We headed to Farringdon to check out Ibérica’s new tapas restaurant venue, new for this spring.

bottles for web

Beautiful high-end interior design at Farringdon’s Ibérica

You know when the chef recommends a selection of Ibérico hams from three different regions – each with its own distinct taste based on the climate – that this is not your normal tapas restaurant.

And when you dip your toasted bread, dripping with oil, into a strong and creamy Torta de Trujillo – a sheep’s cheese distinguished as one of the best 50 cheeses in the world*, where the sheep are fed on herbaceous species, like jara, thyme or rosemary, to help the final flavour – you realise that Ibérica is something special.

tapas whole for web

Mussel paté, chorizo lollipops, mini burgers with secreto pork loin and lamb sweetbread

Each tapas has been lovingly selected: the Ibérico ham sharing board included produce travelling from the centre to the south of Spain, with the saltier ham reflecting its close proximity to the sea – offering you a tour of the country from the comfort of your Farringdon hide out.

We made sure our favourite tapas made it into our selection, chorizo lollipops with pear alioli high on the agenda, with lamb sweetbread a close second, and left the rest of the order in the capable hands of our chef Cesar.

What followed can only be described as an avalanche of Spanish cuisine – one we had no problem eating our way out of…

soup & trout

Sea trout and gazpacho at Ibérica Farringdon

Now I don’t know where you stand on gazpacho? Cold soup is a funny one for a British lady (or gentleman) to contend with. This, although breaking all the rules on the hot and cold food front (I mean you’d never eat your Heinz tomato soup straight out of the tin, right?) was quite the concoction of fresh tomatoes, beetroot and a hint of anchovy, finished off with a blob of cheese ice-cream (yes, that ball’s right outside the park).

exterior for web

Ibérica’s new restaurant venue in Farringdon

As I often find with tapas, the dish that I’m not entirely sure about, the one that either a friend or the waiter has persuaded me to try, is the sure winner.

This time a sea trout with almond purée and smoked olive oil scattered with almonds and tiny pieces of pickled cauliflower trumped everything. Yes, even the chorizo lollipops; even the smooth and cheesy croquettes and the mussel paté in its adorable jar.

If you take one gamble on your visit, put your money on the sea trout.

And if all this is sounding a little flamboyant for your taste, you can always fall back on the tender mini Ibérica burgers with secreto pork loin topped with a piparra pepper.

sangria

Ibérica’s cava sangria

The venue is refined, sophisticated. Discreet window divides, and a couple of corner sofas, make for a more intimate dining experience. It was the perfect atmosphere in which to sip our cava sangria infused with fresh pomegranate and orange. Or you can try the beer sangria for something a bit more edgy – you are in East London after all.

Ibérica is basically a hop, skip and not even a jump from Farringdon station, so even easily accessible for a south-west dweller like myself.

We like to venture east when craving tapas.

Find out more about the new venue HERE.

Ibérica Farringdon | 89 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5QU

Ibérica Canary Wharf | 12 Cabot Square, London E14 4QQ

Ibérica La Terraza | Cabot Square, London E14 4QQ

Ibérica Marylebone | 195 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PS

Our meal was courtesy of Ibérica Farringdon. 

www.ibericalondon.co.uk

Natalie x

*World Cheese Awards 2011

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