Manteca to reopen next week

On Thursday 23 July, Manteca in London's Soho will reopen its doors and welcome guests back to the restaurant following a period of closure as a result of the pandemic.

Inspired by the regional cooking styles chef and co-founder Chris Leach encountered on his travels through Rome and Napoli, Manteca aims to capture the simplicity and conviviality of Italian dining culture, whilst also taking cues from the up-tempo metropolitan food scenes experienced in L.A. and New York.

Open from Thursday to Saturday, the menu revolves around nose-to-tail cooking, hand-rolled pastas, and fire-cooked cuts to share, and for the very first time Chris and his team will be taking cues from the local corner bars and delis in Rome as they serve Italian style focaccia sandwiches to take away.

Available only for lunch, these will be stuffed with a choice of fillings including ox tongue and salsa verde; ciccioli, apple ketchup, fennel mayo and pasta scraps; or slices of hot porchetta.

For those dining in, guests can begin with plate of homemade mortadella, coppa and salami. Buying whole animals from small independent farms in the UK, Chris makes sure that everything from the skin to the fat of the animal is used for his home-made cured meats, before hanging and ageing them.

Next, there are small plates such as pig head fritti with apple ketchup and crispy skin; chicken liver parfait, dates, grilled bread; Tallegio toast, leek ash sourdough, confit leeks; pink fir potatoes with smoked cods roe and nduja steamed mussels with cream and parsley.

This will be followed by daily hand-rolled pasta which include tonnarelli, brown crab cacio e pepe; pappardelle, ox cheek ragu; agnolotti del plin, pork, hazelnuts and Chris’ signature dish from the 10 Heddon Street residency - sweetcorn ravioli, girolles and nasturtium.

Larger dishes include pea & summer vegetable ragu and pork chop with hispi cabbage. To end on a sweet note, there are simple desserts including dark chocolate cremoso, mascarpone and hazelnut or a warm date cake with salted caramel and ginger gelato. Guests can also choose from a choice of one, two or three scoops of gelato or sorbet: there’s white miso, hazelnut, olive oil gelato, and Amalfi lemon or mango sorbet.

Leach said, “After a challenging and uncertain few months, we’re looking forward to opening the doors and welcoming guests, old and new, back to Manteca. We’re very fortunate to have a big space to allow for social distancing and have re-formatted the restaurant and restructured the business to open safely, sustainably and allow our guests to feel comfortable.

'The menu will be a continuation of what we’ve always done but with the addition of our take on an Italian sub, inspired by some amazing local little places in Rome and Bologna, to give guests the option to grab and go.”

Downstairs at Manteca, guests will be able to dine with their social bubble, available for private hire with a bespoke menu Thursday to Saturday, with space for up to 20 people (minimum bookings of 6).

Manteca will respect all social distancing and government health and safety guidelines to protect visitors and staff.