I’m an indecisive person when it comes to food, so I love nothing more than tucking into a tapas menu where I can try lots of dishes. Glasgow has a decent selection of tapas restaurants for every cuisine and I’ve slowly been making my way round them all. I’d heard so much about Iberica from bloggers and friends alike in England, so when they finally opened a Glasgow restaurant I was desperate to give it a try.
Located on St Vincent Street, Iberica is joining a host of city centre restaurants that are perfect for a post-work catch up or an evening of indulgence. Offering authentic Spanish cuisine in a sophisticated setting, you’d hope that the quality of the food reflected the beautiful decor – and it does. I was kindly invited along last week to be treated to an evening of wining and dining with a host of other bloggers in Iberica’s private dining room. Unsurprisingly, after 13 courses of mouthwatering tapas and a little bit too much of their delicious wine, I was ready to roll home!
We started off our evening with a selection of their vegetarian tapas, including asparagus toast with manchego, onion and truffle oil, roasted aubergine, pumpkin salad with goats cheese and a pear and blue cheese salad. I’m not an aubergine fan, however, the rest of the selection was absolutely fantastic. Asparagus isn’t something I would normally choose from a menu, but it was perfectly cooked and the combination of manchego cheese and onion cemented its high rating for me.
As we moved on to the meat dishes we started with one of my go-to tapas favourites – croquettes. Stuffed with gooey cheese and flavourful serrano ham these did not disappoint and were one of my highlights of the night. Another highlight, which came highly recommended, were the fried chorizo lollipops served with pear alioli. The crispy batter paired with the mouthwatering meat alone were beautiful enough, but that pear alioli was something else. The perfect hint of sweetness to compliment the smoky chorizo flavour!
At this point, I didn’t think it could get any better, but then the beef cheek carpaccio was served. Topped with sweet potato crisps, truffle potato puree and tartare sauce this plate was a real favourite for the whole table thanks to the perfect mix of flavours and textures. This dish is often in high demand, and I can see why! The carpaccio was followed by pork sliders, which were served in brioche buns with a pickled Piparra pepper (try saying that drunk) in little bite-sized portions. I expected to love these, but I found them to be a little bit boring in comparison to the rest of the menu. They were delicious, but just not as flavourful as some of the other options.
I’m not a huge fish fan, and draw the line at tuna, calamari or fish and chips, so I skipped the fishier dishes but after being encouraged by Fionn I braved the octopus and was pleasantly surprised. Although the little suckers really freaked me out, the smoky flavour was a real treat and is something I’d eat again… if the suckers were cut off.
We topped off the evening with some more meaty dishes, including venison meatballs and a marinated smoked pork. Alongside those we were also served a beautifully rich Oxtail sandwich which was yet another peak of the selection. The meat was incredibly tender and packed full of flavour, to the point that I’m drooling just thinking about it. That’s not all, however, because another treat arrived in the form of Pluma pork from the charcoal oven. Cooked medium rare and seasoned to perfection I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. I’d never thought to cook pork medium rare but it was absolutely mouthwatering.
Unfortunately, I had to run off before dessert was served so I missed out on the delicious sounding caramelised rice pudding and churros, but I will most definitely be back for more. I need to have that beef carpaccio again as soon as possible!