Girl Versus Food

Reviews, recipes and thoughts from a Scottish food blogger

Tag: eating out Glasgow

Iberica Glasgow – Spanish Restaurant

What do you think of when you imagine Spanish restaurants in the UK? Unimaginative? Lacking authenticity? That has often been my experience in the past… the food has never been quite as delicious as you remember from that holiday in Spain. That was, at least, until I visited Iberica in Glasgow.

What. A. Treat.

The restaurant was busy with a great atmosphere; on a week night evening this is surely a good sign! It has a chic interior, dominated by dramatic light shades.

The menu is updated seasonally and the current offering is bursting full of fresh ideas and ingredients. The menu has a mix of classic and modern tapas.

We started with some olives, toasted bread with tomato and a platter of Juan Pedro Domecq Iberico ham. The ham comes from the black Iberian pig and is cured for a minimum of 42 months. It is easily the best quality ham that I’ve tried.

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Our charming and helpful waiter recommended a bottle of Tempranillo; a red wine from Ribera del Guadiana in the west of Spain. It was a great recommendation and the wine paired well with our food.

One of the seasonal dishes that the restaurant is serving is the beef tomato and salmorejo. Salmorejo is a puree similar to gazpacho and orginates from Cordoba in Andalucia. I recently visited the region and tried a few different takes on salmorejo; the Iberica version was different from what I tried but equally delicious. In fact, it was one of our favourite tapa of the meal. It was so fresh and the beetroot granita topping and contrasting textures made every bite interesting.

IMG_1409The cod brandada had the most eye-catching presentation and I’m pleased to say it tasted as good as it looked! The brandada is a kind of pureed cod with olive oil to which the vegetable crisps provided the perfect texture contrast.

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Another favourite was the crispy chicken; confit chicken thigh with romesco sauce and hazelnuts. The chicken thighs were tender and the sauce had a rich flavour.

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Finally, a special mention for the twice cooked lamb which picked up some of the Moorish influences in Spanish cooking. It was melt in the mouth delicious and served with tomatoes and red peppers. This is a must-have when you come to Iberica! It went perfectly with the Tempranillo wine.

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We finished with desserts (including churros!) and some accompanying sherries. A great reminder of my visit to the home of sherry; Jerez! Iberica is definitely my new go-to place when I want that authentic taste of Spain in the (slightly less) sunny Glasgow.

The Spanish Butcher Review

I’ve been keen to try The Spanish Butcher since it opened on Miller Street, Glasgow in December 2016 so I was delighted to be invited along this month to sample the pre-theatre menu. The people behind The Spanish Butcher own two of my favourite Glasgow restaurants; Hutchesons and The Butchershop so I definitely had high expectations!

My first impressions of the restaurant were good; I received a warm welcome and I really liked the stylish décor; dark green walls, lots of wood and plenty of candlelight. Even the toilets are swish looking!

While we looked at the menu we enjoyed some warm sourdough bread and THE most delicious olives I’ve ever tasted. The green gorda olives were juicy and perfectly marinated. There’s a big focus on produce and provenance at the restaurant; from the beef sourced from 12-14 year old Galician cattle from northern Spain to the 30 month matured authentic Jamon Iberico de Bellota. I found staff to be very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the menu.

There’s an extensive wine list with bottles ranging from £19 up to £425. There’s also a good selection available by the glass. We took a recommendation from our waitress and went with a nice smooth bottle of Rioja which was very enjoyable.image1

So on to the meal. To start, I had the confit pork belly stew with chorizo, morcilla, butterbeans and charred bread. My friend went for the Shetland mussels which were sautéed with chorizo, lobster stock, fennel and also served with charred bread. Both starter portions were generous. The pork belly was melt in the mouth and really tasty, if just a touch salty. The mussels were fresh and flavoursome and it was nice to have the bread to dip in the juices at the bottom of the dish.IMG_4816

Pork Belly Stew

Pork Belly Stew

For the main course, my friend chose the Galician hogget stew served with charred bread. In texture and flavour this had similarities to my starter and again was a little bit salty, but very tasty.IMG_4817

I opted for the Secreto Iberico de Bellota which comes with truffle manchego fries and Mojo verde. Secreto means “the secret cut” and comes from the acorn-fed Iberico pig. The meat was super tender and I would describe it as tasting like somewhere between bacon and steak.

The side of fries were something else; crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and the truffle flavour was complimented by the grated Manchego cheese.image3image2

So did The Spanish Butcher live up to my high expectations? Absolutely! Delicious food, a great selection of wine and enthusiastic staff. The lunch and pre-theatre menu is also excellent value at two courses for £15.

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