I've always had a love of good food (even if I'm not the best at making it) and fortunately have been blessed with a boyfriend of the same opinion (and he can cook, rather brilliantly). Now, nearly every weekend we go out, enjoy a lovely meal and a glass...or more of something exciting. Well, it's me. Let's be honest it's usually gin I'm drinking. Considering we've started to eat our way across Manchester and the surrounding area...with no intention of stopping, I figured I'd better put this new found knowledge to use and share with the masses some of the best places to eat. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself, that it's for the blog. It's research, we simply must go out. I do the same thing with books... *stares at all the unread books*...well this could be interesting.
In all honesty if you want to go out and enjoy good food don't let anyone discourage you. It's a form of self care in my opinion. I've been to some fab restaurants of late and haven't taken a solitary photo, I completely forgot to. But that's something I have now started to do at the advice of my parents and the encouragement of Sam. Near enough everyone has heard the word Momager, well, I have a set of parents that do a similar thing. They give me some wonderful ideas. Then I have the Instagram boyfriend of dreams.
For, what I imagine will be the first of many food related posts, I present to you Iberica. A beautiful Tapas restaurant situated in Spinningfields, Manchester.
Iberica is ideally situated in the heart of Spinningfields with plenty of choice for pre or post dinner drinks. Either at the Oast House (which is on the list to try) directly opposite or my personal favourite The Alchemist to the rear. Highly recommend the Solero cocktail if you do go to The Alchemist, in fact e-mail me for recommendations. I think I've drunk my way through their menu at this point. Or, even enjoy a drink in the restaurant before your meal. Which is what we did..as Sam disappeared off and reappeared with a bottle of Prosecco (I know, he's a keeper). Short people be warned climbing onto those beautiful...but very high stools is a feat. One I managed but a feat nonetheless. I did envisage a Bridget Jones incident occurring. So, if like me and you're vertically challenged there is a covered seating area outside with couches that don't require a ladder to clamber onto. Perfect for people watching.
Whilst I balanced on my chair attempting to look elegant, and not fall off backwards I kept staring at what I think is possibly the largest and most snazzy mirror I have ever seen. Throughout the decor was stunning, deep reds and browns everywhere with almost impossibly high windows. I can only imagine how much light they'd let in during the day. A perfect midday lunch location.
Now, arguably the most important part, the food. Quite simply oh my god. Amazing. The lovely waiter we had suggested five plates between the two of us to start with and honestly we didn't need any more than that. It surprising how filling Tapas is but think of it as having five starters... it's a lot. Providing you aren't out with someone with the same food anger as Joey Tribbiani it's a great place to go for a date too.
The Calamares was incredible. I adore seafood and have had my fair share of battered squid and this was one of the best. It came with alioli (which I cannot say for the life of me) and a hefty slice of lemon. I'm still not entirely sure what alioli is but I liked it! It looks a little frightening but give it a go, it definitely isn't for everyone, but as I've heard over the year... if you don't try it you'll never know. Good god I never thought I'd be saying that.
Potato is wonderfully glorious in all of its varying forms but Croquetas are perhaps the King. Fried potato and cheese. What more could you ask for? Honestly, I would've been very happy with five plates of those!
On the right we have Gambas and Confit Chicken. The love of seafood strikes again. I'm always a little bit scared when I order anything that either has been in a shell or needs de-shelling. I'm convinced I'll end up recreating the langoustine scene from Mr.Bean. It's happened before...not to me but I was was a witness. The garlic and cayenne pepper sauce they were was fantastic, but make sure whoever you're eating with has it too! Garlic breath and all that.
I'm not entirely sure what a Romesco sauce is, nor do I know whats in it but I can tell you its rather tasty. Coupled with the Confit Chicken and Hazelnuts. To die for and thankfully a very generous portion. There's nothing worse than when there isn't enough of something.
Supposedly, this wonderful dish was Twice Cooked Lamb but when a meat melts like butter you start to wonder what witchcraft was involved in the creation of it. Served with marinated cherry tomatoes and red peppers from León..which shock horror I didn't go near. I'm not the best when it comes to fruit and veg, much to everyone's dismay.
And for this one all photo credit to Sam, as I said top Instagram Boyfriend.
There is nothing I like more than dessert and coffee, when you put the two of them together I am a very happy bunny. After all the wonderful tapas neither of us could manage a full dessert but it would've been a shame not to give any a try. We split this Coffee flan with vanilla ice cream,which was a twist on the traditional Spanish sweetened custard dessert and was completely delicious. I'd go back for this alone.
Oh look, three of my favourite things in one photo. Dessert, prosecco and Sam. hehe.
If you get the chance definitely give Iberica a try. It ticked all the boxes for me and I know Sam thought the same. Everything was on point, from presentation to taste, to the staff. I'm already planning on taking my parents at some point. They love Tapas almost as much as I do. Considering the quality, and quantity of food we ended up with the bill was pretty reasonable too. Nothing better than good food at a good price...and of course with great company.
Have you been to Iberica?
What did you think?
Thank-you for reading,