exotic mushroom foam and was flavorful yet refreshing.

Dessert was simple yet simply perfect, as we chose according to Executive Chef Kiong Banh's recommendation. We sampled the chocolate fondant, a flourless cake collapsed into a warm and gooey center, with vanilla ice cream, creme anglaise and raspberry coulis. The Vietnamese coffee souffle glace was cool, hinting to its own sweetness, but could have stood alone without the biscotti that accompanied.

Twenty Manning, with its intimate tables and bar, long communal table for group dining and new lounge area, is indeed a destination worth seeking.

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