I have heard of Iberica but haven’t yet visited the place. I feel like I haven’t explored Spinningfields enough as I was mostly focussing on Northern Quarter. When an old University friend dropped by Manchester, I decided this called for something more special and so we headed towards Spinningfields to find a good restaurant to eat at. We discovered Iberica and perused the menu before heading inside.
I did not realise that there are two floors to this place, the bar downstairs and the restaurant upstairs. We were warmly greeted at the reception desk who took our coats and then proceeded to take us upstairs to our table. The interior consists of dark wood, leather-like seats and a lot of red paint with subtle round details (lampshades, ceramic pots). I felt like I was transported to another country. I really like the lighting here, it sets the mood for a comfortable evening.
Since we were in a Spanish restaurant, we decided that we’d order Sangria. I chose the red version as it is a classic. Our waitress suggested we try the Sangria Cava next time as it’s her favourite. We ordered a pitcher and this came along with two mugs, each with two straws and a spoon. The Sangria was excellent and there is plenty to go around for the evening.
Fried chorizo lollipops
This was served with pear alioli sauce and was so, so good. The spicy chorizo paired perfectly with the sweet and creamy dipping sauce. It’s a match made in heaven and one to go for if you like chorizo.
Served with spicy brava sauce, this was a lovely dish. A good basic to any tapas selection, although in hindsight we would have skipped this one had we known that the octopus dish (below) came with potatoes. This was mentioned on the menu, so this was not the restaurant’s fault.
The Ibérica octopus a la gallega
One of the best tasting octopus dishes I have ever tasted. The octopus was not chewy in the slightest and very meaty. If you have been put off by chewy seafood in the past, then I urge you to try this dish. Seriously, the octopus had a good bite to it.
This plate had mixed opinions, but the secret to eating this dish is to eat all the elements at the same time. The hazelnuts really bring the dish together, without which this was just a subpar plate. As it was so light, we felt that this dish would have benefitted from being served earlier in the meal, as more of an appetiser than a main.
This dish was both a blessing and a curse, and in a good way. I didn’t realise this would be massive and we had so much left over. The paella is really good, though, one of the best I’ve had. The langoustines were cooked perfectly and the rice had a nice bite. The restaurant offered to let us take the rest home with us, bonus!
Overall rating and comments
9/10 -1 for the service. It did take a while to get a hold of someone to place our main order, and I wished they had mentioned that the paella was really, really large. All in all, I cannot fault this place much. The prices are fairly expensive, but you are paying for quality food to match.
Would visit again?
Yes, for a special night out, or just for really good seafood to be honest. I’ve heard good thinks about the bar and deli menu too.
Address: 14-15 The Avenue, Manchester M3 3HF
Have you tried eating tapas before? What would you recommend?
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