Manchester is blessed with a number of fantastic restaurants, some honored with a Michelin Starred executive chef, one such restaurant is Iberica in Manchester.
I have to be honest that it’s been a short while since I last dined at the restaurant, purely due to time constraints and the ever growing number of places to check out. One way of keeping any restaurant fresh and current, is a regular change of menus. Its for this reason that I was delighted to be invited to go and check Iberica’s such change.
The latest menu change has been a significant one, with Nacho Manzano using their 10th anniversary to try something new.
On arrival at the restaurant on a cold (But dry) Monday evening, we were welcomed with a smile and shown to the upstairs seating area. There were only a few tables being occupied upstairs, however the downstairs area seemed quite busy for a Monday evening.
Shown to our booth, we were handed the menu. I asked about some of the new dishes and it was explained how Nacho had tried to come up with some new dishes, plus some that feature at his other restaurants, including Restaurant Gloria in Asturias.
We started off with a deli platter of Jamon – well you can’t have Tapas without it right? With a few to choose from, the best option was the Trio de jamones (£18). A selection of 3 different jamones consisting of a Serrano ham, then a 26 month cured BEHER Bernardo Hernández, finally the ‘piece de la resistance’ – the Juan Pedro Domecq – four times awarded 3 gold stars as best Ibérico ham, cured for 42 months and melt in the mouth. All of them are fantastic, but the Juan Pedro Domecq is out of this world.
For the Tapas, we choose the suggested 3 dishes per person, eager to try a few of the new ones and our table was soon filled with 4 of them, along with the can’t miss option of Patatas Bravas (£6).
It still astounds me that this tasty potato dish can sometimes be gotten so wrong. I am happy to say that this was not one of those occasions, with soft, yet slightly crispy potato pieces sitting on a bed of Alioli and topped with the signature Bravas Sauce.
Next up came the Bollín de chorizo (£6) these are a small bread bun filled with chorizo,
and then finished with Ibérico pork lardo. It’s said to be a classic Asturian snack and I can see why. These really would be a great nibble while enjoying a beer sat at a bar.
Another must do is of course croquettas, a dish that I have become more knowledgeable about after partaking in a Croqueta Masterclass earlier this year.
We ordered a couple of different ones from the menu, which allowed us to compare them.
First their classic Croqueta (£6.50 for six) they are made with serrano ham and handmade to Nacho’s Grandmother’s recipe. These were the soft and tasty Croquetas that everyone loves. Full of serrano ham flavour and a good consistency.
Then a new dish of Hare Croqueta (£8 for four), these are made with wild British hare. Combined with the béchamel is chocolate, sherry and a touch of cinnamon then finally being topped of with a caper alioli. These were one of the tastiest Croquetas I have ever tried and got a double thumbs up.
Usually we would have a spanish tortilla when eating Tapas, however on this occasion we decided to try another new dish on the menu, Lazy Omelette with Cod (£14).
This is an open omelette made with Cackleberry Farm eggs, confit cod, pil pil sauce & Basque piparra peppers. Soft and creamy, this dish was again melt in the mouth and bursting with flavour.
Another of the new dishes was the Crispy Cabrarroca (£28) – a whole Cabra redfish from the Cantabrian Sea, fried in a crispy batter and served to share. This is a signature dish
from Nacho’s Gloria restaurant that you get to eat with your hands and really get stuck in.
As it was brought to the table, it certainly caught the attention of other diners. As well as looking fantastic on the table, this dish is superb tasting. A juicy and tasty flesh is complimented by a crispy batter without a single ounce of greasiness.
After the platter and 6 tapas to share, we were starting to fill, however for the purpose of reviewing we pushed ourselves to try a dessert.
India chose the dish that I had been eyeing up – Texture of Chocolate.
The combinations of chocolate ganache, sponge, ice cream, meringue & crumble served with peanut cream & apricot sauce looks gorgeous on the plate and tasted equally as good.
In order to try something different, I opted for the Caramelised Spanish Rice Pudding, a signature dish from Casa Marcial, Nachos two michelin starred restaurant.
Simple in appearance but complex in flavour – it kind of reminded me of Crema Catalana, but made as a rice pudding – it must have been good as I practically licked the bowl clean.
In a city where restaurants are always opening and closing, its so important to try and keep people coming back by offering them good quality food that keeps their interest. I believe that the new dishes that Nacho has introduced sit perfectly among the old favorites and give people something new and exciting to try, with the security of ordering the favourites that they know and love.
Iberica Manchester can be found at 4-15 THE AVENUE, SPINNINGFIELDS, M3 3HF MANCHESTER
With bookings available from here
I was invited as a guest to dine at Iberica in return for my thoughts and opinions on the new menu items. The review and everything contained in it are my own personal and honest thoughts.