Manteca Shoreditch

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Manteca Shoreditch

Silver Award

Unapologetically rich and robustly flavoured, Manteca’s food will leave you feeling relaxed and comforted in a way that only a really hearty meal can.

Nose-to-tail dining here doesn’t skirt around the issue but instead confronts diners with dishes like ‘pig skin ragu’. A bubbly wafer of puffed skin crowns an intoxicatingly silky-smooth sauce below, peppered with little pricks or pork fat and flavoured with Parmesan and aromatic herbs. It doesn’t feel quite fair to enjoy another animal’s skin this much, but we comfort ourselves with the fact that nothing of their life was wasted.

Owner chef Chris Leach is on the pass on our visit and the whole restaurant seems to exude the feeling of a passion project. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxing, and the service is sweet and sincere. Everyone seems invested in giving guests a good time, which from the buzz in the dining room seems a successful venture.

This generosity translates to a menu full of crowd-pleasers like thick-cut fresh focaccia generously drizzled with olive oil, plates of fragrant house-cured salumi and sharing dishes of pasta. The duck ragu is glossy with – presumably – more fat, tossed through with soft shredded meat and topped with the best kind of topping: pangrattato. A simple lemon, butter and pine nut pasta dish adds some much needed lightness while a kale salad is dressed up with enough garlic and cheese to make it feel less than virtuous (ideal). Every billing is interesting and creative without losing the authenticity of signature Italian flavours. 

Regrets from our meal include not being able to try one of everything and our own dining room not possessing the same kind of laidback yet obscenely curated feel that has been cultivated through pink marble tabletops and the buttery leather chairs. The obvious solution we’ve come to accept is that Manteca isn’t a restaurant to be reserved for rainy days, and instead we've added it to our list of firm favourites to enjoy as often as possible and would urge you to do the same.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Fun, Lively
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates
Food Hygiene Rating


Having already successfully run a residency in Soho and a previous pop up, chefs Chris Leach (who previously worked at Petersham Nurseries) and David Carter (owner of SMOKESTAK) have brought their winning pasta combinations to the streets of Shoreditch for their first permanent restaurant.

The space is – appropriately for the area – a revamped industrial style building which in its former life was a workshop and factory. Box 9 architects have worked their magic on the interiors and created various seating arrangements via banquettes and bar stools. The central open kitchen is the focal point of the room where you can watch Chris and his team create hand rolled pasta and fire-cooked cuts. Elsewhere there’s a small terrace for al fresco dining and a subterranean hanging room which displays the house-made salumis.

Serving both lunch and dinner, the menu at Manteca begins with snacks like focaccia and sourdough with whipped brown butter or a plate of freshly sliced cold meats like the coppa or a fennel pollen salame. Starters run from Soho favourites such as the pig head fritti through to new plates like a clam flatbread.

Pasta plates include cult-favourite cacio e pepe and Shoreditch specials like fazzoletti, duck ragu and seaweed tagliatelle. Other larger plates come from the oven and are designed to be shared family-style. Think a thick-cut Oxford Sandy and Black pork chop or a whole roasted sea bream.

With a passion for nose to tail cooking, there’s a glass panelled room where the in-house butchery is hung. Careful sourcing ensures a constant supply of the best British ingredients including Credy Carver ducks from Devon, and lamb from Kiloran Buckler’s family farm in the Llanthony Valley, south-east Wales.

Completing things is a concise sweet menu and a carefully curated cocktail list as well as a wine-list that focuses on bottles from Italy, Europe and North America.


Who owns the restaurant?

Chefs Chris Leach and David Carter run it together.

Helpful? 0

What is the menu like?

It's famous for its homemade pasta and wood-fired meats and has a menu of small plates and family-style sharing mains.

Helpful? 0


49-51 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3PT

020 7139 5172 020 7139 5172


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun 12:00-15:00
Mon 17:30-22:30
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun 17:30-22:30


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1 Review 

Lloyd S

21 February 2023  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Amazing Italian Restaurant

I’ve been hearing good things about Manteca for quite a while now so it was about time we decided to pay a visit ourselves. Well I can honestly say that all the great things I’d heard were true. This was a fabulous dining experience where we enjoyed amazing Italian food , fabulous wine and the friendliest of service. I really can’t wait to return.


So now let’s move to the day itself. The restaurant is on curtain road and just a short five minute walk from Liverpool Street station. The place used to be prezzo until it was taken over to become Manteca. We arrived a little early which didn’t turn out to be a problem and we were escorted to our table in our choice of the dining room right in front of the open kitchen. You can also book to sit at the counter or downstairs.


Once seated we looked around and quite a lot of the tables are close together and when we went downstairs there are obviously no windows and was very busy so I don’t think I would like to sit there unless there was a group of you perhaps. So my recommendation would be to book the dining room.


We then got to meet our waitress for the day Candela who I really can’t praise enough as she did an excellent job in looking after us. This started by her coming to say hello and asking if we’d been before. We said this was our first time so she firstly said welcome before bringing us the menu and explaining how it all works as well as giving us her recommendations. The menu is italian small plates designed for sharing of snacks , starters , pasta , mains , sides and a separate dessert menu. This gives you the opportunity to choose as many dishes as you like and where you can make your experience as short or as long as you wish.


We decided to start with some Wildfarmed Focaccia with rosemary which was brought to our table along with a fabulous orange wine. The Brisat 2021 from the Entre Vinyes in Spain was a skin contact , natural wine that was light and fruity and complimented every dish perfectly.


We now moved on to the starters. Here we ordered the Bitter Leaf Salad with pear , gorgonzola dolce and pecorino romano , Cornish Squid with green pepper salsa , Venison Buttata with an egg yolk dressing , cicoria and pangretatto along with the  Nduja Steamed Mussels. Everything was cooked to perfection and the flavours in each dish were amazing.


Next to arrive were two absolutely delicious Pasta dishes. One was the Strozzapreti a brown crab cacio e pepe. The other was the Campanelle a beef ragu , lettuce and remoulade.


Now it was time for the Main course and wow. The slow cooked Pork Blade with roasted blush onions and three cornered leek was simply stunning. We accompanied this with the Escarole , shallots and chilli (sorry no pic) that really enhanced the flavours of the pork.


Dessert Time and we wasn’t to be disappointed here either. The Pistachio and Fennel Cake with pistachio ice cream was a dream and the Chocolate Cake with whey caramel was absolute heaven. Then to top it all of I had an Espresso con Zabaglione that left me in paradise.


This brought to an end an absolutely fantastic dining experience and one I’ll be looking forward to repeating again soon. The food is amazing , the wine was heaven and the service from our waitress Candela and the team was excellent. I really can’t recommend a visit to Manteca highly enough. I would advise to book the dining room as it gives you views of the kitchen , the bar and the bread / pasta making and dessert station.

Book a table

Call Manteca Shoreditch to make a booking on:

020 7139 5172 020 7139 5172

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