As a team we've actually been to Iberica quite a lot over the last few months for various tastings, events, dinners and general evenings out so you'd think maybe we'd pass on the opportunity to taste a chef's selection of the autumn/winter menu. You'd be wrong.
For about 2 hours my dinner date and I were treated to a selection of dishes starting of course with a journey through three Iberico hams whilst enjoying toasted breads with tomato, a half tapa of air cured beef and of course Lomito de Bellota (cured Iberian acorn-fed presa.) The stand out for me had to be the Trio of Ibericos, if you have any dish on your first visit to Iberica, make sure it's that. 3 grades of beautifully cured Iberico of varied ages.
Our tapas dishes on paper I must admit seemed a little less exciting, green asparagus toast, ham croquetes and fried squid were first out. What became instantly apparent when biting into a toasty warm ham croquette was this - the seemingly "usual tapas staple" dishes can in no way considered "the usual" at Iberica. We have become increasingly used to Spanish tapas over the years and in Manchester there's alot of good options going around, however tapas staples are just that for a reason, so don't be shy ordering them because you'll be hard pressed to find better.
Octopus a la Gallega, Secreto (the best of Iberico pork, named such as the butchers would keep these bits for themselves, secret) and Oxtail Sandwich followed close by. These are not tapas staples. Brilliant flavours in the meats, the Oxtail Sandwich is simply something else and another absolute must.
For dessert we had Spanish Caramelised Rice Pudding which we really enjoyed and the Gloria Cheescake, which I must admit completely threw me, it tasted great and I won't give away Iberica's unique take on this, you'll have to see for yourself.
Iberica is always bustling on the weekend and rightly so, we went mid week when it was a little quieter, for me that's the best time to enjoy Iberica, take your time, take in the dishes, drink the wine and completely forget it's a Wednesday evening.