After a series of successful residencies across London, Chris Leach and David Carter have opened their first permanent Manteca restaurant in Shoreditch. Founded in 2019 at a pop-up in Heddon Street followed by one on Great Marlborough Street, Manteca focuses on nose to tail cooking, hand rolled pasta and fire-cooked cuts to share.
Brummell visited Manteca on a Tuesday evening and were surprised at how buzzing the spacious and modern dining room was for a mid-week dinner, just days after opening. Despite being set over two floors, the low-lighting and muted palette give a feeling of cosy intimacy.
The menu is a mouth-watering mix of sharing plates with enough options to satisfy every foodie from the carnivorous to the vegan. But all will enjoy what we at Brummell refer to as the Best Bread Ever (BBE) –– Manteca’s moreish wild-farmed focaccia with rosemary. Not only did this bread halt our table conversation entirely, but we ordered some more to scoop up the delicious sauce on a dish we enjoyed later in the evening. BBE is a hard act to follow but we ordered a delicious house made ricotta with roasted grapes and pangratatto, a tangy bitter leaf salad with pear and gorganzola dolce and the delectable wild mushroom ragu with toasted spelt and an egg yolk on top (scooped up with the aforementioned BBE).
Meat eaters will delight in the house speciality of pig head fritti, the fazzoletti duck ragu with duck fat and pangrattato or for the more classic carnivore a shorthorn beef sirloin or saddleback pork chop ought to satisfy. Satiated and very impressed with everything on the table, we washed it down with house cocktails including the Madame Butterfly –– American cocchi, sake and orange water, and a pineapple Pisco Punch. Delicious.
Sharing plates for two including cocktails, around £120
Manteca is one of those magical restaurants where, no matter what you elect to order from the menu, you pretty much know you’re going to love it. Perfect for a vibey dinner with friends or an intimate dinner for two, it’s a great spot to book any day of the week. Don’t leave without trying the bread: Brummell recommends indeed.
Manteca, 49-51 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT; mantecarestaurant.co.uk