After embarking on an eight week strict detox we (hubby and I) were overcome with excitement at the prospect of gorging on food seasoned with salt, and sugary desserts – forbidden during said detox. Ibérica, a smart tapas restaurant in Canary Wharf was the chosen venue to usher in our first post –detox meal. The restaurants’ modern interior woven with traditional Spanish elements is at odds with the sterile, surroundings of Canary Wharf – if DC Comics’ Metropolis came to life it would be Canary Wharf!
We were originally booked into Ibérica’s La Terraza – a cute outdoor dining space, complete with its own independent kitchen and impressive water feature, conveniently located across the road from the main restaurant. Unfortunately, La Terraza was closed the day we visited due to the rainfall that morning, however, Ivan, the Manager and our hospitable host still provided us with a tour and an invitation for a post -lunch digestif.
Once ensconced back in the restaurant, Ivan offered to put together a selection of tapas dishes, having not so much as glanced at a restaurant menu for the past eight weeks, we appreciated and trusted his guidance. The selection was diverse and plentiful; we agreed that all the food tasted sublime; our taste buds went into overdrive after weeks of chickpeas, lentils, salads and rice.
Standout dishes included: Juan Pedro Domecq: 42 month aged ham – despite not being super keen on swine, hubby was enthralled with the pork’s smoky, yet sweet taste; the delicious and palate cleansing Salmorejo: a thick gazpacho topped with green apple, basil granita and sunblushed tomato; Creamy Black Rice: squid, prawns and alioli sauce – imagine a savoury rice pudding, this dish really surprised me, I generally have no time for rice – I always find ways of avoiding it; during the aforementioned detox I replaced quinoa for rice. Yet, ironically this dish was my personal favourite; the creamy texture with its strong seafood flavour was particularly comforting. Beware of the temporary black stain left on your lips and teeth courtesy of the squid ink!
Our vow not to drink alcohol was quickly forgotten after Ivan tempted us with a jug of Cava Sangria a refreshing take on traditional Sangria made with: orange juice, Cointreau, peach liqueur, oranges, pomegranate, strawberries, blackberries and mint.
After a brief break we continued our food marathon with an order of desserts: Almond Cake served with a generous dollop of coffee cream and ice cream for hubby; and Tocinello de Cielo: egg custard flan accompanied with salted caramel ice cream – I find myself blindly attracted to anything containing salted caramel. Both desserts were gorgeous and rounded off our tapas nicely.
We thoroughly enjoyed our mammoth meal at Ibérica the well combined, proteins and carbs were a great introduction to a post –detox meal. To avoid the braying finance mob that dominate during the week, plan a weekend visit along with the laid back foodie crowd who appreciate Ibérica’s traditional menu with a modern twist.
Price – £114.50 (excluding service) – relatively reasonable considering all the food and alcohol we consumed!
Service – Very warm and welcoming – a big thank you to Ivan, Steffi (Managers) and staff whose passion and knowledge of Spanish food came across.
Ambience – Relaxed and a brief respite from the spiritless Metropolis aka Canary Wharf.
Bathroom – 5/5 clean, with a great selection of Molton Brown products.
For reservations and further information please visit: www.ibericarestaurants.com