New menu launches at Iberica Spanish restaurants
Mr Foodie was invited along to meet Iberica’s Executive Chef, Nacho Manzano and taste some of the brilliant dishes he will be adding to Iberica’s menus this spring. Drawing inspiration from northern Spain and his two Michelin-starred restaurant, Casa Marcial, Nacho’s new creations include recipes which feature salt-baked seabass, artichoke tea, Japanese seaweed and squid ink sauce.
Starting with jamon. The ham in Iberica has never disappointed us so far, and once again this way melt-in-the-month tastiness. It really isn't a visit to Iberica for us if there is no jamon involved.
Next were two tapas dishes from the new menu, both bursting with sweet sunshine flavours. A tomato salad with fresh tomato, dried tomato, caper berries, avocado, seaweed, tomato water and basil oil emulsion.
Plus a colourful and seasonal vegetable dish consisting of a selection of pickled root vegetables. Both of these dishes were served with Tio Pepe En Rama.
There may also have been some Spanish gin drunk between courses!
More vegetables to come with a griddled aubergine steak, glazed with an 11-vegetable stock, which has been cooked for eight hours. It’s served on a bed of ceps and garnished with walnuts and rocket cress. Aubergine dishes are something we don't really see enough of on menus in the UK so all the better to sample one with so much flavour.
Going off-menu we were treated to some tempura spring onions and roasted leeks dressed with a leek oil made from green leaves, horseradish and almond emulsion with crunchy toasted almonds. The two dishes were served with Maria Del Mar Gran Reserva Cava.
Sautéed enoki mushrooms with a cuttlefish and squid ink sauce followed and looked dramatic and quite different to what had come before. This is actually one of Nacho's signature dishes at Casa Marcial.
And then beef meatballs like you have never tried before, served on a cheese sauce and topped with padron peppers.
The final savoury dish of the night was the most eye-catching - a whole Cabra redfish from the Cantabrian sea fried in crispy batter – head, tail, fins and all! This is another signature dish of Nacho's, this time from the more casual Gloria restaurant and tapas bars in Gijón and Oviedo. Intended to be shared and eaten with your hands, this unique dish is unlike any fish dish we've come across so seek it out but be aware that it's £28 (or £14 when shared between 2) but it is a full fish you are getting. This was paired with a choice of either Chivite Coleccion reserva red, or La Val white.
There's always room for pudding and Nacho doesn't disappoint with Textures of Chocolate. Rich chocolate ganache, sponge, ice cream, meringue and crumble served with peanut cream and apricot sauce. Paired with sweet sherry Matusalem from Gonzalez-Byass.
Like previous visits to Iberica, the food was excellent with the always reliable jamon, plenty of spring vegetables, an incredible deep-fried fish dish and plenty of great Spanish wine and gin.
Disclaimer: Mr Foodie received a complimentary meal but Fred vouches that his dad is truthful all the time, except when he buys new books and pretends to mum that he has always had that book.