Iberica, Great Portland Street, [London]

I’m a lover of Spanish food and have wanted to try this place for ages. As it’s not far from where I now work, decided to give it a whirl for lunch. It’s a light, bright space and gives the impression that they take their cooking seriously. As I was on m y tod decided to sit at the bar.

The smoked aubergine and roasted red peppers brought an aubergine puree that lacked a little intensity and the red peppers could have been cooked a little more to emphasise their sweetness. There was a red pepper smear underneath all this and normally I’m not one for smears but this had the required sweetness and intense flavour that was lacking in the peppers themselves. The little puffed crackers were great, very light and their crispness gave a great texture contrast. A touch under seasoned though.

I’m usually a bit wary of pork loin, given its tendency to dryness; The Ibérica burger with secreto pork loin & Piparra peppers was really well executed. Two burgers with a good crust but still moist that fell apart as you bit into them. The pickled pepper gave a welcome tang and whilst I wasn’t sure about the honey and mustard dressing at first, it worked well.

The standout dish though was confit of cod with olives & white grapes. This was a very clean and elegant dish. Three quenelles of cod under which was a green olive tapenade (though a fine one verging on a puree). A few slices of grape were refreshing and I very much liked the thin toast on the side. Everything worked in harmony and this was a clever piece of cooking.

Service was personable and efficient and the glass of Albarino I had was ok but I’ve had better for the money. I would definitely like to return for dinner to explore more of the menu.


So an unplanned return visit to Iberica. I had to pop into a place nearby to get some coffee filters that I couldn’t get elsewhere. It was a lovely sunny day so I thought it would be great for a spot of lunch. There were spaces at the bar which I always prefer if I’m eating solo.

I started with a glass of Oloroso, not bad but not great either.

First dish up was octopus with potatoes and paprika. One of my favourite Spanish dishes. The potatoes were crushed rather than sliced and it came with a creamy sauce which in itself was good but the creaminess of it didn’t really work with the octopus and paprika. The cooking of the octopus was spot on though.

Warm lentil salad with soft-cooked egg, peashoots & roasted baby carrot.
Earthy lentils, sweet roasted carrots and a perfectly cooked egg. What’s not to like.

Beetroot, pickled fennel & orange salad with crumbled goat’s cheese
& caramelised walnuts.
On paper this was a winner and had the ratios been right it would have been. Not enough fennel, I couldn’t really taste it and it’s not a flavour that’s backwards in coming forwards. Also the dressing was very tart and when you got some caramalised walnuts in made sense but there wasn’t enough of them.

Poached hake with baby gem & hollandaise sauce.
The Spanish do love hake ,as do I . Everything worked in harmony a lovely fresh delicate dish.

I couldn’t decide which of their 5 or so Albarinos to have so opted for the Albarino flight.

Finished with manchego with apples and what I assume was a quince sauce.

When I ordered the cheese I asked which of the 30 year old sherries was best to go with it. They offered a taste of both. I tried this first and informed then that I wouldn’t need to try the other. A beautifully rich sherry with deep flavours that just kept coming. Pretty good value compared with ports of the same age. I definitely need to track down a bottle.

A lovely impromptu lunch though as with most tapas (and dim sum) places I ended up ordering far more than I’d intended.


Great report. Wonderful photos!

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Ooh, I could definitely eat that egg right now.

Ocado do the Apostoles at £20 for 375ml.

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I sense Mrs Harters will be wanting to visit here. Her fave white these days.

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