Iberica, Great Portland Street, [London]

(Chris) #1

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.

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London, lunch for one