This summer, two of the city’s best chefs – in a city full of great chefs – combined their powers in a four-month residency named after the building it was housed in: 10 Heddon Street.
It was justly drenched in praise from critics & customers alike, and now, a mere heartbeat after they handed the space over to its new tenants (also well worth checking out) they’ve cut the ribbon on their permanent venue in Soho. Unfortunately, “58-59 Great Marlborough Street” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. So they decided to call it Manteca.
Those chefs are none other than 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 last year to travel across Italy – and he’s come back fully versed in the art of fresh pasta.
The space they’ve opened together is a medium-sized sleeve with a large postbox window into the semi-open kitchen at the back. There are dozens upon dozens of pot plants lining the walls on a single head-height shelf that snakes around the dining area. The lighting is low, the walls are dark, it’s all very romantic, sleek, and simple.
Everything they do in that kitchen has a kind of deeply rustic simplicity to it, making everything that can from scratch, cooking nose-to-tail from whole animals, and scorching cuts over an open flame. It all sounds deeply old-fashioned, and yet, that kind of cooking seems oddly innovative these days.
What it yields is a menu that sees the chefs flexing their respective muscles, with Carter turning out the likes of his house-made mortadella; fried ciccioli (pressed pork patties) with apple ketchup; and duck sausage with smoked prunes & armagnac. Leach, meanwhile, is prepping fresh pasta dishes like tonnarelli with brown crab cacio e pepe; and tiny agnolotti del plin packed with pork & hazelnuts.
The larger goods cover grilled hake with Maya gold potatoes, and lamb neck with charred cauliflower and Sicilian pomegranates; then there are simple desserts including a lavishly silky dark chocolate cremoso with mascarpone, walnuts, and buckwheat.
But whatever you order, it’ll be delicious.
NOTE: Manteca is open Monday-Saturday. Half the tables are reserved for walk-ins, and the other half are bookable right HERE.
Manteca | 58-59 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JY
Like fresh pasta? We have a whoooole lot of it here.