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Iberica Leeds Review: Summer Dishes and Authentic Paella

Review by Rosita Rogers – follow on Twitter @zittttttta
Iberica Summer Menu Review – Iberica Leeds Review – Leeds Tapas Restaurant – Yorkshire Best Restaurants

Iberica Leeds Review: Summer Dishes and Authentic Paella

Regardless of the time of day, a trip to Iberica is always far from the ordinary. Last week I popped over during my very quick lunch break, bought all the staff at work bocadillos, Iberica Leeds newest lunch sandwiches, and still managed to have a long winded conversation with Matt, the GM, about his and Iberica’s head chefs trip to a restaurant in the middle of Spain to learn how to cook age-old traditional paella. The bocadillos were so gorgeously uncomplicated, fresh and only cost me around £3 each, which was surprising considering it is Iberica.
Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds    Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds
This week, I’ve come to sample the paella and newest seasonal dishes, or so I’d thought when I walked through the door and met the CEO, GM, Ops Manager and head chef, Cesar. As per my usual attendance, it felt like a family affair and we immediately started discussing our love for Leeds, the history of the building, the roads surrounding it, and how they wished the roof was flat so that it could turn into a rooftop bar. Unfortunately, it isn’t, and it’s made of glass, so the chances of that happening anytime soon are fairly slim.
Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds    Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds
Mid conversation, our server brings out the perfect meat & fish accompaniment; a white wine called Perro Verde ‘green dog’ along with a selection of charcuterie, which includes the newest cut of the well known Spanish cured beef, Cecina, along with the croquetas, anchovies and one of their summer salads, the strawberry & beetroot salad. All of which was pleasing, to say the least. Being a lover of everything fish, the Northern Spanish anchovies were fresh and sweet and salty and invigorating. This is mainly due to where they are sourced, which Marcos, the CEO, seemed to know all about in so much depth, it felt like I was in a geography lesson. I didn’t try them, but I did get a glimpse of their other newer and lighter dishes too such as the chickpea and kale salad, Gazpacho of red berries, beetroot, mint and anchovy, the fresh tomato salad, as well as other exciting twists on the classics like Tortilla de Chorizo.
Whilst no other chain will ever provide a service like this before the paella was about to come out for us to try, Marcos insisted all of the other guests in the restaurant received complimentary dishes of it so that they could try out the new recipes, which I thought was unbelievably generous. Unbeknown to me, paella actually refers to the pan and not the type of rice. And we’re not talking your average pan here, we’re talking pans the size of Leeds city centre 1-bed flats. Earlier this year 5 of the Iberica head chefs, Cesar included, attended a week long master class in a restaurant that has been serving paella since our great grandparents were in primary school, passed on through generations and still run by the same family.
Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds    Iberica Leeds Review - Tapas restaurant leeds
If you’re familiar with Albufera, then you’ll see the restaurant as it sits right beside the lagoon. If you’ve been to the coast in Spain, you might end up assuming paella is traditionally seafood, served in a large deep pan. But that isn’t the case at all for the traditional paella Iberica has brought to Leeds. They’re following old traditions, and not over doing the rice at all. A very thin layer is cooked, and once ready, scraped right in front of the guest to bring out all of the caramelised, toasty flavours from the bottom of the pan. I got to try them pre-scraping and couldn’t believe how much difference the scraping made. All of the above were delicious, as always.
The joy continued with the dessert, which seemed to have landed on the table and left within a good minute or so. Crema Catalana foam served with apple baked in cider and salted caramel ice cream. No faults whatsoever. The rest of the dessert menu included treats like Caramelised Spanish Rice Pudding and Tocinillo de Cielo Custard flan with coconut mousse and mango sorbet which is usually paired with sherry Matusalem. If you’re a dessert fan then don’t even hesitate. The end of my visit concluded with a quick trip to check out the downstairs area, which is ideal for after work drinks or a fun Saturday afternoon. The upstairs private dining area is ideal for any occasion, to which I’ve spent many a Friday nights celebrating birthdays and work do’s. Highly recommended if you enjoy your food and drink. Keep your eyes peeled for tasting events over the summer too, they’re a lot of fun!
Find out more about Iberica Leeds and their current offers and menus

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Iberica, 17A E Parade, Leeds LS1 2BH – 0113 403 7007
Iberica Summer Menu Review – Iberica Leeds Review – Leeds Tapas Restaurant – Yorkshire Best Restaurants 

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Peter Henry


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