Hand-rolled pasta is a highlight at Chris Leach and David Carter’s modern Soho trattoria.
Harden's survey result
“A fabulous range of super-tasty Italian small plates with some very memorable flavours (that pig skin ragu!!!!)” and incorporating “terrific homemade pasta” are making a smash hit of Chris Leach and David Carter’s “absolutely rammed” venture, which relocated from Heddon Street to Shoreditch in October 2021. It wins nothing but praise and many nominations as “the top food experience of the last 12 months”. “Enthusiastic” service can suffer under the weight of custom and – with its “deafening noise” – the setting does “slightly reek of (the former) PizzaExpress the site used to be” – but “given that it’s exceptional, you’ll get by… they can polish any rough edges later”.
Hand-rolled pasta has been a highlight at Chris Leach and Smokestak’s David Carter’s year-old concept – a follow-up to their hit residency at 10 Heddon Street – which, in October 2021, is set to shift from Soho to Shoreditch, re-opening in a former PizzaExpress at the address given above. As well as the trademark pasta (which you can watch being made), expect a range of small and sharing plates – featuring nose-to-tail offal dishes and meat from selected farms – cooked in the open central kitchen and wood-fired oven. The basement, glass-walled hanging room showcases their in-house butchery and the making of their in-house salumi.
For 32 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).
Have you eaten at Manteca?
Manteca Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Hits and misses - great pastas but some of the small plates don't match up - in this bustling, noisy but fun couple of rooms in Shoreditch."
"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."
"Very good Italian food, but service can be slow. "
"More cramped than the tube at rush hour, noisier than an aircraft hanger, but the food makes it all worth it. Blinding. "
"Buzzy noisy restaurant with friendly service. Fabulous food . Shout out for the duck fazzoletti - home made pasta with a sauce perfectly balanced -flavoursome but not too rich with the occasional crunch of pangrattato. "
"Please correct the Manteca review below; I got the scores the wrong way around! They should be as above"
"Going to a hot restaurant is always a risk, everyone else is raving about it so you're always worried if you dislike it is something wrong with you? Manteca is a case in point, many glittering writeups have left it with a huge waiting list so was it worth it? I'd say partly. In the "good" column the endlessly Instagrammed pigs head croquette is absolutely as delicious as it looks despite the random melange of herbs adorning the top of it. Beers are served in frosted glasses and, for the husband of a pregnant wife, there are a great selection of wines by the carafe. The pasta is also excellent, thick and al dente and served with generous helpings of, in our case, brown crab and duck ragu. It is churlish to complain but service was slow even for a packed Friday night and a number of dishes, namely the pigs head rage and infamous snout were nowhere to be seen. Ultimately Manteca is well deserving of its booming rise and will clearly continue to do roaring business in its achingly trendy spot off the Shoreditch High Road."
|Wine per bottle||£28.00|
49-51 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT
|Monday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑3:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑10:45pm|