On Friday 22 November, Chris Leach, formerly of Kitty Fisher’s and Sager + Wilde, is to continue the success of the 10 Heddon Street residency with the opening of Manteca at Great Marlborough Street, alongside David Carter of Smokestak.
Located in Soho, Manteca’s menu will revolve around nose-to-tail cooking, hand-rolled pastas, and fire-cooked cuts to share.
Inspired by the regional cooking styles he encountered on his travels through Rome and Napoli, at Manteca, Leach (pictured) aims to capture the simplicity and conviviality of Italian dining culture, whilst also taking cues from the up-tempo metropolitan food scenes he experienced in L.A. and New York.
To a playlist of afrobeat, hiphop and soul, guests can begin with fried Parmigiano rinds or a plate of homemade mortadella. Buying whole animals from small independent farms in the UK, Leach makes sure that everything from the skin to the fat of the animal is used for his home-made cured meats, before hanging and aging them.
Next, there are small plates such as duck sausage, prunes, Armagnac; white brean crostino, salmoriglio, Calabrian chilli; or pig head fritti, pilacca (a fried chili pepper sauce). Daily hand-rolled egg pastas might include tonnarelli, brown crab cacio e pepe; or agnolotti dal plin, pork, hazelnuts, a labour-intensive pasta based on a Piedmontese recipe.
Larger dishes from the wood-fired grill such as grilled lamb neck, charred cauliflower, Sicilian pomegranate, flatbread; and pork chop, apple rosemary mostarda, mustard greens are designed to be shared, accompanied by sides such as wood oven potatoes al forno, lamb fat, garlic, rosemary.
To finish, there are simple desserts including burnt orange, whipped custard; and fried caramelle, apple, cinnamon.
Manteca’s wine list, a selection from independent wine suppliers, will be curated by Emily Acha Derrington and features bottles from Italy, Europe and North America. The cocktail list will focus on amaro, the Italian herbal liqueurs much loved by Leach.
Leach said, “David and I were really happy with the response to our 10 Heddon Street residency, and I’m looking forward to bringing that same spirit to Soho.
'Manteca is really an accumulation of what I’ve learnt in various kitchens over the years, from the live fire cooking of Pitt Cue Co to the seasonality of Petersham Nurseries. It’s all about a love of sharing really good food with friends.”