Iberica Spinningfields - Manchester Restaurant Review

Published . By Kiran Flynn.

Now over two years since Iberica graced the streets of Spinningfields, we went along to sample what is now reputed as one of Manchester’s top spots for tapas on a cold yet cosy night in February.

The Venue and Atmosphere

This place is fancy. There’s good reason Iberica is a hit with this town’s socialites and top-personalities. As we walked up the promenade towards this slick venue, we knew no corners would be cut at this place – just ham. On arrival, we head into the dazzling bar, sat on one of the elegant stools and quizzed the knowledgeable bar staff on their cocktail menu. It felt like a glitzy, high-end matador bar complete with red tassels, an old grandfather clock and a spectrum of bottles of booze on display; the kind of place well-off Spaniards would reconvene after the season’s most anticipated bullfight of the ‘30s. An embellished matador jacket hung on the bar, marking Iberica’s authentic heart among the luxurious decor.

After a drink at the bar, we headed upstairs into the more contemporary dining area. We sank into the sumptuously soft, white leather armchairs at our table, beside a row of booths lining the panoramic window overlooking the Spinningfields punters below. Iberica is perhaps a vegan’s worst nightmare, but is everything an avid meat-eater could ever dream for. Considering it’s an acclaimed restaurant, Iberica felt surprisingly chilled-out on a Thursday evening. Couples were relaxed as they sipped on good wine and small bar plates downstairs and friends ate at a leisurely European pace in the restaurant, whilst swirling their wine glasses.  The service was also brilliant; our waiter looked after us attentively with unwavering enthusiasm for the food and drinks on offer.

iberica manchester review

Iberica cuts through slick interior lines with humble and rich nods to Spain. 

The Food and Drink

It would have been downright disrespectful to not have started with Iberica’s signature jamon. We went for the Trio of Ibericos (£20), containing all three of the cured hams on the menu. As instructed, we ate each of them in turn, starting with the milder corn-fed variety leading up to the delicious, mature finale. Accompanied with fresh bread and olive oil, we were on to a winning starter of light bites and interesting cuts. Next came turn-upon-turn of glorious tapas. Particular favourites included the smooth and tender Hake a la gallega (£7.50) with confit potatoes, the rich and burly Oxtail sandwich with tartare cream (£8.50) and the Garlic prawns and pasta (£9)… and of course, no tapas meal is complete without a plate of padron peppers (£6).

Equally as impressive are the drinks on offer. The wine menu is split into three sections - Rosados, Tintos and Blancos – which are then sectioned further by flavour. I spotted the A Dos Tiempos Tempranillo (£9.75) and jumped at the chance to try a small glass of this Madrid wine. Iberica serve wine the Spanish way: you can order either a small glass (150ml) or you can opt for a small carafe that serves about 3 small glasses: perfect. My amigo opted for the delicious Spinningfields cocktail, which contained three of his all-time favourite ingredients: whiskey, baileys and coffee. A wonderful alternative to dessert.

iberica spinningfields manchester restaurant review

The tapas menu at Iberica is rich, varied and truly unique to the restaurant. 

Summary

What’s better than tapas? Nada, or at least that's what we found out after our trip to Spinningfields. Definitely up there among the finest of tapas restaurants in Manchester, Iberica clearly continues the spirit of Spain with a slick, Northern edge.