I love tapas – at least, I thought I knew what tapas was. That was until I visited Iberica, in Spinningfields, where what I knew of tapas was flipped on its head.
My guest and I took a seat on the outside terrace, seeing as the sun was shining and it was too glorious not to sit outside, and browsed the drinks menu first.
The most important part, right? Being a Spanish bar, naturally, the wine was excellent, and we started off the meal with a glass of Cava each.
We also nibbled on fresh green olives and some cured serrano ham, which had a lovely chewiness to it.
When choosing the food, that was simple – there were so many options that stood out to me straight away.
For the first part, you choose two tapas – seeing as there was two of us, we ordered four different ones so we could mix between us.
The asparagus toast, topped with melted Manchego cheese, onion confit and truffle oil. It was delicious, and the Manchego and truffle oil complemented each other wonderfully – sometimes truffle oil can be too overpowering in dishes.
Secondly, we shared the beef tomato and salmorejo, with garlic breadcrumbs and beetroot granita, with a hidden surprise of capers. The sauce was light and fresh, and the dish was so easy to eat (I definitely wanted another one straight away!)
We also shared a warm lentil salad, which came out with a soft cooked egg which we were instructed to break and mix into the lentils, pea shoots and roasted baby carrots. I was suspicious about this one if I’m honest, but the mix of the salad, lentils and the poach egg mixed together was splendid. The egg acted as the salad dressing, and the flavours complemented the lentils and roasted carrots amazingly.
Finally, the last tapas we chose was the salted cod brandada served with vegetable crisps. The cod was almost like pate, and the melted in the mouth with the crisps. The mint sauce was crisp and very fresh.
After your tapas, you chose one tapa from the menu (I never thought that it was singular for tapas) from the choice of three options.
I chose the twice cooked lamb, with marinated cherry tomatoes & red peppers from León. The texture of the lamb was divine, and broke away easily, similar to pulled pork.
My guest chose the poached hake, with hollandaise sauce & baby gem lettuce. Both the sauce and fish were full of flavour.
Finally, we were served a sweet apple liqueur in a shot glass with an ice cube and slice of apple, which was very refreshing and sharp.
I have to mention how lovely and attentive the staff were – they made our evening even more special.
The menu is available every day from 5 pm to 6.30pm and works out at £18 per person (not including drinks).
If you are looking for a new place to try for a pre-theatre dining option, or going out for some delicious food, then Ibérica is for you!
I will definitely be returning with more of my friends to try more of their tapas dishes (and for another Sangria!)