Manteca started out as a residency in Mayfair’s 10 Heddon Street, lasting three months.
People loved it. So they opened their own brick-and-mortar spot in Soho… which lasted for two years. And this October they’re moving further east into Shoreditch, to a venue that – according to our calculations – they’ll temporarily occupy for at least two or three decades before moving into the Thames basin.
Anyone who went to Manteca at either of its previous locations, that’s exciting news. It comes from a culinary super-duo of Smokestak founder David Carter and former Kitty Fisher’s chef, Chris Leach. The former brings his butchery & charcuterie nous to the table; while the latter left his head chef post at Sager + Wilde to travel across Italy and learn the noble art of fresh pasta. And those two skillsets complement each other very well.
Their new space is going to be in a former Pizza Express on Curtain Road, and by the looks of things, it was clearly one of the sexier Pizza Expresses. The Victorian-style industrial space will have an open kitchen slapped in the centre, which will be surrounded by the blonde-wood furnishings filling the main dining area, which in turn will be wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, all flooding the place with light. They’ve even found space for a huge, glass-panelled hanging room for all their in-house butchery & salumi. You’ll be able to pull up a barstool at their meat-slicing counter, see the chefs at work behind the fresh pasta making bench, and feel the heat from the huge wood-fired oven slapped right in the middle of everything.
They’ve revved up the menu too, keeping the classics (pickled chilli & duck sausage is on there) and throwing in a whole bundle of new dishes, including thick-cut Oxford Sandy & Black pork chops, wood-roasted sea bream, and clam flatbreads made with wildfarmed flour. And for dessert? fennel cake with pistachio ice cream, or perhaps an amaretti & delica pumpkin ice cream sandwich. Oh yes.
Then, wrapping it all up are the cocktails. They’re promising an ‘Espresso Cascara’ with coconut cold brew coffee and a 125-year old Italian herbal liqueur called Ferro China Baliva, as well as a Sicilian Old Fashioned, which blends its rye whisky with a bittersweet amaro from the Mediterranean island. Which ought to be delicious.
At least, according to our calculations.
NOTE: Manteca is due to open on Curtain Road sometime in October. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at their website right HERE.
Manteca | 49-51 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT
While you’re on Curtain Road… you can check out BiBo.