I have eaten at one or two other branches of Iberica, but admittedly not for a few years and had always enjoyed the meals. As Victoria is now such a hive of activity with new developments and restaurants correspondingly popping up, I was expecting a much better experience.
On a Wednesday night there was steady trade, but certainly not a frenzy of diners that would “slam” the kitchen or the wait staff. As we were seated, I tried to ask a waiter for water, who was at the next table and he was completely oblivious. So much so, that the table he had just served burst out laughing at my apparent invisibility. After much waving, I eventually managed to attract attention from another. My companion had popped to the loo and so for some reason, the waiter only poured one glass. And the farce started again to get a second glass when my friend returned. Suffice to say this continued throughout the meal. They have a veritable army of staff, which were not run off their feet and so there is no excuse for this lack of attention.
The food itself is ok. We ordered garlic prawns with fideos which was a bit greasy and heavy handed on the chillies, as the prawns were completely overpowered and rendered flavourless in themselves. The “Half & Half” cheese and charcuterie board is incredibly underwhelming with several different types of salamis, indiscernible from one another, apart from the obligatory chorizo and 3 tiny slices of cheese. Considering that they have soft sheep cheese, a blue and several different hard cheeses to choose from why give us a very mean portion of almost identical choices? Coupled with a beetroot salad entirely devoid of any seasoning, everything was a bit under par.
Finally, I don’t think that I am the only person to go to a tapas place and look forward to a tortilla. The staple of Spanish cooking. We ordered it. It didn’t arrive. I called my ethereal waiter to ask where it was as we had had all of our other dishes and he then promptly sent the manager over who told me (at 2030 on a Wednesday) that they had run out of “the mix”. I looked at him quizzically and asked for clarification, as I am reasonably certain that it is just fried potatoes, onions and eggs. Yes, he agreed. There was no more mix. Now I know that I wasn’t in the ever exquisite Barrafina with their superlative, gooey and delicious tortilla, but I would expect a chef to be able to accomplish a simple version. When pressed, I asked the manager if it was powdered or frozen and he changed his mind and said that he had run out of eggs! Are you serious?
He was very nice, offered us a free desert instead, but neither of us wanted one. But I definitely expected more than this. To top it all, once we asked for the bill, the waiter literally stood over us while we dug our wallets out. Considering he couldn’t have been less interested for the rest of the time, this just added insult to injury. My new office is near there. I won’t be returning.