Great Chefs and Great Menus – Iberica Manchester

Its been a restaurant which I have always peered in and been curious about following its refurbishment from the popular All Saints store with its many many Singer sewing machines in the window. Iberica have completely transformed the venue and made it unrecognisable from its former self.

Great Chefs Great Menu

The décor inside is typically Spanish yet with a decadent modern twist. There are many interesting pieces of décor which would have looked entirely out of place in any other venue but completely added to the authenticity of the Spanish and Portuguese vibe of restaurant but somehow didn’t manage to be overbearing. These pieces included a huge mount of a bulls head behind the bar and lamp lights constructed out of the jackets of a bull fighter

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We were invited to sample a taster menu for the GreatChefsGreatCauses menu. A menu developed by some of the best Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American chefs. The profits from each dish sold go to various great causes as chosen by their makers.

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Great Chefs Great Menu 3

We sampled some cocktails on arrival. As a gin lover I was spoilt for choice however as it was such a warm evening I went for something refreshing a delicious moreish mix of crushed strawberries and basil. Super refreshing. My friend went for a smoky old fashioned. Even though I am not a whiskey fan I love watching the vapours and breathing in the smoky aromas. Its an impressive drink and whilst we were there to eat I would certainly be back here to sample the delicious range of cocktails on the menu.

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To start we had Oysters with cucumber and lychee, a tapas dish from Daniel Redondo from Brazil. A refreshing first item which was beautifully presented with edible flowers.

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Next up was Razor clam with yellow pepper and black quinoa, created by Virgilio Martinez from central Peru. To my recollection I have never tasted razor clams before and loved them, he texture was really interesting much like squid. This was up there with one of my favourite dishes of the evening and would be something I would order again.

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Next was Avocado toast with bone marrow salsa and cucumber. Like much of the country I have hopped onto a bit of an advocado trend and am obsessed with finding new ways to eat the fruit. This was a refreshing twist on advocado toast. Topped with edible flowers the dish was equally beautiful to look at as the taste.

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The dish which came up after the advocado toast was my favourite of the night. The chef came out to introduce the dish which was Foie Cuba libre with lemon frost, developed by Quique DaCosta, from Quique Dacosta Resturant in Spain. I’ve never tried foire gras before however it was so rich and opulent to taste. The lemon frost which was much like sorbet was a refreshing and sharp contrast to the rich flavours of the foire gras which complemented the dish beautifully.

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Fresh chorizo tatar followed which was equally on the top of my ever growing ‘must-try-again’ dishes list. A flavoursome and delicious chorizo tatar topped with crisp salad leaves.

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Great Chefs Great Menu10

Mango beer and black pudding parcels came next from Juan Mari Arzak, followed shortly after by squid parmentier and red smoked paprika and squid stock from Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Span.

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Great Chefs Great Menu 11

Fresh chorizo tatar followed which was equally on the top of my ever growing ‘must-try-again’ dishes list. A flavoursome and delicious chorizo tatar topped with crisp salad leaves.

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Great Chefs Great Menu 14

We were then treated to a tasting of a few dishes from the Summer 2015 menu which were equally as great. The first of these been a Salmorejo (thick gazpacho) with green apple and basil granite with sun blushed tomato. Rich and thick in texture the dish was refreshing and full of cleaning flavours.

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Following this we had, two texture tomato salad with orange zest and vanilla oil, fresh mackerel with orange and saffron escabeche and fresh hake with hollandaise sauce and lettuce water. These three dishes were my least favourite of the evening, this was personal preference as I aren’t a huge fan of some of the elements of these. I’m not a huge lover of fish and tomatoes so they weren’t the dishes for me. However my fellow diners really seemed to enjoy the tomato salad in particular saying how refreshing it was.

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To follow before we sampled the deserts was grilled iberico pork “pulma” in moruno marinade and aubergine. This was a beautiful cut of pork which was cooked to perfection. If I wasn’t so full from eating so much this evening I would have certainly wished to have sampled more.

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Great Chefs Great Menu 20

We moved on to deserts where we sampled “tocinillo de cielo” an egg yolk custard flan, served with cinnamon and lemon zest milk foam and salted caramel ice cream. Each element of the dish was packed full of flavour. I wonderful desert which I would 100% order again. As I have grown older I have moved away from sweet things towards savoury however this was too difficult to resist.

Finally we tried the chocolate mousse with herbs cress and red fruit salad with vanilla oil and cider gel. Again another beautiful dish which topped off the meal. I went home happy having tried so many new flavours and elements which I had never previously.

Iberica is a stunning restaurant which I would recommend for special occasions and those times when you want something just a bit more fancy, the décor makes it the perfect venue for a date with lots of features to talk about. I also believe this a great place to go to if you are looking to try something new which you may not have sampled before. I am positive that there will be something on either the great chefs or the summer menu which will be new to your tastes.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the restaurant can find them on twitter at @IbericaMCR, Iberica Restaurants on FaceBook and ibericarestaurants on Instagram.

I was invited to taste the new menu at a press event however all views are my own

Ibérica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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