Iberica is one of our happy places. We first went to the Marylebone one before Manchester opened, and were then quick to suss out our new neighbour. After declaring it wonderful, we've been regular patrons ever since. My tapas partner in crime Lee accompanied me, and loved it so much, that she was rather keen to do the review. So here's what she thought.
I really don't have the words to describe how much I love going to Iberica, from my first visit in London to my excitement when the Manchester site was announced, I have been obsessed with this fantastic place! So needless to say when Rach asked if I fancied accompanying her to try the Spring menu, I nearly bit her lovely little hand off.
After a long day at a conference in Harrogate, and a slightly fraught journey back, I felt myself relax straight away when I arrived and was handed a glass of cava. We were seated in the beautiful bar area and served a warming sherry as the food started to arrive.
First up was a trio of hams, varying in region of origin each of these hams had a very distinctive taste, and each was delicious. We also tried beautifully rich Presa, alongside roasted tomato bread which added a tasty burst of freshness.
Trio of hamsCured Iberian acorn-fed 'Presa' (Lomito de Bellota)
Toasted bread with tomato
This was followed by my three favourite tapas dishes of the night, asparagus toast with manchego and truffle oil, cauliflower tempura and serrano ham croquettes. The asparagus toast and croquettes are already firm favourites of mine, in fact I may have had dreams about the croquettes! The cauliflower was incredibly tasty with a zingy pickled cauliflower slice on top.
Red berries gazpacho from MercatBar by Quique Dacosta
Asparagus toast - green asparagus with manchego, onion confit and truffle oil on toast
Cauliflower tempura - deep fried fresh cauliflower heads in sauce
Iberica's croquettes - signature serrano ham croquettes
Next was time for fish, we tried hake with hollandaise and lettuce water, fideua with garlic and prawns, octopus gallega, and sea trout with almond purée. Each of these dishes were delicious and perfectly cooked, and despite being a little afraid of octopus I am told this is one of the best. Special mention must be made of the lettuce water served with the hake; Cesar advised that this is basically salad blended into a sauce. I could go for a mug of this!
Fresh hake with hollandaise sauce and lettuce waterFideua with garlic and prawns - a classic Spanish seafood dish originating from Valencia
The Iberica octopus a la galega - Galician style octopus with potatoes and pimento de la Vera (paprika)Sea trout with almond puree, pickled cauliflower and smoked olive oil
Gloria Cachopo - fried beef and Iberico pork patty filled with Asturian cheeses and mushrooms
Caramelised Spanish rice pudding
Gloria cheesecake - served with parmesan and dried strawberries
Churros with chocolate
A massive thank you to Iberica and Cesar for having us, Lee for writing such a lovely review, and our dining partners:
Charlie from Gin Fuelled Blue Stocking
Sarah from North West Nosh
Glen from MDOG
Stephen and Carl from The Gourmet Gays
Liz from Things to do in Manchester
Give their blogs a visit and follow them on Instagram for more food fuelled adventures.