This Italian-inspired restaurant with a British accent is found on Great Marlborough Street and is a joint effort between David Carter from Smokestak in Shoreditch and Chris Leach from Petersham Nurseries.
The restaurant started out life as a pop up called 10 Heddon Street but the team have now found a permanent home and renamed the concept Manteca. The restaurant’s main focus is handmade pasta, but it also champions grilled meats which are cooked over fire.
Manteca’s dining room is set to a playlist of afro beat, hip hop and soul music, with the menu being split between small plates, pastas and larger dishes. The team source animals from British producers such as Gothelney Farm, using them to produce the likes of pancetta, chops and lardo.
Manteca is also passionate about nose-to-tail cuisine, which limits waste in restaurant kitchens; here, animal fat and skin are used in ragus, while bones help to make broths and stock which are used in dishes from the à la carte.
To kick start your meal, you can tuck into the likes of pig head fritti or duck sausage with prunes and Armagnac. Next up, move on to the selection of egg pastas which are hand-rolled daily and feature the likes of brown crab cacio e pepe, or agnolotti dal plin with pork and hazelnuts.
More substantial dishes on the menu come from the wood-fired grill; think grilled lamb neck with charred cauliflower and Sicilian pomegranate served on flatbread, or perhaps pork chop with apple rosemary mostarda. There are sides too including oven potatoes, while to finish you can enjoy pared-back desserts such as burnt orange with whipped custard, and fried caramelle with apple and cinnamon.
The restaurant boasts an informal atmosphere, and as is typical of London’s dining scene today, encourages diners to share their food.