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195 Great Portland Street
0203 026 5118
Spanish powerhouse Ibérica has moved tapas on from a tick list of ordinary nibbles to specialities worth toasting with a glass of vintage cava. The group’s executive chef Nacho Manzano (winner of three Michelin stars) directs the kitchen, reprising his own signature dishes and putting them alongside some new-century tapas. Current Ibérica classics range from a gazpacho of red berries, beetroot and anchovy to spring onion tempura with lemon aïoli and soy, an oxtail ‘sandwich’ with potato cream, and near-legendary chorizo lollipops with pear aïoli, while the selection of cheeses, cured meats and preserved fish honours Spain’s centuries-old gastronomic traditions. Meanwhile, set menus and sharing dishes (including various paellas) provide another way in to the experience. Drinks cover the spectrum of Spanish booze from beer, cider and sangria to bespoke G&Ts, vermouths, countless sherries and sparklers by the glass.
Best Private Rooms: >30
From: 26 March 2018
To: 31 December 2019
Look for the "£" icon when booking (offers only available on certain days/times)
195 Great Portland Street
0203 026 5118
Great Portland Street Tube Station 94m
Regents Park Tube Station 179m
Royal Institute of British Architects 156m
University of Westminster 245m
Mon-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm Sun 12N-4pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We have eaten here many times over the past few years and always had an enjoyable experience. However, recently I arranged a dinner for 10 people on a Tuesday night (well in advance, inc, pre-ordering and paying for most of the food) for my nieces graduation celebration dinner. I was unable to give an exact time of arrival as graduation ceremonies go on for a number of hours, but said that we would most likely be arriving at around 7pm, as it was half of us arrived at 6.15pm, and I asked if the table was free, could we sit there and have a drink whilst waiting for the rest of our group. I was told that the table was free but as we had arrived early, they would want the table back at 8.15pm, I laughed, thinking they were joking and said that for a table of 10, most restaurants would not put a 2 hour "window" on the meal and also, the rest of the group would not be arriving for another hour or so. The lady I spoke to did not really comment, so I waited for around 30 minutes and then spoke to a gentleman who said he was the manager - he went off to talk to someone and then came back and said he had "managed to arrange for us to have the table as long as we needed it". The one lady who served us the majority of the time, was very busy, but efficient and friendly, but the lady on the front desk who I originally spoke to continually walked to the back of the restaurant and stared at our table as if trying to get us to leave.
The restaurant was very busy (it usually is), but they have lost us as regular customers, which is a shame as we have always enjoyed it here.
When it came time to pay for the alcohol and extra food that we ordered (£300+) I handed over a £100 square meal voucher), which they looked at with complete disgust (I had mentioned in advance that I would be using it as part payment), not sure what that was about either but they appear not to be on the square meal points list any more). Rarely have I felt so unwelcome in a restaurant - maybe something is going on with the management, I have no idea, maybe they are too popular for their own good, maybe I shall take my hard earned money elsewhere in future.
Food + drink: 3
We used to live around the corner from Iberica and were one of its early customers when it opened in 2008. It brings back memories of having a baby at home and sneaking out to meet my similarly sleep deprived girl friends for a glass of wine and a semblance of a conversation that didn’t involve weaning and the merits of local playgrounds and schools!
I had not been there for a while but recently enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch with the family. When you walk into the refurbished Marylebone restaurant (there are now branches in Canary Wharf and Farringdon) you are immediately struck by how bright and airy it is. The blue and white tiles and large Moorish lamps together with lots of natural wood and leather furniture create a warm ambiance that reminds me of Seville.
The lightness of the interior mirrors a new freshness in the food. I find that tapas can be a bit “hit and miss” and as I don’t eat pork the choice can be somewhat limited. The executive chef Nacho Manzano has three Michelin stars to his name and the quality and variety of the dishes has certainly improved a lot.
I have always been impressed by the staff who are keen to share their recommendations and knowledge of regional specialities with you. Alvaro, the restaurant manager took good care of us and helped us to select some sherries for our aperitif. If you tell him what characteristic you like, he will find the right one for you. There is also a good range of cocktails and speciality gins to whet the appetite.
We enjoyed a crunchy salad with Valdeon cheese, spinach and apple; tender octopus; ensaladilla with tuna and vegetables; fabulous corn fritters with Cabrales cheese and scrambled egg as well as a tempura style fish and tasty potatoes with piquant brava.
There is a comprehensive list of Spanish wines, many from independent wine producers and some exclusive to Iberica. We enjoyed a carafe of the Maneki Albarin which is produced in limited quantity by a boutique vineyard.
For our main course we shared an intensely flavoured seafood paella that was generously garnished with prawns. The menu has a good range of seafood, meat and vegetarian choices not to mention an impressive array of Iberico ham that is the speciality of the restaurant.
We finished off our meal with a Spanish style rice pudding with a caramelised topping and a trio of cheese.
Given that it is January and with good intentions to be healthier, we decided to forego a sweet sherry or digestive.
I recommend Iberica for a lively evening of drinks and tapas with friends or a leisurely weekend meal with family or friends.
Iberica Marylebone, 195 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PS
Tel 020 7636 8650
Nuzy Sayani is Catwalkschoolgates’ restaurant reviewer. Nuzy lives in Marylebone with her husband and seven year old son. She is a technology lawyer and loves the theatre, cinema, is an avid reader and likes nothing more than trying out new restaurants. Nuzy will be sharing her dining experiences with us and would love to hear from you with your recommendations.
This is one of our regular favourites - their selection of hams are always wonderful, the croquetas and chorizo lollipops are always a crowd pleaser. We rarely stray far from our favourite little dishes, but it is a great restaurant to watch the world go by over a leisurely weekend lunch. We have also been lucky enough to attend a few of their special "tasting" evenings, which are usually free of charge. We have learned about Cava, Sherry and tapas at their informal evenings upstairs, which we would also recommend. All in all, consistently good tapas at reasonable prices, in a slightly off the beaten track location.
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