Ibérica is one of our favourite restaurants in Glasgow, we visited 5 times last year and with the launch of a brand new menu for Spring we made sure to make our first visit of 2018.
As well as the food being great, they stock a great selection of non-mainstream Spanish beer, wine and even cider. With this meal we had a bottle of red.
Seis + Seis (£38 per bottle), Spanish for Six + Six. This is a Tempranillo and Syrah blend, aged for 9 months from the Sierra de Malaga DO (Denominacion de Origen) wine region. It had a vanilla aroma with savoury notes, a good body which was a little sour, towards the bottom of the bottle it got quite dry and tannic but there was no sediment. The main flavours for me were blackberry and black cherry so it was quite drinkable.
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Toasted bread with tomato (£3.50) AKA pan con tomate, the classic Spanish tapa, and Juan Pedro Domecq jamon (£11). This is the good, or rather great, stuff! 42-month cured Iberico ham. This is the most premium of the three jamon tapas available, you can also buy a mixed plate with all three but if you love jamon it’s worth paying extra for this one!
Food arrives when ready and above we have, running clockwise from top left: Vermouth mussels (£6.50); Cod brandada (£5.50); Beef tomato & salmorejo (£5.50); and Crispy chicken (£7.50).
The beef tomato with salmorejo (£5.50) was one of our favourites, If you don’t know what salmorejo is it’s basically gazpacho’s big brother, a thicker more garlicky version of the cold soup which was served ‘ice cold’ here so ideal for the hot weather and very very garlicky which went very well when mixed with the next course.
The Warm lentil salad (£6) with pea shoots, roasted baby carrots and a soft cooked egg looked pretty like something straight from a cookbook. Perfectly-cooked egg and lovely carrots, this was a salad with a difference. Lots of vinegar so quite acidic though.
The Cod brandada (£5.50) is a salt cod dish which is more like a soft pâté or mousse than regular bacallao salt cod. This was very garlicky and a mix of texture was provided by the crunchy vegetable crisps on top.
The Crispy chicken (£7.50) was a confit chicken thigh with artichokes, romesco sauce and hazelnuts providing a bit of crunch this time. I love confit chicken and this was cooked pretty well but lacked the full flavour that confit chicken should have at its best.
Vermouth mussels (£6.50), mussels in a white vermouth sauce with leek & onion and toast for soaking up the juices. This was very flavoursome, the sauce was strong on tarragon!
From the grill menu, Lamb chops (£12.50) with mojo verde sauce and papas arrugadas, Canarian-style wrinkly potatoes which were ridiculously salty, which seems authentic as we’d had these before in Tenerife – they are traditionally cooked in seawater hence the extreme saltiness!
The tannic seis+seis wine matched this dish the best.
Dessert and after dinner drinks
With the dessert menu there are a number of suggested after dinner drinks and we decided to finish our meal with one of these drinks each.
Coffee flan with vanilla ice cream (£4.50), a coffee-flavoured Creme Catalan. A very enjoyable version of the classic sweet custard dessert which we had paired with Gran Duque de Alba brandy (£12), this came in a covered brandy glass sitting atop a glass of warm water to help release the flavours. A nice gimmicky presentation but to be honest we’d much rather have a good sweet sherry with dessert, and so…
The last dish of the day, Torrija, brioche with apricot coulis served with vanilla ice cream (£5.50). This is bread & butter pudding meets creme brûlée. Very sweet and very moreish, served with a glass of Pedro Ximénez Noé (£12) which is a wonderful thick syrupy sherry with dried fruit and Christmas spice flavours.
A wonderful meal again, with just a few minor criticisms – we weren’t sold on the £12 brandy and the confit chicken didn’t quite have that full-on flavour that I was looking for but aside from that everything was great.
I was very happy to see salmorejo on the menu as most Spanish restaurants don’t seem to sell it, I’ve even enquired at some tapas restaurants who had never even heard of it! It is a regional dish though, found in Cordoba and Seville, and that’s what I love about Ibérica, it’s not just a case of serving up safe, generic versions of albondigas or gambas pil pil, it’s more a case of here’s a dish cooked the Valencian way, here’s another dish cooked the Galician way etc. Their jamon is also amazing and I loved the extreme saltiness of the Canarian potatoes.
I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before I’m back here for dinner again!
Also, our server was friendly, helpful and polite. Ibérica is still our favourite chain in Glasgow and has the best toilets in the city too! The whole restaurant looks beautiful actually.
If you’re unsure about the portions sizes, small plates can be deceiving but it does fill you up, 3 tapas plus 1 dessert is just about right for anyone! We had the extra appetizer and left feeling VERY FULL!
Music: mixed downtempo electronic pop including a George Michael remix, a Grace Jones remix and electronica with Spanish guitar!
+ Great new menu additions
+ Lots of strong flavours
+ Authentic Spanish flavours
+ Still the best chain in Glasgow
+ Still the best toilets in Glasgow!
+ Lovely interior
+ Good staff
– Confit chicken was a bit underwhelming
– Didn’t feel that the Gran Duque de Alba brandy was worth the money
Monday – Wednesday: 11.30am to 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 11.30am to 11pm
Sunday: 1pm to 9pm
T: 0141 530 7985
Disclaimer: Fred sez we received a complimentary meal but had to pay for our after dinner drinks.
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