Back in February, Ibérica’s opening became one of the splashiest events of the season. Seven months later, the restaurant is going strong thanks to a team that prides themselves in delivering an unforgettable experience to their clients.
Seven months ago I can safely, without a shadow of a doubt, that I wasn’t a seafood person. That’s all changed now and when we went to Ibérica last week to try their new late-night menu, we were treated to so much more – and most of it was delicious, savoury, tangy, fresh seafood. Ibérica has set the seafood bar high for me and I couldn’t be happier to tell you that if you haven’t stopped by the Spanish restaurant yet, you definitely should make it a priority.
We may have been there to sample the two-course menu that they will be serving late into the night (the late-menu is now available) but they had us also dig into the menu they will be featuring during the second edition of the Golden Square Mile Restaurant Week which will run from September 17th to the 23rd.
Let’s get into the goods. Instead of ordering different dishes on our own, we put our trust in the hands of the restaurant’s manager who was delighted to showcase some of Ibérica’s best dishes.
They started us off with a flounder ceviche and a lobster tartare. The ceviche had nice vinegar tanginess to it that was heightened by little dots of a spicy sauce. The lobster tartare had a muted savoury flavour and was accompanied by it’s own spicy sauce, a crisp vegetable salad and caviar.
Up next we were served grilled octopus, scallops and cod fritters. The grilled octopus was perfectly cooked and had an excellent texture. It was served with a piquillo purée, lemon and olive oil. The scallops had been seared just right and fell apart at the touch of a fork. They were served with a romesco sauce and tarragon oil. The cod fritters, which were made with fresh cod, were piping hot and topped with a delightful saffron aioli. If you’re looking for a 5a7 type menu I would highly recommend choosing any of these dishes to enjoy with a cold glass of white wine.
We couldn’t have gone to a Spanish restaurant and not have had paella. We had a lovely discussion with the manager about paella and about the different ways there are to prepare it. Traditionalists will want theirs a little dry with crispy rice around the edges and plenty of seafood mixed into the saffron rice. Others will want their paella a little soupy. At Ibérica, their paella isn’t dry (I prefer it this way) at all but it is topped with plenty of flavour. Clams, mussels, shrimp and fish fill out an excellent take on the traditional dish.
In ending the main courses, we were served a juicy, grilled Cornish hen that had crispy grilled skin that tasted of fresh lemon and garlic. The dish was not complicated but it was expertly executed.
At the end of the meal, we barely had room for dessert – until the dessert arrived at the table. Hot churros with dulce de leche, dark chocolate ganache and little chocolate filled beignes were all served and we finished the dish like pros.
You’ll find this food in both the late night menu and during the Golden Square Mile Restaurant Week. The menus or items on the menu can change depending on availability (because their seafood arrives fresh daily) but that’s part of the fun.
Image credit: David Major-Lapierre