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Manteca, London: ‘Genuine verve and originality’ – restaurant review

Huge flavours and exciting ideas mean this Italian punches above its weightManteca, 49-51 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3PT (020 7033 6642). Snacks and small plates £3-£10; large plates £13-£36; desserts £5-£8; wines from £28An email arrives from Australia. Greg declares himself a fan of this column. He also happens to be a newspaper subeditor and he’s noticed something. It’s the repeated use of a certain word. That word is “punchy”. By repeated I don’t mean just one or two uses. He has found 11 examples from the past six months. I have referenced punchy sauces and punchy Thai green curries, punchy loveliness and both a punchy affair and a punchy mess. Oh, the shame. I am clearly punch drunk. I could excuse myself. There are only so many words in the world. But that’s no excuse at all. So thank you, Greg. Today I’m officially announcing the retirement of punchy. It’s going straight from this page to a home for knackered adjectives, where it will share a room with “mouth-watering” and “sumptuous”. I wish it a happy retirement. Continue reading…